Archive for April, 2010

Karen answers Peggy May plus four

admin on Apr 28th 2010

Comment by Peggy May plus four on 21 Apr 2010 at 3:18 am

Dear Karen,

What do you think about being hypnotized during therapy? Did it feel strange and did it hurt you more? Would you recommend it? You’re story hit me hard but was so similarly truth filled and parallel to my life. Thank you for your help with all of us.

Peggy May 
plus four

Dear Peggy May,

Hypnosis continues to be a wonder to me. At first I didn’t believe it was possible to be hypnotized, but thought I’d try it anyway. I trusted Dr. Baer to guide me and somehow I knew deep down that no harm would come to me or my alters. I took a chance and allowed my instincts to guide me. Hypnosis proved to be a blessing.

Hypnosis began after I was well into my therapy, at a time when trust and rapport with Dr. Baer was firmly established. It takes time to heal and I don’t believe anyone can be hypnotized against her will. It takes two to be in agreement to move forward with such a delicate procedure. I believe being able to be hypnotized is a skill that all multiples have. I believe switching and changing alters is some form of self-hypnosis.  Of course, this is in my own opinion based on my own experience.

Hypnosis does feel a bit strange, but it definitely is not painful. In one way it feels like letting go and surrendering to something unknown. You relax completely and drift off into a trance-like state-of-mind, where you feel light and not of this world. For me hypnosis felt as if I was descending in an elevator. There is no pain, and as a matter of fact, you will feel a sense of calm–a peace that blankets you as you fall back from reality.

I would recommend hypnosis if and when you feel safe with your therapist and only after trust and rapport have been established. Hypnosis is not a quick fix, and should be guided by a qualified therapist. Hypnosis is a tool to help you move forward in your journey to wellness.

Wishing you all my best.

Karen

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Karen answers Tina

admin on Apr 28th 2010

Comment by Tina on 14 Apr 2010 at 9:16 pm

One of the things I’ve always wanted to ask a person with DID is that it seems most of those suffering from this have total and complete amnesia when it comes to stepping out as the different alter. Is this normally the case? Do you know of people who are aware of their alters as they are out?

Thanks for being so open in your journey.

Dear Tina,

Thank you for your question. I’m not sure about having total and complete amnesia, but I did not recall what happened during a switch until years into therapy when, under hypnosis, a few alters agreed to be co-conscious.  During that time I was not aware but knew, through hypnosis, that a few alters were out at the same time together. For me, this attempt at co-consciousness caused too much chaos.

I am unique, just as each multiple is unique. In my opinion, based on my own personal experience, no two alters were out at the same time. They switched in and out, back and forth, depending on which part was needed at a particular time, and that worked for my system.  My alters were created to help me survive in a world I wanted no part of until my healing began. My alters wrote me notes, journaled, kept appointment books, and did all that was necessary for me to get through each day, one day at a time. My alters were far from perfect, but then are any of us perfect? I am grateful to have survived with their help.

I have met only two other multiples in person, and each shared with me a different story. I can’t imagine many alters sharing the same space in time. That might sound like a contradiction coming from a multiple, but I believe too many alters out at the same time would defeat the purpose for a complex system based on dissociation: the sole reason alters are created.

Thank you for your compliments.  It’s my hope my story brings awareness and knowledge of multiplicity.

Karen

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Karen answers Brian

admin on Apr 28th 2010

Comment by Brian, Omaha, NE on 19 Apr 2010 at 6:25 pm

Hey Karen,

Have you ever done anything totally unpredictable as an alter that you would never do yourself when you were a child? I am fascinated in your brain.

What a great book. Man o Man you got me stumped. I hate reading books.totally hate it but couldn’t put yours down. There should be more books written like yours.

Brian

Omaha, NE

Dear Brian,

My alters did many unpredictable things, but mostly in good fun. My alters played off my insecurities. There were times when a fear of mine would block my way to accomplishing something that I really wanted to do but felt too paralyzed. An alter more willing than I would take over and get it done. Most of the time this would turn out in my favor; sometimes not. A few examples are written in Switching Time. Once, at age 13, in fifty-degree weather I climbed a park district fence to swim in the public pool late at night. I would never do such a thing on my own.  But often my alters had a way of pushing me forward to keep me going. If it weren’t for them I may have stayed in bed, feeling depressed, and unable to thrive, or worse.

Thank you for your compliments on Switching Time and my “brain.” I’m glad you finished reading my story. It’s a hard book to read and sometimes you have to put it down. I will take your compliment to heart. For someone like you to believe more books like ours should be written is a wonderful way to help me continue to encourage hope through sharing my story.

Karen

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Karen answers Pheobe

admin on Apr 28th 2010

Comment by Pheobe on 19 Apr 2010 at 8:15 am

Dear Richard, Karen can see this too.

I am writing to you instead of Karen because I wonder why you are not answering questions to. I have D.I.D. and don’t believe integration really works. I have been fooling my therapist for many years. I don’t have alters but pretend I do so he cares for me. I felt him getting annoyed with me so created alters for him to like me again and it worked. Could you tell if Karen was fooling you? My therapist must be stupid. But you seem to know Karen. What if Karens alters never integrated and are still around? What if she fooled you into thinking her alters integrated when they really did not. If you and Karen are real then I better stop playing games with my therapist. You guys are great. But reading your book left me feeling guilty as hell. What do you think I should do? Tell by therapist? Quit therapy? Kill myself?

