WINFREY: It’s a difficult show for me to do, but I’m doing it because I think it is very important that the message get very clear to everyone. This is a story like no other that you will ever hear. Many of the things that you will hear today are disgusting and they are graphic. I would appreciate it if you would not write me letters telling me that they should not be said because it is all too true. This small baby girl was born whole, but was not allowed to remain safe for very long because at the age of 2, Truddi Chase was brutally raped by her stepfather and was continually abused until she ran away at the age of 16, but her nightmare did not end there because as a result of some of the most horrific abuse – and we will not discuss all of it today – but the most horrific things you could ever in your consciousness imagine. Truddi Chase dealt with her pain by splitting into several different personalities. Eventually, all of those personalities – which has been documented – totalled 92 distinct people living within one mind. She calls them her troops. Truddi Chase underwent years of therapy and most of that therapy [Oprah starts crying] was videotaped because Truddi says that she wanted others to- someday- be able to understand that they are not alone in their views, and that is why we’re doing this show. The tape you are about to see has never been aired on television, and I want you to listen to Truddi and the others inside tell what they were told to never tell by the stepfather. TRUDDI CHASE: She’s not all that bad, but I get confused because, on the one hand, something inside me says, “You’re awful. You are a monster.” On the hand, I say, “But God, what did I do that was so bad except for the one thing that I know I did.” THERAPIST: How? Ms. CHASE: I’ll never get over that. I’ll never get over that. See, when I did it, I didn’t have any feelings about that at all. None whatsoever. None. I knew it was wrong and I went ahead and I did it anyway. WINFREY: Welcome Truddi Chase and the troops to the show. [APPLAUSE] Well, let’s start at the beginning, although I know the story and a lot of you, because of the movie last night and what will air tonight, are somewhat familiar with the story and perhaps a lot of you have read the book When Rabbit Howls. It all started when you were 2. Ms. CHASE: Two. It was so hard to dredge up those memories, you know. I guess when we started out with Dr. Phillips, each one of us would have little flicks, the troop members, and we had to share them with each other, and some of us had to dig pretty deep just to get even the tiniest flicks. The mind is so kind. WINFREY: It’s hard to believe that- and I know in the book, one of the questions asked is can child abuse do this much damage? Ms. CHASE: And more. WINFREY: And more. Ms. CHASE: Because our story, unfortunately, in a matter of speaking, is small in comparison to some of the ones that we’re hearing about from other people. Blows you away, doesn’t it? WINFREY: It is- there are no words to describe it, so we will try. We’ll try to use some words to describe it to help people to understand. When you were 2 years old, your mother divorced your real father. Ms. CHASE: She didn’t really divorce him. She just moved out to a farm that the man we called a stepfather, and from that day forward we lived with him. WINFREY: The first contact with the stepfather was? Ms. CHASE: Well, it was in the apartment of the father and the mother. I guess he was a friend of the father’s. He walked in one day and sat down at the kitchen table and put us on his lap, and it began. I can remember the taste of caramel candy in my mouth and him. That was fondling. WINFREY: So, he fondled you the very first- your first memory of him is that he was fondling you. Ms. CHASE: The first memory that sits in this mind. WINFREY: And so he had his shirt open and the hairs- Ms. CHASE: And the hand, he just kept- WINFREY: So, you were a little child sitting on his lap and you were playing with the hairs on his chest? Ms. CHASE: Yeah, and he just kept leaning back and the hand went down further and further. We couldn’t say that word for penis, I guess, until about two years into therapy. Couldn’t say the word. Couldn’t figure out why. You operate in the world and you don’t know that you don’t have any memory. I didn’t have any memory. I couldn’t remember the clothes I wore, couldn’t remember the teachers, couldn’t remember school, didn’t have a picture of the stepfather’s face. Dr. Phillips was back there in the green room showing pictures to one of your people, and I couldn’t look and I’m not going to look. WINFREY: Because you don’t want to see his face? Ms. CHASE: No. No. Not ever again. WINFREY: Because the man who did all the things that you will hear about and that many of you, hopefully, saw last night in the movie, that man is still alive and doing well in upstate New York some place. Ms. CHASE: Yeah. WINFREY: So, your very first recollection – and I’m saying it just to get to the story – of sexual intercourse was when? Ms. CHASE: Two in a field of tall grass, tall grass. It’s springtime, the ground is still wet, and the grass is over your head. I don’t have all of it; the others have parts of it. WINFREY: The other personalities? Ms. CHASE: Yeah, which is why multiplicity comes into place in the first place. WINFREY: Do you remember that though? Do you remember the day it happened the first time? Ms. CHASE: No. We had to- that’s what all the therapy was for. The memory was sitting right on the surface, but nobody could really beam in on it. It came, and we dealt with it, but you hear that rapid howling. It’s the sound all victims make in therapy, I guess. WINFREY: Your mother had to know this was going on. Ms. CHASE: That was the hardest part to deal with, yes. WINFREY: A 2-year-old child can’t be raped and a mother not know it. Ms. CHASE: No. There’s some kind of evidence. But she repressed so much as we found out later, tons of things, and maybe, in order to stay sane herself, she had to do that. Now, I don’t know if we’re giving her excuses or- WINFREY: Her mother’s now dead. Right? Ms. CHASE: Yeah. We heard about that right after the hard cover book tour. Dr. Phillips came in and told us that he had visited on the phone and in person with some members of the family. WINFREY: What would happen, Truddi, when you were alone in the house? Ms. CHASE: That was the hardest to deal with because various ones of us had no memory of ever being alone with him, ever, ever, ever. When it started to come out, I thought I would go mad. Multiplicity keeps you sane under the worst