Archive for January, 2010

Karen answers Dr. Samuel

admin on Jan 31st 2010

Comment by Samuel MD on 25 Jan 2010 at 12:41 pm

Hi Karen,

I am a therapist and would like to shake Richard Baer’s hand. Does he have his own blog or email where I can reach him? Please thank him for his frankness in sharing his thoughts and actions taken. I have my own mpd patient. I’ve been treating her for eight years. At this time she is manageable but it has taken many years to accomplish this. I would like to further my understanding in his treatment of you. If possible Karen add a link, or email address as to where I can reach him. I am interested in your after integration care as well.

Karen, I would like to take a moment to share my deepest admiration for you to reach out and touch so many people in such a compassionate way. Richard Baer’s work with you is one of the most inspirational cases I have ever read.

Samuel MD

Vermont

Dear Dr. Samuel,

I’m sure Dr. Baer would be honored to shake your hand! Thank you for your desire to learn more about Dr. Baer’s treatment of me. You can reach him through Facebook. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind sharing his experience in treating me.

Thank you for your warm compliments and understanding, especially for believing our story is inspirational. That means the world to me. Dr. Baer and I worked very hard together to help heal me. I am forever grateful.

Karen

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Karen answers Sue

admin on Jan 31st 2010

Comment by Sue on 25 Jan 2010 at 10:05 am

Dear Karen & Richard Baer,

I just finished reading Switching Time this morning and spent almost all day reading your blog answers. I feel great to gain the knowledge you both provided. I always knew something was different about my sister but never could figure out what. About two years ago her doctor diagnosed her as having dissociative identity disorder. I watch the Showtime series United States of Tara the whole season in one day. I went into their movie blog and found the many comments you left Karen. I am feeling uplifted with knowledge between your comments there and on your own blog. You are an answering machine, better than a book.

Thank you Richard Baer for taking on such a challenge as Karen. I know her comments and answers have been far worth its weight in gold.

Sue

Dear Sue,

I’m glad my story had helped you understand the illness of multiplicity and I’m glad that you have taken the time to learn more to help your sister. That’s great!

Though I do enjoy commenting on the United States of Tara’s IMDB Board, it’s my desire to simply encourage hope. There have been too many false stories that mock multiple personality disorder, or dissociative identity disorder. I enjoy watching and commenting on the USoT Showtime series, but also do my best to help bring understanding through providing my own personal insights and opinions.

I enjoy the challenge the show provides. The acting is remarkable, but the truth behind the illness they portray is at times difficult for me to agree with. I will not compare the show to my experiences because there is no comparison. I am real and Tara is not. I am not a professional therapist and only base my opinions on my own past experiences. I also know USoT is a show and does not portray the life of a true multiple. But it’s definitely entertaining!

I’m looking forward to this next season. I do appreciate the attention MPD/DID is receiving from the show. Knowledge is the key. In my opinion, if just one person becomes interested and searches to learn more information, then the show is worth viewing.

Thank you for all of your compliments. I will share your thank you with Dr. Baer. I’m sure he’d agree that treating me was one of his biggest challenges and worth it’s weight in gold.

Karen

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Karen answers Lilly

admin on Jan 25th 2010

Comment by Lilly, Grieving Soul in Pittsburg on 23 Jan 2010 at 5:41 pm

Karen,

Please help me. I don’t know what to do. I just received word that my therapist was killed in a car accident. All the person told me was the service is private. I am not allowed to attend. I am beside myself in grief, how could his family be so cruel? I was a patient for seven years. He was like my father to me. I want to die to be with him. What am I to do? How do I find out information? Am I to sit at his grave and talk to him or what? Karen, if your Dr. Baer would die what would you do? Would his family tell you? I am upset. Who will I talk to now? What happens next? 
I am sorry to write to you. I can’t think clearly and just read your book. You are so understanding to people in your answers I guess I am hoping you can help me too. 
I will write you again to share about your amazing story. I just talked to my therapist about you two weeks ago. He read your book too and now he’s gone.

Lilly, Grieving soul in Pittsburg

Dear Lilly,

I hear your pain. I’m very sorry about your loss. I would be devastated, too! That was cruel for the family to not allow you your opportunity to grieve. In my work I’ve come to know that services for the deceased are really for the living. I would need proper closure, and if not allowed to grieve, would never comprehend nor believe in my therapist’s death.

