Peggy Lou goes to Philadelphia
Type of Spiritual Experience
Sybil had multiple personality disorder and one of her Personalities was Peggy Lou, who took over and went on a spree in Philadelphia that Sybil could not remember. She 'awoke' to find herself there with no idea how she got there. The observation shows that extra personalities, as opposed to the original personality – the primary personality – are triggered and take over when a trauma threatens the primary personality.
Once the threat is passed, however, the personality passes the responsibility for the body back to the primary personality – who because it has no access to the memories created has no recollection of the intervening events.
A description of the experience
Sybil – Professor Flora Rheta Schreiber
‘You see Sybil’, the doctor explained ‘this account of the Philadelphia trip, revealing at what point an alternating personality in command of the body relinquishes it, gives us real insight into the dynamics of multiple personality. It is evident, you see, that, exhausted by the storm, Peggy Lou turned the body over to you because she preferred not to be’.
‘She has choice?’ Sybil asked somewhat wistfully.
‘Oh yes’ the doctor replied ‘Once the alternating self has acted out the motions that at any given time have triggered her, there is no longer any reason for her to function. Philadelphia was Peggy Lou’s way of acting out in the present what you and she had repressed in the past. By doing exactly as she pleased for 5 days, she exhausted the angry, hostile feelings that had been awakened [to Sybil] in the chemistry lab. When you are unable to handle such feelings, Peggy Lou does it for you’.