In August and September we published a string of posted entitled First Person Narratives. Today we present a short coda to this sequence; although in truth a series like this could go on and on. Last weekend’s Guardian drew attention to the story of the painter Kim Noble, the woman with 100 personalities. She has written a book charting her experience of dissociative identity disorder, one of the most contested psychiatric diagnoses of the nearly 300 that appear in the fourth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. ‘I don’t ever know if I am coming or going’, she told the Guardian journalist. ‘I could switch [identities] at a door, like at the doctor’s surgery, and think, ‘Have I just been in?’
Coming or Going Man is the poignant title Kim (or ‘Abi’) gave to one of the works of art she contributed to the Outside In exhibition at Pallant House Gallery in 2009. It has since come into our collection here at the Archives & Museum. All of Me: My Incredible Story of How I Learned to Live with the Many Personalities Sharing my Body is published today by Piatkus Books.