The Baby Killer Inside
Donna: They told me I can be open with you. Is that really true?
Dr. Lavoy (his eyes locked with hers): Yes.
Donna: You won’t tell, no matter what I tell you?
Dr. Lavoy: That is correct. Only what you allow and to whom you give me permission.
Donna: You swear?
Dr. Lavoy: Yes.
Donna (dropping her head into her hands, instantly crying profusely): My father
Dr. Lavoy: I’m sorry. Take your time. This won’t be easy, but it
will be helpful as we work our way through this maze.
Dr. Lavoy: Yes.
Donna: It really screwed up my life.
Dr. Lavoy: I’m sure. Donna, I want you to tell me, in your own words, as
much as you can remember, when and how it started and how it progressed.
Donna: Okay, but now this other woman lives with me and really messes with my
thinking. She tells me she does things, but I get blamed for them. Everybody believes her.
Dr. Lavoy: Okay. Can you give me an example?
Donna: She’s big on flirting and drinking. I would never do that kind of
stuff. She flirted with my best friend’s boyfriend. After that, my friend wouldn’t believe me that I didn’t
remember doing it. I couldn’t have done it and yet it ruined our friendship.
Dr. Lavoy: That’s serious. Did you confront her?
Donna: Of course, I try. But she hides. I didn’t even know she was there
for a long time. She looks just like me. She’s stolen my identity and ruins my life. She even uses my name. I need to
know more about her.
Dr. Lavoy: Then it’s important to know the details of your young life.
It will be important in understanding your present condition. I’ve seen other patients with similar, perplexing dilemmas.
Rest assured, there are ways to solve this to your advantage for a more normal life.
Donna: It started… you know, I don’t know when it started. I probably
don’t even remember when it started – Daddy touching me and telling me I couldn’t tell. He told me that
we had a special bond. He said he would kill anyone that I told. He said that I was the most important thing in the world.
He had to protect me and if anybody knew, especially mother, he would have to kill her. He said nothing would ever separate
Dr. Lavoy: You need to know that is standard tactics for child molesters, particularly
parents. You also need to know that many times that when children tell their mother, their mothers won’t believe them.
We can explore the many reasons for that later.
Donna: He scared the wits out of me. I was so afraid. I was even afraid to have
normal conversations; afraid I would slip and say something. At first I talked to my stuffed animals. When I got a little
older, I started imagining that I had friends. Then I had one special friend that would always take my place when Daddy came
around. It helped me not remember it.
Dr. Lavoy: So you never told your mother?
Dr. Lavoy: When children do and they’re not believed, it makes their emotional
pain even worse.
Donna: I don’t see how it could be any worse.
Dr. Lavoy: I understand. It is one of the most damaging things that can happen
to a child. Did you say you never told anyone?
Donna: I did tell my lawyer. Maybe he was like the mothers you mentioned. He
said, “You can’t prove it.” Obviously, your father would never admit it. People would think you were a kook
or that you’re making it up. I don’t think it will help you at all.
Donna (looking Dr. Lavoy in the eye): Do you believe me?
Dr. Lavoy: Yes. Your story fits the profile. I believe the rest of your story
will also. We will pick up here on our next visit. I will make private notes, but as I said, I won’t share any of this
without your permission.
Donna: Thank you.
Dr. Lavoy (thought to himself): An expert forensic psychiatrist should have thoroughly
evaluated this person to rule in or out the validity of her story and what impact any of this may have had on her actions
At their next meeting:
Donna: Thank you for being kind to me last time. I feel more relaxed about seeing
you this time. You know, on my first date, he tried to make me have sex. My dad told me he would kill me if I did because
I could get a deadly disease that could kill both of us. I thought all men were like my dad. The first time I did have sex,
it felt as if I were having sex with my dad. It made me sick. I couldn’t tell anybody. I couldn’t even talk to
Dr. Lavoy: That’s quite understandable. Tell me more about your dad, how
he treated you and how you managed to deal with him.
Donna: Dad never stopped. It did get less frequent. It slowed down after around
fourteen to maybe about once a month by the time I left for college. I insisted on going out of town for college. I never
trusted having close friends, never a confidant. I was shy. I kept my imaginary friends. I talked with them about my fears
and worries. I had wanted a sister to share the burden of my father when I was younger, but then I would feel guilty about
wanting someone else to be hurt like me. That’s when I made up imaginary friends. They couldn’t talk. Then I would
wish that he would die. I even thought of killing him, that he deserved it, but I was afraid I couldn’t do it –
that I would mess up or get sent to jail. But mostly I would just retreat into my shell.
Dr. Lavoy: I’m assuming that you were glad to get out of the house and
go to college.
Donna: Ohhh yes. Very much so. I went home no more than absolutely necessary
and I made sure to protect my privacy.
Dr. Lavoy: Did he try to come to you?
Donna: Yes, but I managed to block his attempts.
Dr. Lavoy: How did college go for you?