conditions, but I actually thought I was going crazy. WINFREY: That’s so interesting, and I say this with all respect because you think this is sane? Ms. CHASE: Yeah. This is sane. This is sanity. I am sane. We are sane. But if it has- WINFREY: See, I think the idea of having 92 different people living inside of you would make me a little crazy. Ms. CHASE: Believe it or not, it’s easy. It’s easier to deal with than the abuse was. WINFREY: Really? And so, we have heard – those of us who do talk shows and read about these kinds of things – that you can integrate all of the personalities. So, you have never wanted to be integrated? Ms. CHASE: We vehemently reject the idea, the option, and we know that we have it. WINFREY: Why? CHASE: Because each one of us went through some pretty deep garbage, and this is our opportunity, has been our opportunity for a while, to explore each other. There are a lot of things we could do out there in this world. WINFREY: Do you feel like you lost whoever you would have been that day you were raped at 2 years old? Ms. CHASE: Well, she is no more. No more. The day we found that out, then I really thought we would go mad. Something has to give. You can’t dump that much on a human being and not lose something. WINFREY: You recall an incident in When Rabbit Howls. You say, “One night, you overheard your mother and father talking which confirmed the fact that your mother knew what he was doing to you. WINFREY: And so, being robbed of your sense of security and protection from your stepfather, what did it make you all feel like to know that there was no safety with your mother either? Ms. CHASE: Lower than low. You know the expression, “A face only a mother could love?” Well, here was a kid only a mother could love, and she didn’t. She didn’t. She never hugged you. I think we were 13 before she really hugged us for the first time, and that was in front of a neighbor. See, weren’t supposed to talk about anything that went on inside the family.. I think she was trying to give that neighbor woman the impression that the house was normal. Well, if that’s normal, I don’t want any part of it. It was hard having a child of our own to look at her in a normal way. That was the thing we struggled so hard with. WINFREY: We’re talking about the absolute – I know no other word for it although I’ve used it already in the show – horror of child abuse. There’s not a child in this country who experiences it who does not somehow come out of it changed forever. It robs you of all your innocence. Some of us are luckier than others. For Truddi Chase, it caused her to split into what has been documented as multiple personalities. I was talking before about when I see my godchildren and children who are growing up in a “normal home,” the joy that I see in their faces I know comes from that feeling of safety. Ms. CHASE: Yes. WINFREY: “I’m going to be protected, no matter – and trust – no matter what,” but for you, even as a child, going to the bathroom wasn’t safe. There was nowhere to hide, was there? Ms. CHASE: No. That’s the most horrifying part of all, and I think you search your whole life afterward just for a safe place, somewhere where you can think your own thoughts. WINFREY: When did you realize you were not living alone with who you thought you were? Ms. CHASE: Heard a voice one day, a tiny little voice, a child’s voice – excuse me – calling out the name Annie hum, just calling the name. I said to myself, “My God, I know that I talk to myself, but I’m hearing this voice. What is this?” And then that stopped, thank God. But shortly after that, like you woke up one morning and in the bedroom, it was all gritty and gray and you looked around and they were all there, except the mind is so kind to you it gave you the impression of there being only seven. As we went on in therapy and you realized that the number was grow, grow, grow, growing. You said, “Boy, I must really be crazy. I’ve got to be a loony tune.” But there was Dr. Phillips, and thank God he said, “This is normal for you. You are normal within your frame of reference.” It was like a blessing. I don’t mean to shout. I’m sorry. I don’t. It was a blessing. “You are normal within your frame of reference.” Okay. I’m fine. WINFREY: The therapist who spent six years discovering the 92 lives that existed inside Truddi Chase is Dr. Robert Phillips, Jr. He has counseled survivors of sexual abuse as well as abusers over the past 20 years. We’re glad to have you join us. Haven’t seen you for- ROBERT PHILLIPS, Jr., Ph.D.: For a long time. WINFREY: Yeah. A long time; ’82. One of the questions that comes up in this book, When Rabbit Howls, Truddi’s book, can child abuse really do this much damage? Dr. PHILLIPS: It can do this much damage and more. I’ve worked with hundreds of adult men and women, and the tragedy in lives, the various kinds of emotional problems, the aftermath is just hor- rendous in so many people, but the thing is that people can be healed from this. WINFREY: Who splits and who doesn’t? I mean, why do some people split and other people grow up to be mass murderers? Dr. PHILLIPS: We’re not sure. We’re not sure. It seems to be something about the brain, something about the human mind which allows this very creative process to come in and to help defend a person. It usually is someone who is abused very very young, so before personality is formed. It goes on for a pretty long time. WINFREY: So you don’t set them up in your own personality? Dr. PHILLIPS: No. WINFREY: So, the chances of splitting are much greater, the younger you are and the more severe the abuse is? Dr. PHILLIPS: Yes. WINFREY: Because, say, if you were 9 or 10 years old, as I was, your personality’s already really set. Dr. PHILLIPS: It’s pretty set, and when you’re so young, everything is overwhelming. The whole world is overwhelming, and something like this just overloads. So, the person cannot stay there and take it. WINFREY: Well, Truddi’s been saying that the mind saves you from yourself. It really is – and a lot of people may not see this this way – but it’s almost like grace. It’s like the grace of God coming in to try to save you from yourself. Dr. PHILLIPS: It is. In fact, I really don’t like calling it a dysfunction because it’s a most functional way to help a child survive. WINFREY: You’re all nodding up there. Dr. PHILLIPS: A child does not die, but is able to survive and goes on, and many many people, who are multiple, function quite well. I’ve worked with a man who’s a lawyer. I’ve worked with people who are professionals, counselors, medical doctors. They are able to go on and live life.