Girl in the Green DressGeorge Blair-West Jeni Haynes
'I didn't know that you're only supposed to have one personality. I didn't realise that having lots of voices in your head was abnormal. But you are protecting yourself. You are protecting your soul, and that's what I did.'
An intelligent, poised woman, Jeni Haynes sat in court and listened as the man who had abused her from birth, a man who should have been her protector, a man who tortured and terrified her, was jailed for a non-parole period of 33 years. The man was her father.
The abuse that began when Jeni was only a baby is unimaginable to most. It was physically, psychologically and emotionally sadistic and never-ending. The fact she survived may be called a miracle by some - but the reality is, it is testament to the extraordinary strength of Jeni's mind.
What saved her was the process of dissociation - Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) - a defence mechanism that saw Jeni create over 2500 separate personalities, or alters, who protected her as best they could from the trauma. This army of alters included four-year-old Symphony, teenage motorcycle-loving Muscles, elegant Linda, forthright Judas and eight-year-old Ricky.
With her army, the support of her psychiatrist Dr George Blair-West, and a police officer's belief in her, Jeni fought to create a life for herself and bring her father to justice. In a history-making ruling, Jeni's alters were empowered to give evidence in court. In speaking out, Jeni's courage would see many understand MPD for the first time.
Author: Haynes, Jeni, Blair-West, George
Publication date: 31/05/2023
Dimension: 196mm X 130mm