Archive for May, 2009

Karen answers Jessie

admin on May 28th 2009

Comment by Jessie on 27 May 2009 at 7:08 pm
Hello Karen,
I happen to be in Arizona and there was a woman there who claimed to be you. She was talking to this group of people and since I read your book I knew she couldn’t be you. I felt confused so I needed to write to you and ask, no offense meant, just need to ask. May I ask, were you in Arizona last Sunday afternoon at noon? She didn’t look like the pictures of you that were on GMA. What she was saying made her appear crazy. People, at least forty gathered around her and listened intently. I didn’t have a good feeling about this but listened too. I respect your decision for sharing your story but what about the people who cause your book problems. If this was you I have to make this remark. I no longer like you. I admired the Karen of Switching Time.
Jessica “Jessie”
Arizona
Dear Jessie,
 
Thank you for sharing this with me.  No, I was not in Arizona last Sunday.  The woman you saw was indeed an imposter trying to pose as me. How weird!  Why she would do so makes no sense to me.  What could she possibly gain?  Nothing monetary, I hope.  In a way her actions fascinate me.  What was she thinking?  Is she an admirer or someone simply seeking attention?  It doesn’t really matter much.  In the long run, it’s just inappropriate publicity.  Hopefully, someone checked her story out and reported her.
 
Dr. Baer and I worked very hard to keep all that we have done and written true and consistent.  This woman damages our efforts.  It is our hope to bring awareness and knowledge to those who wish to learn more about multiplicity.  
 
In your comment, you didn’t mentioned many details.  However, if you know this woman, and/or anyone associated with what’s she’s doing, please notify someone.  I pray that the woman who impersonates me doesn’t do so again.  
 
Thank you for letting me know about this. I appreciate that you took the time to care and share your concerns.
 
Karen

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Karen answers Bradley P

admin on May 28th 2009

Comment by Bradley P on 26 May 2009 at 11:08 am

Dear Karen,

What would you say to someone you think is a multiple but denies it? My friend is so forgetful. I hate that she tells me five different versions of the same story and never takes the blame when she’s wrong. My friend accuses everyone around her because she can’t recall what she’s done or says. There’s no explanation, she’s got to be a multiple. I hear her talk in different tones and styles. I watch her when she moves about a crowd and acts if I don’t exist. Shes got to be dissociating. What else could it be? Can you tell me how to check for sure? What can I do to confirm that she is a multiple like you?

Bradley P.

Harlem, GA

Dear Bradley P,

I can empathize with your concerns regarding your friend, however you have not shared enough for me to give an opinion.  I am not a professional therapist and can’t give advice, but your friend may be suffering from multiplicity, or something other than multiplicity.

It’s true she may be suffering some type of dissociation problem.  What you had shared are some of the signs. But it’s best not to try to diagnose this yourself. Instead, talk with her about seeking professional help.  

It’s best to seek help as soon as possible.

Karen

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Karen answers Me, Myself and I

admin on May 28th 2009

Comment by Me, Myself and I on 26 May 2009 at 4:53 pm

How have your children delt with this…?

Dear Me, Myself and I,

My children are grown and doing well on their own.  Of course growing up they suffered some unpleasant times, but they both managed to become well adjusted and able to function in reality.  I am proud that neither my son nor daughter turned to drugs or got into trouble with the law.  Both my children do the best they can to get through life, and they support my decision to share my story.  I’ve been blessed.

Thank you for your question,

Karen

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Karen answers Psychology Enthusiast

admin on May 28th 2009

Comment by Psychology Enthusiast on 26 May 2009 at 11:37 pm
Hey Karen!
Did you watch the new show, Mental? I think it’s awesome even though some of the characters annoy me. I know you reviewed and made comments on The United States of Tara show. I would love to hear your thoughts on this new FOX show. It started tonight at 8pm. Another quick question: Was Richard Baer like this guy or more by the book? My idea is that he was more like this doctor. If he weren’t you wouldn’t be here.
Psychology enthusiast
Dear Psychology Enthusiast,
 
Yes, I did happen to watch the first episode of the new show “Mental.”  I’m still trying to decide how I feel about it.  I have many thoughts and a few concerns.  Like USoT, it’s a TV show and not realistic.  I do like the idea of the main doctor being casual and intelligent at the same time.  I also liked the idea that the doctors sought out more information by leaving the hospital to meet and talk with the patient’s friends and family members.
 
