Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse

Book One

Non-Fiction - Biography
274 Pages
Reviewed on 03/28/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite

Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse: Book One by AJ Mouse is a memoir written by someone with DID or Disassociate Identity Disorder, or what used to known as Multiple Personality Disorder or Split Personality, and is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Since the book is written by a woman who suffers from DID, obviously the book is written from multiple perspectives and is literally written in the voice of two of the many personalities existing in one body. The book starts off simply with an introduction by Jade and Anne and, between the two of them, they introduce us to the several other personalities, including someone they call the Mouse, who is still a small, frightened, shy young girl dealing with the trauma of early life abuse. The book details what it is like to live with this disorder or mental illness, what day to day life is like, how the personalities interact and co-exist with each other, and how someone with this disorder manages to deal with the external world.

Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse is a fascinating read. I have read a few books on Disassociate Identity Disorder before, but since the disorder is fairly rare and little understood, I welcomed the opportunity to read a memoir about this. AJ Mouse writes in a genuine, heartfelt manner that cannot fail to evoke sympathy as well as respect. The story of abuse in the past, which is what triggers this disorder and allows the personality to “split,” is tragic and difficult to read about. I hope a book like this goes a long way towards making people understand that those who suffer from this disorder are not dangerous or crazy or bad, but instead are just human beings with a mental illness who deserve compassion and acceptance. The writing style is very engaging and also humorous at times, and so the book is certainly not heavy all the time. This book is a must-read for everyone!

Jack Magnus

Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse: Part 1 is a biography written by A.J. Mouse. The author is a forty-eight-year-old woman who has Dissociative Identity Disorder or DID. Her DID started while she was quite young, in response to the ongoing and brutal sexual abuse she was subjected to as a young child. The original personality, Mouse, formed new personalities to help her survive her ordeal. Neal, a leonine and fierce defender, was her safety net, a calming presence who could become quite terrifying if Mouse felt threatened. Nancy, pragmatic and cold, kept them all surviving in the everyday world, despite their DID. Jade was one of the oldest of the personalities, the one who took on that name when Mouse decided she no longer wanted to come outside for very long and wanted to be known as Mouse. Mouse stayed hidden in The Deep most of the time. She had never grown up and was still the tortured frightened child who had been told she was ugly and unlovable and treated oh, so badly. When Roger, the husband of Lucy, called her a name that triggered those feelings anew, Anne was born in response. Mouse seemed to have distinct reasons for bringing Anne and her automatic take-charge attitude into existence. Anne instantly started a regime of diet and walks designed to help shed the extra weight, and she seemed surprisingly comfortable to being one of ten personalities within one body. Anne was also determined to resolve the issue of the Monster and bring him to justice.

A.J. Mouse’s Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse: Part 1 answered a lot of questions I’ve always had about multiple personality disorder. Mouse’s biography was, quite bluntly, a mind-blowing and welcome dose of reality. I loved reading Anne and Jade’s correspondence and marvelled at how the personalities in Mouse’s world had become a family who, for the most part, work so brilliantly together to survive and protect their Mouse. Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse is beautifully written, and it reads like the most taut and compelling fictional thriller you’ll come across. What happened to Mouse, and who is the Monster that the personalities will most assuredly encounter some day? How do they handle the day-to-day complexities of work and other social obligations? Is there something wrong with those who have DID or is it just another way our marvelous minds have for making us our best and brightest? Anne and Jade and the other personalities you’ll meet have a lot to say about these and other issues, and I’m so glad to have gotten to meet each one of Mouse’s tightly-knit and supportive family. I love reading biographies and have read and reviewed quite a few -- this has to be one of my all-time favorites. I am most definitely looking forward to reading Part 2. Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse: Part 1 is most highly recommended.

Lex Allen

A quote from the character Ray, “An outsider, a hippie, and a psychopath walk into a bar…” perfectly captures the essence of this remarkable work of autobiographical fiction, Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse by A.J. Mouse. Mouse (through Jade) has written a fascinating tale, told in first person narrative by two of the ten personalities that live within the physical body of Mouse. Jade is the primary alternate personality and it’s through her eyes that the story begins as she welcomes personality number ten, Anne. Jade provides familial background and history to help Anne integrate, while Anne struggles to accept her “birth.” Anne, a psychologist, is perceived as the person necessary to finally tackle and destroy The Monster that created the Dissociative Identity Disorder within Mouse many years earlier.

