Review: When Rabbit Howls by Truddi Chase

When Rabbit HowlsTruddi Chase began therapy to discover why she suffered from blackouts. What surfaced was terrifying: she was inhabited by ‘the Troops’-92 individual personalities.

This groundbreaking true story is made all the more extraordinary in that it was written by the Troops themselves. What they reveal is a spellbinding descent into a personal hell-and an ultimate deliverance for the woman they became.

Review

If you ever want to read something disturbing, amazing, thought-provoking, enlightening, and unputdownable then you’ll want to read When Rabbit HowlsExcept, you need to beware. When Rabbit Howls is a true-story and it is not for the squeamish. I like to pride myself on not being squeamish when it comes to reading darker material, but there were times when I was shuddering and was close to throwing up.

If you’ve had no experience with Dissociative Identity Disorder at all then it may be difficult to believe. As it is, even though I’ve read about DID, I still struggle with mentally grasping the fundamentals of the disorder. To me that just makes sense. It’s one thing to be able to emphasis with someone’s pain, but how are you meant to completely understand how it works when you don’t experience it yourself?

This is one reason why When Rabbit Howls needs to be read. It’s an eye-opener, even for those who are aware the human mind can only cope with so much. There may be controversy in regards to DID, but try reading a story like this and see if it doesn’t make you believe the possibility of someone developing DID to cope. The abuse in The Troops’ story was appalling, horrendous, abhorrent… I can throw so many words at it to try to explain how horrible, but it is just that bad it’s one of those things that leave you speechless and shaking your head.

The title itself is in reference to Rabbit, one of the identities, making a keening noise of pain and anguish. This first happens when The Troop recall Truddi Chase first being raped by her stepfather. At the age of two years old. That’s just the beginning.

You’re probably wondering why I kept reading When Rabbit Howls when it had me feeling so ill and even now I feel sick thinking about it. It’s one of those stories you don’t want to think about when it’s not in your face, but I couldn’t not read it.

I admire The Troops’ for what they went through in trying to describe the process and feelings associated with them presenting themselves. All I can do is imagine what it must be like and appreciate that it would be disorientating when someone with DID isn’t aware of what’s happening. The Troops went to great pains to try to explain their experience the best way they could.

While they were doing that, they were also having to live through the traumatising memories that had brought the disorder about in the first place. Some of which was hinted at and some of which was shared in detail. Those are the areas when I was shuddering and trying not to lose my lunch. If When Rabbit Howls doesn’t make a reader sick, then that reader better go get some help.

The pain they went through, the effort, is the reason why I needed to finish reading When Rabbit Howls. The least, the absolute least, I could do was read their story. Not reading it would feel like I’m not acknowledging what they went through and how they suffered as a result.

There are some inhumane people out there and the last thing the rest of society needs to do is to ignore them. The least we could do is be uncomfortable and read someone’s horrifying experience in order to enlighten ourselves and not isolate the victims.

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