The Sum of My Parts - Olga Trujillo

 5 Stars!

By the first day of kindergarten, Olga Trujillo had already survived years of abuse and violent rape at the hands of her tyrannical father. Over the next ten years, she would develop the ability to numb herself to the constant abuse by splitting into distinct mental “parts.” Dissociative identity disorder (DID) had begun to take hold, protecting Olga’s mind from the tragic realities of her childhood.
In The Sum of My Parts, Olga reveals her life story for the first time, chronicling her heroic journey from survivor to advocate and her remarkable recovery from DID. Formerly known as multiple personality disorder, DID is defined by the presence of two or more identities. In this riveting story, Olga struggles to unearth memories from her childhood, and parallel identities—Olga at five years old, Olga at thirteen—come forth and demand to be healed. This brave, unforgettable memoir charts the author’s triumph over the most devastating conditions and will inspire anyone whose life has been affected by trauma.

Olga Trujillo is an attorney who works with communities on issues involving domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, and the impact of trauma. A nationally renowned speaker, she has appeared in several training videos on domestic violence, including Cut it Out and A Survivor’s Story. She has received the Bud Cramer Leadership Award from the National Children’s Alliance and the Sunshine Lady Foundation Peace Award. Olga lives with her partner Casey, dogs, and cats on a small farm in Wisconsin.
Visit her at her website - HERE

In the beginning this was a very difficult book to read. This is the kind of abuse that we know happens but we wish didn't. The first 1/3 of the book was more of a horror story. She details all the physical and sexual abuse she suffered under the hands of her father then her two brothers. I do want to mention that the detail is not graphic. She does talk about the blood and the rapes but not in a real graphic way. This started out really very sad and horrific. And I found myself saying over and over -"Why didn't someone do something?" Why didn't the neighbor report it, why didn't the teachers dig deeper, the police were there once and they did suspect something but let it go! This is the kind of thing that didn't have to happen. I don't blame the Author at all, since she dissociated herself she had absolutely no memory of the attacks so she couldn't tell anyone even if she wanted to. Even when questioned about the bruises she was shocked and did not know where they came from. Her mother was the one I was most angry with, she was in total denial and ignored everything. While it is a mother's job to protect their kids Olga's mother did nothing but stood by and allowed it to happen - in my opinion.

The second third of the book was about her going to law school and meeting her soon to be husband. Still all through college she had no memory of any abuse as a child and to that day believed she was still a virgin.  Different parts of her (which she numbered) were still taking over for her when she couldn't cope with the stress of classes and studying. But all she knew was that there were certain things missing and that she was a little fuzzy about parts of her life. Then after her marriage she had a major panic attack in a theater watching a movie with a rape scene in it. She had no clue why that scene would trigger that panic attack. She started having panic attacks and nightmares more often. She and her husband suspected there was more to this.

The last 1/3 of the book is about her counseling and realizing for the first time that she was brutally raped and abused as a child by her father and both her brothers and their friends. This is when I cried my first tear! I actually had to put the book down and take a break.This is about the beginning of the healing process and realizing not only what had happened to her physically but that she has Dissociative identity disorder and how she deals with that diagnoses.

This book is very well written! Yes, it is very sad and even horrific at times but also a very encouraging story about a survivor! This had the potential to be repetitive and over done but it was neither of those - it was perfect, just the right balance. I certainly give a "Hats off" to the Author for all her struggles (yeah to put it mildly) and for being a strong survivor!

Thank you Netgalley and New Harbinger Publications for this e-book to read and review.


  1. Wow, this sounds like such a powerful read even though I'm sure I'd find it quite difficult to read.

  2. I got to Twelve realized we had more in common than we knew and on the bday and I had to put it away a while. I think its harder to read if you have DID as well