Dr. Baer never talked to anyone I knew.  Sometimes when I look back I wish he had.  Besides, I always hated “suits” and believed doctors who appeared too formal, came across as powerful, intimidating, superior, and not easy to discuss problems with.  That wasn’t my case, however, but it definitely took me longer to build rapport.  I needed to feel at ease and for me, casual meant equal and non-threatening.  So, I tried my best to ignore Dr. Baer’s more formal dress and focused on his voice.  I never really paid much attention to his looks either.  For me, I became attuned to his spirit.  I always “heard” his voice.  That’s how I survived.  So, in a sense, Dr. Baer was more like the head doctor of the show and not threatening. 
 
I’m glad there’s a new show that describes how patients need to be treated.  If I were treated as an outcast, shipped off to another stuck up therapist, group therapy, or drugged with unnecessary drugs, I would’nt have healed.  No meds, talk therapy built on trust, respect, and my determination to grow. That’s how I survived.
 
All therapists need to listen to their patients first, and not immediately drug them.  I was fortunate Dr. Baer listened to me and acted in my best interests.
 
Thank you for sharing.
 
Karen 

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Karen answers “One Who Admires Me”

admin on May 28th 2009

 

Comment by One who admires you on 25 May 2009 at 4:03 pm
Did you know your answers provide the best examples of trauma, dissociation, and DID? Are you aware that you’re answers are being used over and over agin in newspaper article, medical conferences, and speeches? Are you aware that people are stealing your words right from your site? What are Richard Baer and your agent doing to protect your rights? You should own your own copy rights for your answers. I am a writer in New York, work for a prominent publishing company, have crossed checked your answers, which are excellent. Be aware, stay cautious,trust no one. My personal advice. Given for free. I admire you.
Dear One Who Admires Me,
 
Thank you for admiring me!  I have taken your advice to heart and understand what you are trying to discreetly share with me.  I appreciate your concern, and Dr. Baer, our agents, and the wonderful team of people who work with us do their best to keep me safe.  As far as I am concerned, Dr. Baer holds the rights to our Web site, and my answers given here.
 
I’m sure there are many articles that may have quoted me and/or Dr. Baer.  That’s okay with me because it spreads our story.  I feel touched whenever someone quotes me or uses something Dr. Baer or I’ve said in reviews, research papers, or commencement speeches.  It’s an honor to me.  And If you Google, Karen Overhill, Dr. Baer and Switching Time you will discover there are over 904,000 mentions of us.  All free publicity.
 
Thank you for complimenting my answers.  That means so much to me.  I promise to be aware, stay cautious, and will try my best to trust the right people to help me accomplish my work.
 
Thank you for your advice.
 
Karen

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Karen answers Multiplemarissa

admin on May 28th 2009

 

Comment by Multiplemarissa on 25 May 2009 at 12:25 pm
The primary reason for most of MY alters was my traumatic childhood. Most of my alters were created for my survival. Several of the personalities created were babies, who survived almost 20 to 25 years in isolation before they discovered each other inside. It was almost 30 years before I discovered them. To tell them that I do not need them now and ask for them to be FUSED / INTEGRATED is nothing but genocide.
Imagine you were a baby personality, living in a dark spot inside someone else, yelled and mocked at every time you came out. Eventually, things seem normal outside and you think it is safe to venture out and explain the reason for your existence. You are no threat to anyone and are content to remain within your host body. Imagine how terrifying it must be to have people talk of getting rid of you / fusing you ’cause you are of no use. They think they have integrated you, but little do they realize they have driven you into a state of shock were you know you exist but cannot talk, articulate your thoughts or even indicate you exist.
Dear Multiplemarissa,
 
I’m sorry to hear that your experience with integration wasn’t what you expected. I’ve been fortunate to have had a positive experience with the merging of my alters.  No two cases are alike.  It’s my hope that through sharing my journey, others may seek proper professional help with a qualified therapist to accompany them on their own individual journeys to wellness.
 