Donna: That’s when things really began to get strange. Of course, the first
two to three months was getting acclimatized. More study than anything else. I was shy. It was difficult meeting people and
making friends. After awhile, a new acquaintance asked me to go to a party with her on Friday night.
I simply told her I would think about it. I had planned to study Friday night. I remember getting
my materials and getting ready to study. The next thing I remember was waking up late Saturday, feeling tired, and having
a headache. I had slept in my clothes and had on lipstick and rouge. I thought I had lost my mind. I decided not to tell anyone
and just keep my mouth shut. When I next saw my friend at class on Monday, she said she was
really glad that I came to the party. Everybody loved me and had a great time with me. I asked her if they didn’t think
I was too shy. She commented oh no, I had been very lively. She had told me that she didn’t realize I could be so animated
and outgoing. She said my response had been interesting. “Well, I’m Donna Two (too).” Later I tried to figure
out if it was the number two or the word too. After that, even more strange things happened. Donna Two spoke to me in my own
Dr. Lavoy: That was the first time you knew of Donna Two?
Donna: Yes. The first time that I met her I heard hear as clearly as I hear you.
It frightened me. She was so different from me. Loud, bossy, manipulating, and threatening. She reminded me of my dad.
Dr. Lavoy: Tell me more about Donna Two.
Donna: She said I was a wuss. I never stood up to anybody. I never had any fun.
I told her I couldn’t do that. I didn’t deserve to have fun. I was not strong enough. She told me that it wasn’t
fair to her. She wanted to have fun and intended to. I told her I wouldn’t allow it. She said we would see about that
and disappeared. I called after her, but she would not return.
Dr. Lavoy: I see. Did you see a doctor or a counselor following that?
Donna: No, I was too afraid. I thought they might put me in a mental hospital.
Dr. Lavoy: Would that have been worse than this?
Donna: I couldn’t see the future. I was struggling with the present.
Dr. Lavoy: Okay, I understand that. Did she speak to you on other occasions?
Donna: Yes, many times.
Dr. Lavoy: Tell me some of the things she would say to you.
Donna: She told me that I could not stop her from being herself. She would take
over whenever she wanted to. She would try not to inconvenience me, but she would have her own life. I should consider her
as a twin. I would have to deal with it. She said she would always be able to hide inside. She told me that I created her
and kept her inside and made her endure what was meant for me. “You thought you had gone to the party. It was me that
went to the party and I had a helluva good time. That’s the way it’s always going to be.” I told her that
I didn’t like this. She said that it didn’t matter and she didn’t care. I could see then she was having
her way with me just like my daddy. I was like a powerless child. I never knew when she was going to take over or what she
One time she abruptly jumped in and tongue-lashed a professor who was insulting
an arrogant. All I knew was that I was standing at my desk and the professor said, “That will be quite enough, young
lady. Take your seat and stay here after class.” After class he said he would not tolerate being spoken to that way.
He was incredulous that I “pretended,” as he said, to not remember having been impudent and insulting. He allowed
me to stay in class, but I got a “D” for my grade. She’s always getting me in trouble. D-Two just laughed.
She said he deserved it. I told her I didn’t deserve a “D” because of her. She said I did because I was
not strong enough to take care of myself. She made me feel like I was nothing and a nobody.
When I found out I was pregnant, she berated me with every
bad word she could think of. Whore, prostitute, trash, ingrate, sinner, devil, and worse. I never get support from anyone,
certainly not her. Everyone thought I was just a weird person, that they could never understand me or predict who I was going
to be. I try to be a good person, yet I’m miserable and unhappy. It’s even worse knowing that this hedonistic
twin, Donna Two, lives inside me and uses me.
Dr. Lavoy: Why haven’t you gotten help?
Donna: She says therapists will try to kill her off and that I need her, that
I need her strength. I’m so confused. I’m trusting you, but she is furious with me for seeing you. She blames
me for us being in prison even though I didn’t do anything. I don’t even know if she did. Of course, I’m
suspicious. She knows everything about me, but I can’t know anything about her except what she tells me. That’s
not fair. She did tell me that if we had to stay in here for twenty years, she just might find a way to get both of us killed.
Life should be fun, she said, and it’s sure not any fun in here.
Dr. Lavoy: Just remember, therapists are here to help you and not to harm you.
Can you call her out so that I can talk with her?
Donna: She runs back inside my brain. I can’t make her come out. She comes
out only when she wants to. I look, but I can’t find her. It’s so frustrating. She takes over whenever she wants
to. I can be in the middle of something and suddenly she’s the one there, not me, and I won’t remember what happened.
It can even be in the middle of the night. I won’t even know that I’ve gotten up and gone out and I’ll wake
up tired the next day. Sometimes it’ll be for a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, sometimes even days. I’m totally
confused when I come to myself because I don’t how I got there and what I’m supposed to be doing. Sometimes I’ll
be sitting with someone, obviously in a conversation, and I don’t know what the conversation was about. It makes me
look pretty stupid or scatterbrained. You know what I mean?
