DID: Dissociative Identity Disorder and PTSD

SYBIL (2007 film)

We learn Sybil is an easily confused and upset individual. Sybil has admitted to frequent black outs and bad dreams, voices in Sybil's conscious that create conflict for Sybil to determine these voices. Sybil resents her past, the past that her mother provided her with. Sybil unconsciously, unknowingly resulted in identity disorder. Sybil displays various personalities. These personality alters can display suicidal tendencies, violent or aggressive, child-like alters that come out in every day life. Socializing and dating is not easy for Sybil as many of her personalities can be triggered and let out at any time.

Sybil witnesses death at a young age. At high school age, Sybil had been in a farm barn with a friend called Tommy. While sitting on the wood beam above, in spite of fun Tommy wanted to convince Sybil to jump in a stack of hay and decided to jump. When Tommy landed he did not move or say a word when he landed. Blood appeared. Under the stack of hay, he landed on steel rake. Sybil is taunted with the appearance of blood- although coincidentally she frequently breaks windows with her own physical force. Sybil repeats she wants to get out and leave. Perhaps her fist fights with glass windows, are a form of self harm.

Sybil meets Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, who assumes something terrible had occurred in her childhood to create a 'splitting of consciousness' due to her display of various personalities. A splitting of consciousness refers to when an individual is 'hit' with trauma, a series of stress and overwhelms; a piece of the personality breaks off, and a forms a new individual, an alter. The part that splits off has its own memories, skills, likes, dislikes, some cases accents and ethnicity/race; displaying unknowingly of different behavior and identity. Dr. Wilbur becomes determined to understand her childhood past and what could have triggered.
When Dr. Wilbur asks her about the drawings/coloring's in her office. Sybil becomes confused and upset when Dr. Wilbur tells her that she drew the drawings herself. Psychologist explains "You do them as other people, as other parts of yourself. - Explaining that they have names and personalities. Dr. Wilbur explains to Sybil that these alter parts of her, survived inside of Sybil because Sybil's torture and abandonment received by her mother. Sybil unknowingly, blocked out memories as her alters remembered.
During a time in Dr. Wilbur's office, Sybil has breakdown of which resulted in punching her fist through a glass window. Sybil is concerned about breaking the window in her office. A personality displays frightment of a child, fear that she was about to be punished. Dr. Wilbur grabs Sybil's hands, and Sybil remains in state and asks if Dr. Wilbur is upset about the window. Dr. Wilbur tells her "windows can be replaced, windows are easier to heal than humans."
Dr. Wilbur encounters all 16 alters including Sybil. Dr. Wilbur spends which seems countless months, years with Sybil's concentration, her frustration and her many personality outbursts. While getting to know these alters of personality, Dr. Wilbur with consistant persuasion and push, convinces these alters to be shown and to meet each other. This means Dr. Wilbur will record each of the individuals to be heard by Sybil. Although Sybil acknowledges times of not knowing where she has been or what she has done in the moments before, or just waking up, she is in disbelief at most times and blames Dr. Wilbur. In one of her recordings, Sybil unknowingly masters piano, which when Sybil was young and played, her mother criticized her playing and she gave up. While her alter plays great, she is amazed and astound that the recording came out of her. After convincing 16 personalities to be seen as one, Dr. Wilbur convinces Sybil to hear recordings during a hypnosis session. During this session, Dr. Wilbur convinces each part of her to be the same age, to live in the now, the present. To be rejoiced with the memories and become one. Dr. Wilbur taps Sybil's hand after hypnosis and when she opens her eyes she is stunned, Dr. Wilbur asks how she is feeling, to know now.
(Shattered Novel by Eric Walters)

Sarge deals with post-traumatic stress disorder due to his memories in the Rwandan genocide. He is a very sheltered character and Jacques doesn't seem to reveal much about his memories- as it is common to want to neglect and forget about such tragedy in Rwanda. This tragedy led to the divorce of him and his wife. He is now a struggling homeless man who faces the awful memories of his time in Rwanda.

Sarge meets a boy called Ian at the park. Sarge notices Ian walking alone in the park and being tossed around by thugs trying to interrogate him and take his belongings and Sarge gets involved. Sarge bravely defends and saves Ian with a steel bar and fights to scares the thugs away. Sarge meets this boy Ian, later at the local soup kitchen he eats at. Ian volunteers, cleans and serves at the soup kitchen for volunteer hours for his high school civics class. Ian becomes interested in Sarge as Ian is working on a civics class assignment to interview somebody involved in the military. During the interview Ian learns Sarge was in the military for almost 24 years moving around a lot and leaving friends and family. Sarge was assigned peace keeping missions that took place in the Rwanda genocide in Africa. During this mission in Rwanda Sarge witnessed many injured people, suffering people and people begging for life. Begging for his help, Sarge helped many escape to safety, suppressed by memories of blood in his hands. Arms and different limbs scattered across dirt roads. Lifeless lives. Sarge tells Ian that he can hear about it and read about it all he wants, but Sarge himself has seen it himself- Sarge lived through it.

Sarge is still faced with conflict within himself, the things that he did see that he cannot un-see, he is forced to see. Sarge is forced with flashbacks, withdraws of memory from his peace keeping, and helping civilians reach safety. Sarge carries regret. He feels resent against himself, Sarge states he feels that he tried and he failed the people. Not seeing past 800, 000 dead bodies. Witnessing innocent people violently attacked with machetes, rivers being clogged with piles of bodies and detached limbs. When Sarge is diagnosed with PTSD and is left with a medical discharge he believes that means not being able to be a soldier anymore, somebody strong a brave and able.

Ian is a huge impact on Sarge. Ian questions Sarge's position, almost questioning Sarges worth. Ian tells sarge he doesn't understand how if every life is important, that he can possibly save, why isn't his life important too? Sarge believes it is over for him. Ian tells Sarge a story about a man who has come across millions of starfish dying on the beach, without water. This man is sighted with a young boy about ten years old, tossing each dried starfish back into the ocean water. The boy was saving each star fish, knowingly that he was saving a life at a time, rather than let millions suffer. The boy wanted to make a difference for as many as he could. -Sarge had no expression and stayed silent after this. I think this story made him realize his actions saving lives and acts of war during the Rwanda genocide have impacted and made a difference for many others as he protected many innocent lives. Ian exclaims to him not to forget those tragic memories, but to not let Rwanda claim another victim and not let this tragedy affect him negatively. Ian hopes Sarge sees the great and brave Sarge that he sees too. Ian thanks Sarge for his acts of bravery. Ian thanks Sarge for what he tried and did too during his time in Rwanda.

Knowing Ian has hopefully opened Sarges eyes. Sarge has said and realized his stage of being at the bottom- and how hard it is to pull himself from that position. The longing feeling of being stuck, lead to his homelessness and living in the park. Alcohol abuse was a habit of Sarges, drinking helped assumed due to his PTSD, in hopes to block or ease his thoughts temporarily. Ian hopes to make an impact on Sarge and thanking him of his duty, something Sarge most likely was not told enough to believe himself. Now that Sarge has come to this realization of being at the bottom and he realizes his negligent behavior toward himself.

Created By
Sydney Debassige
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