I empathize with you; most of my alters were children. They needed to come out and face what had happened to them that caused their “birth.”  Like you, each alter was born from a traumatic experience.  I believe if my child alters stayed put and never surfaced, I would not have healed.  For me, integration was God sent.  I am alive and well.  I am a woman who gained a life I never thought possible.  I most certainly don’t regret integration.
 
No one forced me to integrate my alters, including the alters themselves.  My integration was decided upon by my own inner system.  Dr. Baer provided me with a safe setting and made sure each alter felt secure and wanted to integrate.  My therapeutic relationship with Dr. Baer worked because my alters grew to trust him, and they knew that in order for me to feel well, they would need to merge within me.  Some felt they would be “gotten rid of”, but when they realized they would be part of a stronger self, they all wanted that.  Not one alter was lost, killed, or forgotten. There was no genocide.  Each of my ex-alters is within me.  And I am all of them.
 
Thank you for sending your comments.
 
Karen

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Karen answers Barbara

admin on May 28th 2009

Comment from Barbara on 23 May 2009 at 5:58 pm
Hi Karen!
I never heard of you or Richard Baer until a fellow student quoted the both of you during her commencement speech last week. A few days after the ceremony I ordered your book. I had time before starting a new position as a social worker. I read it in one day! ST captured not only my interest but my heart. I cried at the end when Richard Baer hugged you. The love felt in the book between the both of you was inspirational.
I am glad to have read your book before I begin my career. I don’t understand why Switching Time wasn’t a required part of our studies? What a benefit it could’ve been to gain the knowledge of Richard Baer’s treatment of you and your determination to heal. I sent off an email to my entire address book sharing your book.
Thank you kindly, for the both of you have changed my thoughts on MPD/DID. Why isn’t your book easily available? I ordered my copy on-line.
Barbara
Dear Barbara,
Congratulations on beginning your new position as a social worker.  I appreciate your sharing your thoughts on how valuable Switching Time was to you, and how you believe that our book should be a required part of a social worker’s and therapist’s studies. Dr. Baer and I also believe and hope that Switching Time will provide an excellent case study for new, upcoming students, as well as those already in practice throughout the health care field. MPD/DID is a real illness that needs to be acknowledged and studied.
Dr. Baer and I hope that  more teachers will hear about our book and use it in their classrooms.  As a matter of fact, Dr. Baer and I will be sending out a copy of our book to many colleges soon.  Our book is availbale in most bookstores, in airports, and online. Switching Time is also available in most public libraries.
Thank you for all your compliments, thoughts, and suggestions.
Karen

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Karen answers DK

admin on May 28th 2009

Comment by DK on 21 May 2009 at 8:36 am

As always your responses to the questions received enlighten and help me to better understand my own experience. I’m hoping you can offer some insight into the feeling of not being “good enough.” I have a part that struggles with feeling there is no way that anything we-all do will be good enough, meet some kind of standard that has always been impossible to attain. I was born a girl, the second girl, when my “mother” (she really doesn’t qualify to be called mother) really wanted a boy. I was told often and regularly that I should have been a boy. In her dying letter my “mother” brings it up again.

I guess what I need to know, knowing that you also struggled with an issue that made you less than acceptable in the eyes of your family (tumor), if there was any particular way of “re-framing” that ingrained belief so you could get past being stuck on “not ever being good enough” to be worthy of even living?

I’ve been working with a psychologist and it seems there’s nothing she or we say or do that seems to even prick a hole in this locked in self defeating belief.

As always, I appreciate your input and look forward to any grains of insight you might have to offer.

DK.

 

Dear DK,

Thank you for your compliments.  I truly appreciate your kind thoughts.  I also can empathize with not feeling “good enough”.  I’ve been there, too!  That was a hard issue for me to overcome, and sometimes that old feeling temporarily resurfaces when I am stressed or not feeling my best.  The difference between then and now is that I know that the dark thoughts that lead me into despair will eventually subside if I allow myself time to breathe.