People tell me that I’m like two different people.
They ask me if I’m bipolar. I tell them no. They say I could win an Oscar for acting because I’m so different.
They think I’m acting. I’m not, I’m Donna. She’s Donna Two. We are two different people. I really
don’t even know her. What I do know, I don’t like.
Dr. Lavoy: Later we can work on getting her to talk with me. When you got pregnant,
did that ever get any better with Donna Two?
Donna: I did not get pregnant. Donna Two got pregnant. She blamed me, cursed
me, and told me I should have been on the pill. It was my body. She pointed out that I would have to take care of the baby.
Pregnancy interfered with her life. She gave me no support through the pregnancy, no support with the baby. She was always
gone when the baby needed anything. She wanted me to put the baby up for adoption, but I refused. She really put me in a weird,
awkward situation with my parents. I finally told them that I was drunk and my date took me by force. I couldn’t tell
them there was a Donna Two.
After the baby came, Donna Two had practically nothing to
do with the baby. She was a hindrance to Donna Two in every way. My parents accepted the pregnancy and the baby. They seemed
to get into enjoying the grandparent role. I actually enjoyed the baby. It was a lot of fun watching her develop. She was
a joy to everybody. When she was about two years old, Donna Two came to me with a frightening prospect.
Donna Two said, “How stupid can you be? You have a
little girl you’re letting stay with him and he’s going to do to her just what he did to us. That’s a fate
worse than death. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to turn him into the police? Are you going to kill him?
Something’s got to be done.” After that I was scared to death every time that my little Dede was with my parents.
Donna Two goaded me from time to time about it. Then one day she showed up early one morning while I was dressing to take
Dede to daycare. I was dressing and then the next thing I remember I was going to daycare to pick up Dede. Then I got the
shock of my life; “Miss Donna, Dede’s not here today.” They said she hadn’t been there all day. I
know this had to be the weirdest thing they ever heard, but I blurted out, “Donna had to have left her here!”
I got the funniest look from the teacher. She had a strange look and a question, “Miss Donna, who told you Dede was
here?” I went to my car feeling like the biggest fool in the world. In the car, Donna Two popped out and said, “Don’t
worry about it. It’s going to be okay.” I wanted to know where my baby was. I yelled at her. I was scared. Donna
Two said, “Look, I was with a friend, Sarah. She said she would take her to daycare and I trusted her. I’ll go
find her.” Later she told me that Sarah left her with her grandparents, who wanted to keep her for a week or two. It
would be okay; it was nothing to worry about. Then the grandparents told her they wanted to take her to the beach for two
weeks. She told me that Sarah was her friend and I’d better not try to do anything about it or cause a problem.
My parents finally reported her missing. She’s still
missing. I don’t know where she is. Donna Two says that she doesn’t know and her friend, Sarah, has disappeared.
The police found blood in the trunk of my car and they say it matches Dede’s DNA . Now I’m convicted of manslaughter and I didn’t know a thing about it.
Now, of course, I suspect Donna Two, but she won’t tell me anything. In the meantime, she used my body to party and
have fun and wear me out.
Dr. Lavoy: Donna, this is not bipolar, it is dissociative identity disorder (DID),
formerly known as multiple personality disorder. All of us have different levels of consciousness and needs. We may not feel
that we have a fulfilled life. Our conscious character may demand that we live by certain conduct and value systems. Unconsciously,
we may have needs so strong that our minds create another person, an imaginary person like you did during your childhood.
And this person might seek solutions that you would never seek. Sometimes that personality becomes so strong that it overpowers
your natural character, which normally would be the leader. But now the imaginary person becomes the leader and overpowers
the host, making the host to allow the body to do as the alter identity wishes it to. The alter will be intimidating, manipulating,
bossy and the natural host may become submissive to the domineering alter. If the alter person takes over, you are essentially
unplugged and you don’t grieve or hurt because you are essentially unconscious and the other consciousness is living
the life of hedonism.
Listen to me, although Donna Two is at a completely unconscious level, except
when she makes herself visible to you, she is a part of you and will need to be dealt with. We have ways of doing that and
integrating the two of you with you winding up in control. It may not be easy, but it can be done and is done regularly by
psychiatrists and other therapists. I want to bring in another therapist to work with you on a weekly basis since I’m
only here at the correctional system prison on a monthly basis. But I do want to continue to see you and be a part of helping
you work through and untangle your two twisted lives.
In a different court you may have gotten the death sentence because of Donna
Two. The best thing is that you have a safe place to be. You have access to the treatment you need to be integrated so the
remainder of your life can be reasonably normal. Donna Two’s lifestyle is on hold so she will be more likely to cooperate
in treatment. Your life has been a tragedy. Losing your baby was a tragedy even more so if it was by your hands being controlled
by Donna Two. You are certainly in for serious therapy that is not going to be easy.