Archive for February, 2010

Karen answers Peggy

admin on Feb 27th 2010

Comment by Peggy on 18 Feb 2010 at 8:34 pm

Karen,

How are you? I am a victim of abuse like you, not a multiple but dissociated my abuse and pretended not to remember it. The problem is I do, and it eats at me everyday. Most family reunions cause me suicidal thoughts. Don’t know if its the same as multiplicity cause I have no alters but I can see myself in your story. You are brave, wish I was like you. Should I talk now. I am seventeen and was abused at twelve.

Dear Peggy,

I’m sorry to hear you were a victim of abuse. I understand trying not to remember the pain you suffered. It’s emotionally draining and causes dark thoughts. Dissociation comes in many forms. In my opinion, dissociating abuse is a victim’s survival mode, temporarily removing herself for protection, whether consciously or not. Unfortunately, you can’t truly hide from the reality of the attack, and your pain will resurface until dealt with in safety. I am not a therapist and can’t give advice, but if I were you, I would talk to someone soon.

I know how participating in family events can trigger memories of abuse. Holding your sadness within you as a key-locked secret will only continue to eat at you until one day it festers to the point where you no longer can deal with it.

Please know you are not to blame for what happened to you. At twelve, you were a child and unprepared to deal with your abuser. Now, at seventeen, you have acknowledged that what happened was wrong. It’s never too late to report your abuser. But please talk to a professional therapist first.

I believe you are brave, too. After all, you did share your story with me. That’s an important first step. Please talk to someone now.

Wishing you all my best.

Karen

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Karen answers Lisa

admin on Feb 27th 2010

Comment by Lisa Erickson on 17 Feb 2010 at 4:58 pm

Dear Karen,

You are amazing! My heart absolutely broke reading your story. Even though I have 4 young children, I polish off a couple of books a week. I have since being a kid. I am 38. There are only two books in my life I had to put down. One out of shear boredom and yours on page 79. That was two days ago. I can’t even process…I don’t know what to write…but I have majestic respect for you and compassion!

Namaste,

Lisa

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for sharing your feelings about reading my story. I understand, my story isn’t exactly the easiest to read, but Dr. Baer and I felt it was necessary to share the truth so that our readers would understand the true depth of the incomprehensible illness, multiplicity. I want to encourage you to continue reading; the worst of the trauma is at the beginning.  It was necessary to tell all to allow understanding.  I believe when someone stops at the horrific part and doesn’t read through to the end, they will never experience the miracle of my healing and survival. I believe my story was meant to be shared.

Thank you for respecting me and having compassion for me. I truly appreciate your sincere feelings. Please know that I am alive and well. And if you have any more questions or thoughts please, write me again or join me on Facebook.

Karen

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Karen answers HS MD

admin on Feb 27th 2010

Comment by HS MD on 16 Feb 2010 at 1:31 am

Karen,

Your answer about your hopes and dreams for your future weren’t exactly accurate. There is more to you. I know it. Everyone knows it. Now I’m telling you. There is no way you just want to travel and help others. No way. You are a writer. Admit it. You wrote your story. You didn’t claim it. You need to write a novel or a prequel or sequel or a fiction. You need to write something. Anything. I know it’s your dream. You can do it. Now describe your correct dream. The one you didn’t mention in your comment. Never short yourself, never allow someone to take credit for what is righfully yours. Write Karen, write. What do you really want to do with the rest of your days? What do you want to leave behind when you are gone? Describe your perfect place? Where would you like to be while living your dream? I am a psych. professor. Elaborate. Ending with…. you are highly intelligent. No one. I repeat. No one ever survived as much as you have. Don’t forget it.

HS MD

Kentucky

Dear Dr. HS,

Thank you sharing your concerns over my hopes and dreams. In part, you are correct. I do have much more to give, much more to learn, and desire much more than I will ever receive. But it’s hard to allow myself to dream ahead of myself. For me, it’s most important to have faith and believe in myself first. I am still learning about life and my wants and needs. I have always put everyone before myself. It’s hard for me to think of myself first. Why? Because I’m so grateful to be alive I feel like I want to save the world. Fantasy, of course! Sometimes I suffer from “compassion fatigue.” I do know who I am, and I’m trying to live my best life. I do enjoy writing and feel I’m a natural born writer. Thank you for recognizing that in me.