What’s most important to me during my dark moments is to try my best to re-think what may have led me to feeling badly.  Dr. Baer has done this with me innumerable times, and I’ve discovered that most of these times are the result of some old “inner pain” being triggered by someone or something that was out of my control.  For example, when someone tries to undermine me, humiliate, or take advantage of me, my thoughts tend to go to I’m not good enough and I deserve it, and I allow myself to be treated in such a manner.

Sometimes I take the blame for someone else’s misbehavior because I believe I am at fault, when I am not.  Of course, when that happens, I am left feeling “not good enough.”  I apologize when I am not to blame.  It’s an ingrained thought that takes a lifetime to overcome.  Blaming myself for the hurt someone else causes leads me to not feel “good enough.”  As time has passed, I’ve become stronger and the dark feelings are shorter in duration. Yet, I still have a bad day now and then in which I don’t feel good enough.

I believe in time you will start feeling better about yourself and not hold on to the dark thoughts that come from being abused.

I wish you all the best as you continue your journey.

Karen

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Karen answers Lisa

admin on May 25th 2009

Comment by Lisa, a homeless person, on 19 May 2009 at 9:43 am
I watched Oprah today and her guests were heroes who help people get through tough times. She doesn’t add the people like you and Baer who help people to emotionally survive just by answering questions and sharing… I wonder why? Thank you for feeding me when I was hungry. Thank you for listening to me when I needed it. Thanks for caring and treating me special and not like the mentally ill. I once respected the Oprah staff for their choices. Wrote them about you and they didn’t care. I wonder why? Glad you are around. I heard you help so much that you are broke. I’m one of the ones you helped. I’m sorry I couldn’t pay you back.
Lisa
 
Dear Lisa,
 
You’re welcome! I was glad to be in the right place at the right time and able to temporarily help you when you needed someone.  I believe there is a reason for everything, and that our paths cross in the most unexpected and unusual ways. I hope you’re doing well.  I assume you’ve found comfort in the library and are learning to use the computer.  I’m glad you took my advice.   I believe in you.  I know you are very intelligent and with proper care can accomplish great things.  Please take care of yourself and seek the help we discussed.  Please don’t be ashamed.  We all need help at some point in our lives.
 
I’m happy to hear from you, and of your concern on why Dr. Baer or I haven’t been invited to be a guest on the Oprah Show.  I believe you are very talented to have recognized me in my disguise on the Good Morning America Show.  Not many recognized me, but you did.  Amazing!  There’s is no way to know how Oprah’s staff picks her topics.  I appreciate your kind thoughts regarding my being a hero along with Dr. Baer.  I also appreciate your keeping my identity confidential.  Thank you.
 
Regarding being unable to pay me back, please pay it forward, and help someone else in need when you can.
 
Wishing you peace as you continue your own journey to wellness.
 
Karen

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Karen answers Max

admin on May 25th 2009

Comment by Max on 18 May 2009 at 4:40 pm
Hi, Karen! I believe you might remember me; I gave you a couple of comments back in January or February asking about Jensen and his drawings, and what they may’ve represented in his eyes. I’m wondering – since your story has fascinated and inspired me so much, do you think that I could draw a family portrait of all the alters as you’ve described them, as a kind of gift-art? I can upload it to my deviantART so that you can see it. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, but I figured that I should ask your permission first. Thank you so much =^)
Max
 
Dear Max,
 
Thank you for your interest in my story and drawings. I am touched that my story has fascinated and inspired you.  Sure, I’d love to see how you imagine my alters and me.  I don’t see any harm in sharing your art work.  I would love to view your gift-art portrait of my “alter family” as you see them.  I would love to see how you envision each alter’s personality.  Maybe we can link to your drawing here from our Web site.
 
One of my favorite quotes came from Jonathan Swift: “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” This quote can be interpreted in many ways, but for me, I truly believe we each see something magical that the next person can’t.  Art is individual, unique, and a fingerprint to one’s being.  I say, go for it!
 
Karen
 

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