Last Saturday I attended our Stakes Relief Society Conference. The closing speaker at that conference was Tiffany Fletcher author of a true story, Mother Had A Secret.
This is a story of her learning to love her mother and her multiple personalities. The true story of this complicated mother-daughter relationship unfolds in a weave of memory and emotion as Tiffany recounts the challenges of growing up in the care of a woman held hostage by her own shattered mind; a woman who inadvertently hurt the children she only wanted to love and protect; a woman whose premature death brought deep waves of loss but also much-needed healing. Poetic, poignant, and heart-wrenchingly honest, this riveting narrative offers hope to victims of mental illness and their families and provides insight to readers unacquainted with the struggle. It invites compassion and inspires positive action in our most reassured relationships.
The book teaches about compassion and gives many examples of positive action. I can honestly not even imagine living in the horror these children daily endured. Without the teachings of the church I can only imagine where each of the children would be now. Tiffany told us that as a teenager, she knew that her mother, Vickie had been brutally and sexually abused as a child. She also knew that the abuse caused her mother’s severe mental and emotional instability, which brought painful complications for the entire family. Still the things she had to endure as a teenager should not have to happen to anyone. My heart totally aches for her. Tiffany didn’t know that there was a name for what plagued her family every day until her mother was in a car wreck which landed Vickie in the hospital. While there they found a name for the multiple personalities that each child saw in their mother. They were told that she had dissociative identity disorder. Most teenagers have a hard time getting along with their mother who usually has only one personality, but Vicky had fifteen, include one that was her own.
I am so glad that I read this book. This beautiful young mother of five has gone through more in her short life than I can ever imagine, and through all the trials she came out with a deep love for her mother and her many personalities.