I have written much, hoping to someday write a sequel. There is much more to me than what is written in Switching Time. My dreams include writing a nonfiction book about being “One Marine’s Mom.” I also dream of traveling, something that I’ve always wanted to do but never could afford. I become sad when I hear of all the wonderful places around the world and without knowing if I’ll ever experience such beauty. I admit, I’ve also thought of visiting countries that may need my services to make a difference. All I know is that my spirit is restless and needs to work hard, each and every day, to accomplish living. My dream also includes being peaceful and calm.

Dr. Baer wrote Switching Time, not me.  I read his early drafts to make sure all the facts were correct and made suggestions to him.  The parts I wrote are indicated by being “quoted.”  But thank you for your compliments!

You ask to describe my perfect place? I would love to live in a small cottage among many trees, overlooking a lake, where I can write day and night and enjoy nature. I am not one for expensive wine and dine places. Comforting cafes and coffee shops are more like me. I need to be surrounded by nature’s beauty and not harsh cold impersonal buildings with no personality. That’s who I am. I would like to leave behind my memoirs showing that no matter how difficult life can be, one can find love. I would like for all to know that I am not gone, but can be seen in every smile I encouraged, in every kind thought and act of kindness I shared.

Thank you for your thought provoking questions and for encouraging me to write. I truly appreciate each thought. I am a survivor. I’ll never forget that.

Karen

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Karen answers Taylor

admin on Feb 27th 2010

Comment by Taylor on 15 Feb 2010 at 9:25 pm

I want to give a more-than-big THANK YOU for allowing Dr. Baer to write such a emotional documentary about your life. This book brought me both tears and smiles. You are a strong woman, Karen, and Dr. Baer did a fantastic job in regards to your therapeutic relationship. As an 18 year old college student, this book has been one of my all-time favorite reads, which has taught me far more than a text book could. I appreciate both of you! Also, do either of you make speeches or appearances that people can attend? I would love to attend (preferably in Ohio, LOL).

Again, thanks.

Dear Taylor,

You’re very welcome! Dr. Baer and I worked very hard together to share my journey to wellness. I believe sharing our therapeutic relationship is  valuable. It’s our hope to continue to bring knowledge about the life and therapy of a multiple. Relationships take teamwork; we worked hard to maintain respect, integrity, and trust. Dr. Baer couldn’t have treated me without my alters’ help, and I couldn’t have healed without Dr. Baer’s and my alters’ help. There was never a quick fix to my healing. Multiplicity is an incomprehensible illness.  I am grateful for all that Dr. Baer has done to encourage my healing. I believe Dr. Baer was God-sent. I believe my alters were, too.

We truly appreciate all your kind thoughts and compliments. Dr. Baer and I are available to speak should we receive an invitation.

Thank you for respecting our work and appreciating our story. That means a lot to us.

Karen

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Karen answers Elizabeth

admin on Feb 23rd 2010

Comment by Elizabeth on 15 Feb 2010 at 11:12 am

Dear Karen,

Since integration was a success do you still dissociate? In other ways? When life becomes unbearable? I integrated my four alters years ago and am dissociating still. Most days. It all comes back but not the same. I can’t describe. Do you understand me?

Elizabeth

Alabama

Dear Elizabeth,

I understand. I would have to answer yes and no. In a strange, unexplainable way, I compartmentalize certain things that stress me. For instance, I have a hard time dealing with some things, such as time. I can’t seem to comprehend the passage of time. I believe this is the result of my previous dissociation, because time kept shifting for me. I try my best not to put things aside, but it continues to happen. I never forget anything; I just misplace things I can’t deal with. I put up a WALL (wait a little longer). When triggered back into my life and the problem gets re-introduced, it can cause me stress and anxiety. If this is what your experiencing then I would say that’s normal for an integrated recovering multiple.