In my opinion, your therapist’s family’s desire to keep his services private is not only selfish but also disrespectful to you and his other patients. I wonder if your therapist’s sudden death didn’t leave time for instructions as to his wishes? I’m sure if he knew he was dying from an illness, he would’ve made sure his family included his patients, at least those patients like you who have built a strong bond with him.

I’m not sure what Dr. Baer’s family would do if anything were to happen to him. I do know that if I weren’t told or invited that I would definitely make a big deal out of it.  I would hope Dr. Baer’s family would understand the bond we shared. Dr. Baer has been like a father to me. I can’t bear to think about his dying before me.

I’m glad you wrote to me. Please know that your therapist may have someone backing him up that will help you with his loss. Keeping your therapist’s memory in a good light will help you. I’m not sure what happens when someone loses her mentor, supporter, and confidant. I am not a therapist, but in my opinion there has to be someone who will be assigned to be there for you.

My heartfelt prayers will be with you. Please know that your therapist didn’t leave you. It was an accident.

Wishing you a sense of calm and understanding while you grieve. If you’d like, please write me again.

Karen

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Karen answers Becky

admin on Jan 25th 2010

Comment by Becky on 21 Jan 2010 at 12:05 pm

Dear Karen,

Today is a GREAT day! I AM FREE! I couldn’t wait to get home from court today. My father, my rapist was convicted and sentenced to 25 years. I contacted a lawyer two years ago after you appeared on Good Morning America. I took things slow. I sought counseling. Took all the right steps to report being a sexual abuse victim. I didn’t have much proof. God, that’s one thing that pissed me off in court. How was I suppose to prove being raped! My therapist accompanied me and testified on my behalf and so did my sister report her abuse to. He will NEVER hurt us again. I am twenty five with a beautiful three year old daughter. My sister is twenty two and single fighting herself to even think of getting married and raising a family.

WE won, Karen! Who would have thought that my courage to do something came from reading Switching Time and knowing how innocent and precious children are to want to feel loved. Before that I thought my abuse was my fault, my needing to be loved. My wanting? to be touched? I had it all wrong. Your story taught me the truth about abuse.

I see a bright future for my little one. I am aware of all the signs to watch for. Thank you for being a voice in my head. You were with me in court to. Thank you for all that you continue to do for others through your blog.

I love that you were brave to share your story. God sent you. I feel blessed. Wish I lived in your state so I can take you for a drink. I never drink but today our victory requires one!

Becky

Dear Becky,

Congratulations on your victory! Thank you for sharing your story with me. I am proud of you for taking all the necessary steps needed to bring justice and peace to you and your sister. I understand how you may have felt when the court was asking for proof. That’s something the court system should change; emotional scars run deeper than any physical evidence. Besides, how can any child possibly know how to gather evidence? I’m glad to hear that your therapist accompanied you to court and helped you through your journey.

Knowledge from your past experience will help you raise your beautiful child. I am touched by your story and glad to be thought of as a part of your healing. As I read your post I was reminded of the reason I decided to share my story.  I believe I survived for a reason. Today, through you, I reaffirmed my faith to continue doing what I do best, being one voice in helping those who, like me, have been sexually abused and survived to tell about it.

Thank you for all your compliments! I am very happy for you! As for having a drink with you to celebrate, I would if I could. Thank you for thinking of me on your special day!

Wishing you all my best for a wonderful abuse free future.

Karen

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Karen answers Oliver Alec

admin on Jan 25th 2010

Comment by Oliver Alec on 19 Jan 2010 at 11:30 pm

How do you answer all these questions? Don’t you feel under interrogation? You and Richard Baer did a great job telling your story but God you answered a thousand questions. Are you not tired yet? GREAT JOB YOU KNOW!

Dear Oliver Alec,

A thousand questions? I hadn’t counted! But thanks for acknowledging that I have. How do I answer so many questions? I answer them one at a time! I’ve never felt under interrogation; I’ve never even thought of it that way. I answer questions as they come in and never answer more than I am able to at any one time. Most of the time I answer questions early in the day. I believe it is my purpose to help others.

