Shattered to the Core
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (6/18)
“Shattered to the Core” by Charlotte Ann is the memoir of one woman’s struggle to become whole after dealing with lifelong abuse. It is a unique way of describing years of physical and sexual abuse by close family members that resulted in the author assuming different personalities to protect herself, with each having a particular function in her daily life.
From infancy the author had been abused, sexually abused and traumatized by her mother, sister and grandfather. In the beginning of the book, Charlotte Ann describes it to be like the shattering of a mirror - being hit with a hard object and breaking into small pieces.
The author’s memoir deals with Dissociative Identity Disorder or multiple personality disorder. She also discusses depression, suicidal thoughts, impairment of functioning, alcohol abuse and gaps in memory to name a few. This memoir takes on a different perspective from others in that it is written by alter personalities.
She also relates about her encounters with psychologists and psychiatrists who misdiagnosed her and only provided medications. During the time she sought treatment not much was known about DID and the cause. Many in the field felt the individual was making up stories to draw attention to ones’ self. During my time as a psychologist for the Department of Army, I had one client with multiple personalities. It is an amazing, and educational experience to see an individual change from one persona to another right before your eyes. Needless to say, I was not qualified to treat this person and referred her to a therapist who specialized in that field as it is very long and traumatic treatment.
There were several areas I wish the author would have provided more insight as she gives a very vague background of how things came to be and when she first noticed it. I believe the author has great intentions to help others with this memoir yet I also feel that it might cause some major damage to people who are still learning about DID. She does state that during the time she was writing this she was under the care of a psychiatrist and therapist due to flashbacks and suicidal thoughts.
Given that the memoir jumps in right away with the alter personas, it is not for the general audience reading. I do think that college psychology courses would benefit from learning about the different personalities and their function. I would recommend “Shattered to the Core” by Charlotte Ann for professionals in the field and highly recommend the author obtain the services of an editor.