The "Eat, Pray, Love" writer was three years old and playing upstairs in her family home with a Barbie doll when she experienced a change in consciousness. Her mother suddenly called to her father, John, to come help her with something. "Hearing my mother's voice calling to my father like that filled me with the most eerie and unsettling realization – namely, that these two people, my parents, existed separately from me," Gilbert writes. "It was the first time I'd noticed it. They had names (John and Carole) which they called each other privately – names which had nothing to do with their roles in my life as Mom and Dad."