PHEOBE

Dear Pheobe,

Thank you for sharing. Below I have attached a note from Dr. Baer. I too, understand your dilemma.  During my years in therapy I felt at times that I annoyed Dr. Baer, too, but that was my perception, not his. I believe my own feelings bounced off of him and back to me. I would see and hear myself in Dr. Baer’s lack of reaction. That’s what therapy is. A therapist is like a wall to bounce your own thoughts off of. I believe when you hear yourself speak as someone else hears you it moves your therapy forward. Therefore, you heal yourself.

I believe you are in need of help but not for what you wish your therapist to believe about you. Maybe your therapist already knows this? Please share your truth. Spending time on false issues will continue to weigh against your healing. We all have our own journey to travel. It’s never too late to start again. Becoming someone else to please your therapist is an issue in itself. Have faith in yourself. Do the right thing and tell your therapist that you have been lying and why you felt you needed to make up an interesting story to please him.

Please know that your therapist is working for you, to help guide you in the right direction. Your therapist can’t help if you don’t trust him with the truth about yourself and the reason you sought his help. Take a step back and remember why you chose to seek help in the first place. There will be your answer.

Wishing you all my best as you change the path to your healing, follow your instincts and move forward in truth.

Karen

Below is a note from Dr. Baer:

Phoebe, you have an interesting dilemma.  I don’t think you have any choice but to tell your therapist the truth.  There seems to be no future in carrying on the charade.  When you tell him, if he’s any kind of therapist, he will react with curiosity and understanding, and the two of you can explore why you made the choice you did and what you can learn from that.

Suicide is never a reasonable option.

Good luck.

Richard Baer, MD

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Karen answers Missy

admin on Apr 28th 2010

Comment by Missy on 19 Apr 2010 at 8:40 am

Dear Karen,

Thank you for caring to share with the world. I joined your friend list on facebook one month ago today. I love all your inspirational thoughts, quotes and posted videos. I look forward to reading your daily quote. When I am feeling blue I know I will find happiness visiting your facebook page. It’s full of so many interesting things, like over five hundred inspirational videos. It really helps me to know you are there. My alters are few but strong and they love you to. I hope to be as complete as you are some day.

Love you.

Missy

Dear Missy,

Thank you! I am glad you enjoy my daily inspirational notes, quotes, and videos on Facebook. I love receiving them as well. I believe sharing helps me get through each day.  WOW!  I never realized how much I post! Each one has meaning for me.  I appreciate you sharing.

Have faith and your healing will follow. Wishing you all my best as you take your own journey to healing.

Karen

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Karen answers Henry James

admin on Apr 28th 2010

Comment by Henry James on 15 Apr 2010 at 1:05 am

Hello Karen,

I am a psychologist with one patient suffering from D.I.D. I have read Switching Time and found it very informative. Despite my first negative thoughts I was amazed to gain knowledge while reading your story. What I would like to know is how you managed to make all appointments on time for eighteen years. How was that possible? What would happen if Baer or an alter cancelled or not be on time? My patient is rarely on time. She claims her alters mess up her time and schedules. Her lateness is a distraction. How did Baer manage to keep you coming and on time? How do you explain your success in integration? How could I get in touch with Baer for advice and consultation?

Dear Henry James,

Thank you for asking about time! Being on time has always been an important part of my survival and healing. I am an on-time person, and always have been. I was lucky that Dr. Baer was an on-time person, too! During my many years of losing time and trying to make my way through each day, it was very important for me to be on time. My system of survival depended on it.

If I was frequently late, my multiplicity would have been noticed and I would have attracted attention to myself. As a multiple, timing meant everything. In my opinion, being on time means respecting other people. When a therapist commits to therapy with a multiple, the art of healing through communication is so fragile that it is important that lateness not become an added issue.  Respect is of utmost importance.  Both therapist and patient need to respect each other. Lateness has always been a pet peeve of mine.

I’m not sure how to explain why your patient claims her alters make her late all the time. That wasn’t a part of how my system worked. My alters worked hard to keep me functioning. I learned to be on time very early in life. I continue in the same way today. I can’t think of Dr. Baer ever being late for our therapy sessions. Once he called me to let me know he might be five minutes late. That call made him on time to me.

In my opinion, therapy requires teamwork and if one side of the team can’t be on time, frustration causes chaos and no one heals.

Thank you for your questions. You can reach Dr. Baer through my blog or through Facebook.

Karen

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Karen answers Elena Z

admin on Apr 22nd 2010

Comment by Elena Z. on 13 Apr 2010 at 8:36 am

Karen,

Did you ever believe when you were a child that you would be alive as an adult and share your story in a book? Was there someone in particular who inspired you before you started therapy? I read somewhere that you kept journals as a child. What happened to them? I am amazed at how much detail you recall. I can’t remember what I did yesterday. How do you think you can remember so much? I love that you inspire so many people. I am going to look you up on Facebook.

