Jessica Mayer talks in terms of ‘us’ and ‘we’. We want to share with you. We’d like to show you.
She’s not referring to her husband or her children. She’s referring to the “family in her mind”.
She has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and is hoping to dismantle some of the stigma around mental illness and the fear and judgment and uncertainty typically triggered by the misused phrase ‘split personalities’.
She is Jess, 25, from Windsor in the UK.
She is also Ollie, a 14-year-old student in the same town. “He wants to grow up and be a dinosaur,” she told Channel Seven’s Sunday Night.
She is Jamie, a doctor with a “posh accent” who is “intelligent and charming”. He’s 27.
There is Eddie, a 29-year-old punk-rock hairdresser. “He’s very artsy, very creative.”
And finally Jake, a 25-year-old Californian pop-star who ‘lives’ in Hollywood. “Jake is about five-foot six and he’s very slim and lean and muscular. He’s got this American white smile and he’s very good looking,” she said.
The personalities – or ‘Alters’ as Mayer calls them – interact in her mind “like a family”. It’s her own inner world where Jamie and Jake are brothers; Eddie and Jamie are partners; and Ollie is their son.
There is an outer world, too. Mayer and her husband have been together for 10 years. He says “more the merrier”, referring to her various personalities, and maintains a bisexual relationship with both Jess and Eddie.