Today's special guest L. A. Villafane survived domestic abuse, but part of her was never the same: The trauma she suffered triggered dissociative identity disorder.
Villafane didn’t confront her disorder until she created another persona—this time on the page. In The Other Gloria, Villafane depicts her own struggle in a fictionalized tale in which an abuse survivor with dissociative identity disorder must confront her past in order to save herself and her daughters.
“People always think of drastically split and murderous personalities. This is not another Sybil story,” Villafane says. “The way I have depicted dissociative disorder in the book is the way I experience it. Like Gloria, I have lost most of the memories of my daughters growing up, and I regret that more than anything. The experiences I describe in the book are exactly how I experience episodes. I rarely ‘check out’ anymore, although I don’t think I’ll ever really stop completely.”
While Gloria’s struggle is unique, an element of Villafane’s real-life survivor story will resonate with many people: Overcoming manipulation, gaslighting and domestic violence.