Conceiving a story of this type, establishing the concept and presentation is a challenging undertaking. But who better to tell the story than the afflicted person, Mouse, through her alternate personalities, Jade and Anne? Writing that story in a cohesive and entertaining manner that keeps the reader involved in an environment of multiple characters - with different dialogue and story lines - is an achievement few can match. Mouse’s obvious knowledge of DID, technical writing skills and imagination have produced a masterpiece by far and away more interesting, captivating, and delectable than the only other book I’ve read in this genre, the 1973 true story of Sybil. Mouse expertly mixes humor, anger, love and hate that will create empathy and/or sympathy in all readers. Written as fiction, Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse is an autobiography that highlights, in some cases, the results of a sexually abused childhood.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse is the most intriguing and courageous memoir I’ve ever read. Jade has Dissociative Personality Disorder. She is not the body’s original personality. Mouse is, but Mouse stopped growing when she was 11 years old so Jade—the survivor—was born and given the body’s name. For years, Jade and the other eight alternative personalities have learned to blend in with society and co-exist in peace. Then Anne is born. There’s something different about Anne as she seems incapable of sensing and hearing the others at first, except for Jade. With Jade’s guidance, Anne needs to meet the other alters and uncover the purpose for which Mouse created her.

Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse is an important book on Mental Health as it exposes the truth about living with Dissociative Identity Disorder. This being one of the more wildly misunderstood mental health issues makes it prone to sensationalism and harsh judgement. Both Anne and Jade illuminate the fallacies surrounding DID while discussing the intricacies in a manner that makes it easy to understand. I was deeply touched by the sense of fellowship between Jade, Anne, Peter, and the other alters, and their intense love and desire to protect Mouse. The abuse inflicted on Mouse is heart shattering, rage inducing, and the only part of this book that I struggled to wrap my head around. "Monster" is an apt moniker as any creature who perpetrates such violations cannot be considered human in any way except appearance. I applaud Anna and Jade for having the courage to write their story, and Mouse for finding a way to survive such horrors. Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse is unique in many aspects and notable for the way it simultaneously broadens the mind and imprints its story on the heart. This is an amazing book.

Sefina Hawke

Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse (Book One) by AJ Mouse is a non-fiction biography that would appeal most to an audience made up of a mix of mature young adults and adults who have an interest in Dissociative Identity Disorder, and who do not mind the use of explicit language, mentions of childhood abuse, and suicidal ideation. The book is about a woman who has Dissociative Identity Disorder and has lived with it for most of her life. The personalities for a long time were Jade, Peter, Neil, Jane, Zen, Nancy, Ray, and Lucy. However, everything changes when a negative remark from their husband led to a new personality by the name of Anne being created. Will the personalities be able to successfully integrate Anne or will they fail with disastrous results?

Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse (Book One) by AJ Mouse is a well written book that I greatly enjoyed as a psychology graduate. I have read and studied Dissociative Identity Disorder in college, but I never read anything written by a person with the condition. I found that I not only learned a lot about Dissociative Identity Disorder from the perspective of the personalities that have the condition, but that I also found the book to be an enjoyable read. The authors did a wonderful job in sharing their story in an open and honest manner while also keeping their writing styles interesting to an audience. I personally liked the way that the authors made the book have the feeling of a story to it instead of a textbook feel. Overall, I feel that this book is a necessary read for anyone even considering working in the mental health field, and I plan on reading book two when it becomes available!

Jennie sakamoto

Alternative to a Frozen Mouse...i guarantee you will find it hard to put this book down...written with passion you will learn so much about Disassociate Identity Disorder....it takes u on a journey that will keep you engaged and wanting more. Love it thank u ..cant wait for book 2

Joan E Derrick

I could only feel love and compassion for each and every personality as they struggle to understand their 'life' and make it work in the world around them - and also keep their condition a secret for fear of discrimination. This book goes a long way in bringing understanding of DID to the mind of the average person whose perception has been coloured by inaccurate and sensationalised versions, in the world of popular entertainment.