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Petals of a Rose Film Review

Dylan Crumpler's film Petals of a Rose is the most accurate depiction of Dissociative Identity Response that I have ever seen.

I attended a session at An Infinite Mind 2023 Conference with Holly and Dylan Crumpler. They showed a film that they co-wrote together which Dylan created for his college thesis titled “Petals of a Rose”. I was able to view the uncut version ahead of time and they showed a much more survivor friendly version at the conference. There are 2 versions available on Dylan's website. The film is very well done and shows a realistic day in the life of a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder, while Hollywood has sensationalized DID, making it out to be like a horrible psychotic dangerous thing to have or for people to be around. I believe DID is an amazing God-given gift of survival or coping mechanism for a child to be able to withstand horrific intolerable abuse and have the memories and feelings and awareness split off from the core person into a part or identity so that the original person can still function and later when the person feels safe after the abuse has stopped, they can face the truth by associating the memory and connect with the parts who know what happened so that the person can recover from the trauma, have healing and become more whole. Holly, Dylan’s mother has Dissociative Identity Disorder. She was sexually abused as a child and was not diagnosed until Dylan was 19 or 20 (somewhere in there). At age 22 Dylan started creating this film because he wanted to realistically depict a day in the life of a woman with DID since this response has often been inaccurately and negatively portrayed in film and television. I think of Sybil as one of those movies where it is more disturbing and sensationalized than it is accurately showing the amazing positive aspects of DID. I highly recommend the film to anyone who has DID, for those who work with clients who have DID, for those who want to learn more about DID, and for anyone who supports a survivor with this response. There are several things that are so touching to me about this collaboration between Holly and Dylan and the film itself. One is the fact that Dylan is so supportive of his mother and how this whole process for him helped him to work through the issues that he has had to deal with as living with someone who has DID; that has a trauma all it’s own. During the Q&A I was able to find out that Dylan got therapy too for what he has gone through living with someone who had unhealed traumatization. I think of my children having had to live with someone who had different identities and not really know what was going on with their mom for so many years. Another thing that was very touching for me about the film was the response there was from the boyfriend Jeremy who is finding out for the first time that Rose who played a version of Holly after she has effects of being triggered during some intimate time together in her bedroom…his wanting to understand and making sure that Rose knew that he still loved her after she told him what was going on with her. And the scene with the pie as Rose’s Super Woman part came out and she cut the pie was such a good analogy of DID that the actress described. She did a really good job incorporating what it’s like for a person who has DID. I can see this film being used for survivors as a way to tell people, "Hey if you want to know what dissociative identity is like watch this". It would be easier than having to try to describe it yourself. There’s so much that’s positive in this little movie. Jeremy the boyfriend stays. Josie the little girl part, Axel the protector part and Super Woman are all ok after being triggered by the intimate scene in the film. They showed how grounding and working together to help each other know that this is 2022 and that they are safe now and grandpa is dead and can’t hurt them any longer. I mean because that’s why Axel came out in the first place. He was wanting to protect Rose and especially Josie. And then at the end how Rose is thanking each of her parts and accepting them at the end of the day. I found out later that this is something that Holly does on a regular basis with her identities.

I like the title "Petals of a Rose" that was picked too. (No pun intended) A rose is a beautiful flower and dissociation is a beautiful coping response as is each person fearfully and wonderfully created by God just like a rose. The petals describe pieces of an original which is what DID is. Fragmented identities of a whole person.

I’d like to say thanks to Holly for allowing your story to be shared like this through the film and Dylan for your marvelous talent and sensitivity to the community of those who have DID in putting this film together. I pray that you both have continued recovery and success in your filmmaking career. I know that many people at the conference are hoping for a sequel of this amazing awesome production.

If you would like to watch Petals of Rose you can do so by going to:

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Apr 03, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I saw this at the Healing Together Conference and absolutely loved how realistic it was for those with dissociative identity disorder. I like how you say it's a God given gift of survival. I dislike the stigma attached with DID. Your review was good.


Mar 20, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I saw that short movie at An Infinite Mind Conference. I thought it was good. Reality for those who have DID. Very well done. Good review.

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