Elena

Dear Elena,

No, I never imagined I’d share my story. Actually I never imagined I’d be alive and well and living a life I never thought possible. As a child, I had many dreams but they were often clouded by a never-ending cycle of abuse. I’m glad I fell into the right hands and found the help I needed to move forward with my life.

There were a few people along the way who have inspired me. Not by any person in particular, but I would find inspiration in books and stories about strong, independent women. I would fantasize being rescued and loved by someone. As an adult, I’ve learned to trust, but I’ve also been let down. I’ve made mistakes and learned many lessons.

I can’t ever remember not keeping a journal. As a young girl, I wrote every day. My grandmother would buy me those black and white composition books to write in. I wrote down my thoughts and feelings and shared my pain with my journal as if my journal was my only friend. One day, my mother found them hidden in a hope chest in the attic where I hid them and started reading one. That was all it took for her to gather them up and dump them in the kitchen sink and light fire to them with a match. Sometimes I can still see the flames and smell the sulfur from the burnt matches. I was devastated. I remember that day clearly. I believe the reason my memories remain so clear is that they were burned into memory from the trauma that surround them.

I’m not sure of how I remember so much, but at times I wish I could forget. I believe my journaling as a child kept my memories alive.  Once I wrote them down, they were hard to forget.

Thank you for your questions. I look forward to your Facebook friendship.

Karen

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Karen answers Josie

admin on Apr 22nd 2010

Comment by Josie on 12 Apr 2010 at 11:20 am

Dear Karen,

Please tell Dr. Baer that I am in love, love, love with him for treating you. He must be the kindest man in the world. Do you love him? Do you still get to see him or have you both parted ways after the book was published and interviews done? Do the both of you do seminars on your discoveries in treatment as patient and doctor? I would attend in a minute if you do so please send info. I am very excited to be studying D.I.D. which like you rather call it multiplicity M.P.D. Did you by chance create the word multiplicity? If not where did it come from and why do you like to use so frequently? I never heard anyone before you.

Good luck, XOXOXO and God Bless you!

Josie

Provo, Utah

Dear Josie,

Thank you for sharing! I will pass your message on to Dr. Baer. I’m sure it will bring a smile to his face. And yes, of course, I do love him. Dr. Baer has been a very important part of my life and healing. Without his unconditional care and support, I may not have survived all these years. Dr. Baer is my mentor and supportive friend and we continue to meet a few times a month. I don’t believe Dr. Baer and I will ever completely part ways; we have too much history and too many years of building our relationship. My past alters and I have accepted Dr. Baer as our family. I am forever grateful and will never forget him.

Dr. Baer and I have not done any seminars to date, but we would be interested in doing so, if asked.

Multiplicity is the name I prefer to use when I refer to multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder, because it sounds less threatening and less clinical. I’m not sure when or why I started using multiplicity. Maybe I always have. I’m sure I heard it elsewhere.

Thank you for your questions, wishing you all my best.

Karen

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Karen answers Kendolyn Nicole

admin on Apr 22nd 2010

Comment by Kendolyn Nicole on 12 Apr 2010 at 10:46 am

Dear Karen,

Thank you for listening to all of us hurting people. I needed someone to understand me and even though we never met, here you are, answering all my questions like you heard me ask them. It’s so strange to feel connected with you and don’t personally know you. It’s like I know you and feel you are present as a guide in my life. I don’t know why I feel so strongly. Never in my thirty four years of life did I think anyone would understand what I was going through. But you do. I hope to meet you someday.

Sister in Christ

Kendolyn Nicole

Dear Kendolyn Nicole,

You’re very welcome! I am touched by your faith in my answers and story. I’m not sure how to explain how I feel so connected to so many, but I believe it comes from understanding those who have been hurt as I have been. We share a similar pain and relate to each other on levels that those who have never been abused could not.

Thank you for sharing! It’s my hope that you continue your healing to wellness. It would be nice to meet you someday.

Karen

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Karen answers Bess

admin on Apr 22nd 2010

Comment by Bess on 12 Apr 2010 at 10:19 am

Greetings Karen!

Love to find your BLOG! I see you answer questions, better than blogging. I luv to ask a million questions but will refrain from doing so until I read all these answers first. I moved to Australia two years ago. Why I did not see your book before today stresses me. I had been waiting for such a story. I read it in one day. You are phenomenal. Book is the best read ever. Welcome to Australia book line. Found you on facebook. Will you be my friend there?

Bess, Australia

Dear Bess,

I am glad you found my blog, too! Thanks for visiting. I believe my blog is more of a question and answer column. I answer questions as soon as possible after receiving them.  I love answering questions and I give each my personal attention.

I’m sorry you haven’t heard of my story until recently. Dr. Baer and I have had quite a bit of coverage, more than most books. We appeared on Good Morning America. Dr. Baer has been interviewed by dozens of radio shows and appeared on the Mike & Juliet Show; Eyewitness News, and has made many appearances to share our story.

I hope you find my hundreds of questions and answers interesting! Of course I will accept your friendship on Facebook. Thank you for asking!

Karen

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