I believe although integrated, some of the very same behaviors and mannerisms can surface time and again. The difference is now it’s up to me to resolve it on my own. I no longer have alter help and can’t blame my alters for something misplaced. It’s hard for me to understand why this can happen but as time passes, it happens less. I consider my life a daily challenge. I am one woman doing my best to survive reality in a way I’d never experienced before.

I wish you a sense of calm as you adjust to your new-found reality. Alters who have integrated will always remain a part of you but not as independent separate parts. Whatever your alters’ disabilities and thoughts were before integration, they are still present, just diluted. It took me eight years in therapy after integration to start to feel as one.

Karen

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Karen answers Jim

admin on Feb 22nd 2010

Comment by Jim on 14 Feb 2010 at 3:45 pm

Dear Karen,

Being the kind woman you are will anyone remember you on Valentine’s Day? I did.
 Happy Valentines Day Karen! Never wrote to you before but have learned all that I needed from your blog. Well except for do you miss your alters and is Karen your real name?

Jim

Dear Jim,

Thank you for remembering me on Valentines Day! Your kind and thoughtful words have touched my heart! Valentines Day means something unique to everyone who celebrates the day. For me, it’s all about feeling loved and being able to love. Something I never thought possible until after integration. Today, I feel loved.

I’m glad you find my answers helpful. That’s very important to me. Regarding my alters, do I miss them? No, because they are all a part of me. I am them and they are me. My alters have integrated within me and no longer function independently. Some days I may feel a certain way and think to myself, this was Claire or Miles or another. I am fortunate to understand I am one person with a variety of interests.

My name is Karen in Switching Time but it’s not my birth name. I choose to use ‘Karen” to feel safe until I know someone. Either way, I am one and the same woman.

Karen

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Karen answers Anastasia

admin on Feb 22nd 2010

Comment by Anastasia on 14 Feb 2010 at 10:12 pm

Dearest Karen,

Thank you for being an angel in disguise. I have been blessed to read your story and blog. I never knew an abuse victim could love again after being hurt. I am blessed to know despite all your trauma you still believe in God, have faith and forgive those with hardened hearts. You are a true inspiration to me. I have been hurt and can’t see ever loving or feeling loved again. But you help changed my dark thoughts into a flicker of light. I know you have no idea how important that is for me but it is a miracle. I can see the sun shining on this dark morning. Have a blessed life and know how much you are loved. Happy Valentines Day!

Anastasia

Dear Anastasia,

How kind of you to think of me as an angel in disguise! Thank you for your compliment. I am just one of many people hoping to change the world one act of kindness at a time. Sharing my story has given me purpose. It’s true; love is a very powerful emotion. I am fortunate to be able to now experience love. Just like you, I never imagined I could love someone, including myself, but it did happen. It took time to heal, but it’s possible. The stronger I became, the less my past controlled me with dark thoughts.

It took time to heal. What helped me was to no longer allow my abusers to decide my future. Earlier, I felt like a passenger in my own life with my abusers controlling every emotion. If I chose to not to forgive, not to accept my past for what it was, and not to learn to accept love, then my abusers control over me would last forever, whether they were dead or alive. I believe learning to love again set’s you free of your abuse.

I am very happy you can see the sun shining once again. Take those happy thoughts and cherish them. Keep them alive and fresh. Soon those sunny thoughts will replace your dark ones. Hope your Valentine’s Day was a good one! Thank you for loving me.

Wishing you all my best.

Karen

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Karen answers FB Friend

admin on Feb 22nd 2010

Comment by FB friend on 13 Feb 2010 at 9:56 am

Hi Karen,

Thanks for befriending me on facebook. I love all the stuff you post especially your daily quotes. Wherever do you find them? I swear you are psychic. I am walking with my head up today because you are you and I am me. I feel your support even if we never met. I dont know how you know things but you always inspire me with love for life. I hated life before. The road you took was the right one. Thank you.

FB friend

Dear FB Friend,

You’re welcome! I find my quotes everywhere: magazines, books, and more. I’m glad my attempts to inspire bring you a sense of calm and support. I enjoy quotes for the same reason. If something I read inspires me, then it’s worth my posting and sharing with all.

