By Thomas Smith &
James Darrell Williams
There are at least 16 personalities inside James Darrell Williams. But who is he really? And why? “Which One Am I?” is a singular story about universal truths, horrors and grace. Setting their work apart from other memoirs, the authors explore the nature of family and how Darrell – and all of us -- are shaped by culture, history and geography. After two years of research, Darrell and his partner Thomas Smith dug deeply into family secrets, Southern culture and Darrell’s own psyche to explore portrayals of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) in popular culture and the psychiatric community, linking them with the events that made Darrell the man he is.
After spending more than 20 years as a journalist, publicist and educator, something told me it was time for a change. Though I searched for something to keep me busy in my middle years, it seemed like doors in the professional world were closed to me. In 2008, when I met Darrell in a Long Beach bar, I immediately knew this kind and thoughtful man would have an effect on my personal life. There was no way of knowing that he would change my professional life as well. He wanted someone to tell his life story. Of course, I knew from dating him that he had multiple personalities. That didn’t faze me, having become used to people changing personalities immediately after they left the stage. As we came to better know each other, I knew what he had experienced growing up with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) was a story the rest of the world needed to hear.