I take my time answering and am careful not to allow my emotional past to disrupt my present or future. I believe knowledge brings awareness. And if my answers help just one person come to a better understanding of what they or someone they know is going through, then all I do is worthwhile.

Have a great day!

Karen

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Karen answers Traci

admin on Jan 25th 2010

Comment by Traci on 19 Jan 2010 at 6:52 pm

Hi Karen

How do you feel about the old saying that everything happens for a reason? Is that a simple thing to grasp or way too complicated to even explain? Most of the time it doesn’t make sense, but I wonder if you have been able to make sense of it.
 You are a wonderful soul and I feel privileged to have read your story.

Dear Traci,

I definitely believe in the old sayings “Everything happens for a reason” or “There is a reason for everything.” My life has been a difficult one, but since I was a young child I’ve been highly attuned to my surroundings. I knew that I was unable to stop the abuse I endured. I knew it was out of my control, but I believed there was a reason for my surviving those dark times. I had a will to live. Time and again I have been saved because I was meant to be saved. I knew there was a reason for my survival.

Although I have suffered through much pain, the good that has found me today outweighs the pain of my past. I believe my story was meant to be told. I believe my meeting Dr. Baer was no coincidence; it was meant to be. My survival and ability to encourage hope through sharing my story is meant to be. Therefore, yes, I believe there is a reason for everything.

Thank your for you kind thoughts and compliments!  Dr. Baer and I truly appreciate hearing from you.

Karen

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Karen answers Karen

admin on Jan 25th 2010

Comment by Karen on 19 Jan 2010 at 5:41 pm

Hi Karen, 
I want to tell you how brave, strong, and remarkable you are, but I am sure you know that now. I have listened to the book a couple of times and am always amazed. The human mind must be an incredible thing, and yours must be especially gifted to have found your way through that darkness, pain, and then the long healing journey. I am so impressed with you. Dr. Baer must be especially wise to facilitate your healing. You are an inspiration.

Dear Karen,

Thank you so much for your heartfelt compliments! It really touches me to hear them. Yes, I agree, the mind is amazing! I’ve been grateful that my mind created a coping mechanism that kept me in survivor mode until I was able to deal with all that happened to me. I am becoming increasingly fascinated by how one’s thoughts and experiences are kept in memory. It is my hope that the medical world will continue to search for knowledge and awareness on complex psychological illnesses such as the one I survived: multiplicity.

With Dr. Baer’s wisdom, together we were able to find a way to heal me from a lifetime of chaos. I am grateful for all the time Dr. Baer spent helping me heal so that I could live my life in a way I never dreamed possible.

Thank you for believing our story to be an inspiration. That means the world to me.

Karen

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Karen answers Shady

admin on Jan 25th 2010

Comment by Shady on 18 Jan 2010 at 8:32 am

Dear Karen.

I’m a chinese girl of 16 (btw.today is my birthday).i have read this book for twice(in chinese).i was so touched about your experience.you are a great person.i cant imagine how you became such strong……i often complain my life.too busy and too boring.but when i see your experience.i start stopping it..i have no reason to complain!!!

Dc Baer is also a knowledgeable. smart patient and nice doctor!

love is always around us!

how is you life today? what about your children?

best wishes!

Dear Shady,

First and most important, happy 16th birthday!  I hope all your wishes come true!

Thank you for sharing that you’ve read my story twice! That’s incredible to hear. It shows me that you were interested in learning more about my journey to wellness and my life struggles as a multiple.

I have no idea how I was able to survive and be strong through all that I have endured. I believe faith in God helped pull me through my horrors, leaving me able to survive with alter help. I am grateful to have found Dr. Baer and his unconditional care. I was lucky. I had a great support system.

Please don’t be so hard on yourself regarding complaining. We all complain at times even though we know that our complaints sometimes seem miniscule compared to the troubles of others. I am grateful just to be me. And believe it or not, I complain too!

Yes, Dr. Baer was a kind and patient doctor. I will be forever grateful for his help in healing me. As for me, I am doing the best I can to live my life in a way that I never thought possible. My children are doing well. My son recently married a beautiful schoolteacher and my daughter is a full time college student. Thank you for asking!

