Speaking With Strangers


SKU paperback Category

175 in stock


By Susan Fairfoot

ISBN: 978-1-84991-939-5
Published: 2012
Pages: 294
Key Themes: Mental Health, Identity, Multiple Personality Disorder, Dissociative Personality Disorder


A young girl leaves home, straight from school to live in London where she has been booked into a secretarial college, very much against her will.

As the first part of her life was lived in sheltered isolation she battles with a world of mystifying strangers who seem more aware of her past than she is. She lives in a separate world of reality with her music and is unable to recognise what is happening around her as she searches for identity and meaning in a world of secrecy and hidden trauma. She becomes involved with a family who are battling with a member of the family suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, also known as Dissociative Personality Disorder.

The circumstances of the girl’s life and that of the family have been taken from two real life cases in which I have been involved, not directly but with connected family. All the “alter” characters are described as they actually happened. Names and places and time have been altered and I have contrived a fictitious story between the two.

The idea of combining the stories is to compare how two cases of psychotic behaviour can have such diverse conclusions.

About the Author

I have had the experience of being with people showing extreme forms of schizophrenia and people who have shown outstanding clairvoyance. While the first often showed symptoms of fear or agitation, and the second were at peace, there seemed little difference in how they described the visions they were receiving.

The thin dividing line between psychotic behaviour and deliberate acts of evil are often questionable. What is evil? Where in the brain does psychosis lie? Is man predisposed to both, why and where does it stem from?

The Christian church would have us believe that our propensity for evil is the hereditary stain from the sin of Adam. Now we talk of inherent dispositions as moulded by a genetic blueprint.

But what makes us carry out deliberate acts of evil we knowingly, purposely and with self-justification commit upon each other?

The questions I raise in this story are: why some react so aggressively to trauma, some become delusional, and some become logical thinkers from it? Is the way we react genetic heritability?

What if, through the mind only, another dimension can be perceived that is incalculable through our current scientific knowledge? What if evidence of this undefined phenomenon is so sporadic and random that it cannot be called upon with carefully planned deliberation for scientific scrutiny? Could it be, that this very distinctiveness makes us each respond differently to what ever life offers?


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