Thank you for your compliments. I am also glad to hear you no longer hate life as you once believed you did. Wishing you happiness and peace.

Karen

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Karen answers Julie

admin on Feb 21st 2010

Comment by Julie on 12 Feb 2010 at 9:59 pm

Karen,

I just finished reading your book, Switching Time, and it made me feel something I had not felt before when reading a book. I needed to know more about you. I came to the internet to look for you because I needed to know if you are doing well. I needed to know if you’ve finally found peace and happiness in your life. It made me so happy to see that you’re “here”. I hope all is well with you dear Karen. 
I had a very easy childhood with loving parents. Some of my friends who were as lucky as I was have a difficult time understanding this type of horrible abuse exists and don’t want to hear about it. It makes me sad to think one day they’re going to come across a child who needs help but they’re going to look the other way because it’s easier that way. 
I’m sure your story has opened many eyes and many hearts. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m glad you were strong enough not to give up on life. We need you on this side.

Love,

Julie

Dear Julie,

Thank you for sharing! I am well, thank you for asking. I agree my story is an emotionally exhausting but inspirational story to read. It’s a story that can provoke and trigger many feelings. I’m glad to be here, alive and well, answering questions on my blog. I believe by doing so my life has purpose. It’s always been my desire to encourage others, help them through difficult times, and speak out about abuse. I know I can’t change the world but if I can help one person feel a bit better, it’s worth it.

I’m so glad to hear you’ve had loving parents and an easy childhood. I love more than anything to hear stories like that. I’ve always had to imagine a good childhood, mostly through television shows portraying a nice loving family life. I needed to live in fantasy to know a childhood where I could feel loved and cared for.

There are many who can’t comprehend the thought of child sexual abuse such as I’ve endured. You have to put yourself in my place and be able to temporarily feel my pain.  I believe those who have never been hurt can still empathize when knowledge is provided.

I hope once knowledge of what can happen to a child who is abused is shared, those who become aware won’t be able to turn their back on a child they suspect is being hurt. When secrets are revealed, one is forced to face reality.

Thank you for your kind thoughts. I am touched and feel blessed!

Karen

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Karen answers Becky

admin on Feb 21st 2010

Comment by Becky on 10 Feb 2010 at 3:08 pm

Karen,

I have been overwhelmed by your story and as you have come to know me in our short friendship, you know I give thanks to Jesus for bringing that Doctor into your care.

The effects from abuse far outweigh the reality of what it does to our mind. I was molested at the age of 5. Not to the extreme of what you must have had to go through as a child.

I also referred back to the Butterfly Blessing that I posted the day before yesterday and you came to mind as I was researching over your material.

You are God’s child and miracle no doudt and it was so much on my heart to promote your book to those they have fallen victim to child abuse or anything that is unbearable to our souls.

Healed in 1998 by your Angel Doctor without wings. How awsome and mighty a God that we serve. You are in my heart and prayers and our testimonies are the greatest strength we carry in this life. I am very honored to share personal experiences with you and proud to be your friend and that you have shared for the good of others.

So much Courage and Selfless to share your story of Redemption.

Dear Becky,

Thank you for all of your kind thoughts!  I, too, am grateful for Dr. Baer’s unconditional care. I believe he was God sent. I also believe there is a reason for everything. I am blessed to have many friends who have supported my decision to share my story. Without such support I would lack the strength and confidence I need to continue on.

I’m sorry to hear that you have also been abused. There is no way to measure how much abuse can fracture one’s spirit and soul. Abuse is abuse. It doesn’t take much to feel the effects from being controlled, manipulated, and hurt beyond repair.

I loved the Butterfly Blessing and appreciate your posting it on Facebook. As a once abused woman my strength is often challenged by dark thoughts. I hate how these thoughts can creep into my day. For me, your encouraging thoughts bring hope and help inspire me to get through my day. It’s my hope to replace every negative dark thought with sunshine optimism.

We are all children of God. To survive abuse of any kind is miraculous. I am grateful to be alive and share my story. You are right, Dr. Baer is my angel without wings. He was the first person I learned to trust.

Thank you for your friendship.

Karen

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