Dissociative Identity Disorder as by Bloodlines

Sorry for the lack of post over the past few weeks.  With college starting back next week, I’ve been busy getting all of my stuff together & just haven’t had the interest to game any.  But with everything sorted, & this being my last free week, I’m hoping to get Soul Calibur V reviewed near the end of the week & Driver: San Francisco if I can get it done.  But in the meantime, I thought I’d post some discussion topics about different things I’ve noticed in the games I play.  Starting with a character study of a sort.

This weekend I made some progress on Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines.  Probably the most famous character from that game — given that she’s on the boxart — is Jeanette Voerman, everyone’s favorite Malkavian.  Jeanette & Therese are the most interesting characters in the game, in my opinion.  I should probably go ahead & state that there will be spoilers from this point on if you haven’t already played through the game to know of the sisters’ real connection.  For those who have played the game, or don’t care about me spoiling it, you’ll know that Jeanette & Therese are in fact the same person.  Voerman (as I will refer to them as a combined individual) has a split personality, officially know as Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly Multiple Personality Disorder.

I’ve seen many theories about Voerman.  The popular opinion seems to be that Therese & Jeanette were once two separate people, but at some point one of the twins (usually Jeanette) died.  Most believe it was during the Embrace, probably right before.  Due to the curse of the Malkavian bloodline, Therese’s insanity became expressed as adopting Jeanette’s personality into her own & thus creating two people in one body.

I, however, disagree with this.  I don’t think Jeanette ever existed on her own as a person.  She was always a creation of Therese’s mind.  It fits with the profile of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).  Very little is actually known about what causes DID, but the main theory is that it comes about through a severe, often prolonged trauma.  The only way the person can deal with the trauma is to separate themselves from it.  This dissociation is a common coping mechanism, but when it’s used frequently it may result in a permanent separation of identities.  This explains why the secondary personalities are often incomplete & represent fragments on the host personality’s sides.

Although the game never directly states it, there are heavy indications that Therese was sexually abused by her father.  Given that a child can’t really escape from such abuse by a caregiver, it’s not unlikely that she would try to separate herself from the abuse, perhaps even try to rationalize the abuse.  Jeanette served this purpose.  Therese was the good girl, the one daddy loved.  Good girls don’t get hurt.  It was Jeanette who was the bad girl.  The one who made daddy drink.  I find it very telling that Jeanette is the one who seems to truly understand the abuse they underwent.

Jeanette may also serve as an outlet for Therese’s unacceptable traits.  Therese is very strict & uptight, & obviously can’t stand the idea of sexual relations.  The way good girls should act.  Jeanette is the wild one, promiscuous & flirty.  Unable to accept that sexual urges are normal, Therese has shoved those feelings off to Jeanette.

At the same time, Jeanette was Therese’s protector.  They mention that they were the only friends they had because their father wouldn’t let them outside.

It’s impossible to know what exactly happened to Voerman’s father.  Therese claims that he killed himself because of Jeanette’s behavior.  Jeanette says Therese killed him in a fit of rage when he tried to sleep with Voerman while Jeanette was… inhabiting the body, so to speak.  Given that Therese was so unable to deal with the abuse that she had to create Jeanette in the first place, I’m more inclined to believe that Voerman killed him but Therese can’t accept it.  Therese mentions in the game that people tried to “separate” the two, likely implying she was institutionalized.  This seems like a likely scenario if Therese killed her father & the police realized she had two personalities.

Basically I think that Therese was always crazy.  After all, it’s this craziness that must’ve attracted whoever their Malkavian sire was.

– GamerDame

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