Love does surround us. Keep your faith.  And know that knowledge is strength.

Karen

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Karen answers Beulla

admin on Jan 22nd 2010

Comment by Beulla on 18 Jan 2010 at 10:46 am

This is Beulla. I was reading the book and saw you had a black alter. Now after your intregrated do you feel part black. What do you think of when you look at black people? I am black with a white father that I never remembered. I was told he raped my mama and I was a result of that rape. My mama never gave me up but she married a black man when I was eight years old. I never told anybody this before you today but this man raped me. I didn’t tell anyone because he said I was already unpure for being a child born from a rape. He said my mama shouldve given me up. I am sad by your story but feel okay to look for someone to talk to. If you could do it I think I could to. I am 19 years old and still livin with my mama. I didn’t tell her I know yet but her husband and my auntie told me. Should I talk to my mama? Shes a realy sweet and wonderful woman. I am not ashamed to be half white and half black. Just ashamed that I was born a bastard of rape.

Thank you, Mam.

Beulla the Beautiful Black Babe

Dear Beulla,

I’m sorry that your stepfather and aunt shared your story with you. I believe your Mom may have been trying to protect you from knowing the truth because she loves you. If your mother didn’t love you, she wouldn’t have kept you. The fact that your stepfather raped you and said such awful things to belittle you is abuse. The insults you’ve received are not only inappropriate, but intentionally controlling and hurtful. I am not a therapist and can’t give advice, but in my opinion your stepfather should be imprisoned for rape. He’s a criminal.

Please know that you are a victim. You are not impure. Just because you were conceived in rape does not mean that you are less of a human being. Please seek help with a professional therapist who can help you see the beautiful person you are. I also believe you should share your knowledge of your past with your mother. I’m sure your mama will be devastated at first but will understand and help you, too! Please never be ashamed of who you are. You are God’s child, a true miracle, and loved.

Regarding my alters, I did have a black alter, and throughout my childhood I felt, in part, black. I believe the reason I developed my alter, Jensen, who was eleven years old, was because my father was a very prejudiced man. My father disliked all races that weren’t white. I hated his prejudices and often cried for those of color. My way of coping with my father’s foolish attitude was to become part black myself. I was glad to have found out I had a black alter, because I knew I would never harbor ill thoughts against any race. Jensen was a gift. I don’t see color when I look at anyone. I don’t see age or sex. What I do see is a person’s spirit, heart, and goodness.

Thank you for your very interesting questions and for sharing your pain. My thoughts and prayers will be with you as you seek help and journey to wellness.

Wishing you all my best!

Karen

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Karen answers Anthony, MD

admin on Jan 21st 2010

Comment by Anthony, MD on 17 Jan 2010 at 5:31 pm

Hi Karen,

Amazing as your story is I have a hard time believing you’ve come through all without any side effects. I mean, really, you must be suffering in some way, right? If we are to understand the after effects of integration of alters then wouldn’t you have to say there is more to it than not? Are you well? Do you have trouble dealing with your life now? Do you need someone to talk to? I would think you need more not less support. You are incredible. I am in awe of you. Please take care. Make sure Dr. Baer takes care of you. I don’t feel content with the way you answered Sally’s question. I am a psychiatrist and see a red flag. Chatting with Dr. Baer is not talking. Have you been talking to him?

Anthony, MD

Dear Dr. Anthony,

Thank you for your heartfelt concern. Of course after all that I have gone through there are likely to be a few side effects. Life for me after integration has been challenging. But for me, getting up each day and doing the best I can is all that I’ve hoped for. In order for me to share my life since integration I would need to write a book. There is simply too much to share to answer here on my blog. My story continues on. No end in sight.

Of course at times I need someone to talk to… doesn’t everyone?  I’m the kind of person who tends to hold everything in. The problem for me comes in finding someone to trust that I can share with. Unfortunately, there only a few people who can handle listening to me on a daily basis. I am intense and have too much to talk about.

Triggers arise often as I share my story, but they disappear just as quickly as they arrive. I am able to handle most dark thoughts on my own. I have learned in therapy how to keep my past where it belongs, in my past. I look forward to staying in the present and looking forward to my future. It’s the best I can do.

Thank you for your questions.

Karen

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