Content Warning: This post discusses child abuse and may be triggering to some readers.
Symphony, a four-year-old girl, Ricky, an eight-year-old boy, and Muscles, a motorcycle-loving teenager, are all the same person.
These are the personalities which form part of Jeni Haynes’ “army of strangers”.
They are just three of the 2000 personalities which Jeni, 49, has created for herself as a coping mechanism for the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father, Richard Haynes.
When Jeni testified against her father in February for charges of sexual assault when she was aged between four and 11, Symphony, Ricky and Muscles all attended the court case.
In fact, it was the first court case of its kind in Australia where a person intended to testify with various different personalities.
Jeni has Multiple Personality Disorder, now called Dissociative Identity Disorder, where a person’s identity is fragmented into a number of distinct personality states called ‘alters’.
It is common for those who have this personality disorder to have been severely abused at a young age, like Jeni was, and to have developed multiple personalities as a coping mechanism for the traumatic experience.
Victims design the multiple personalities as a way to disconnect and separate themselves from the situation.