Archive for June, 2010

Karen answers Kerri

admin on Jun 7th 2010

Comment by Kerri on 30 May 2010 at 6:30 pm

Hi, Karen,

I am a survivor of an abusive childhood but the way I have moved on from it is so different to the way many others do. Rather than reliving the abuse over and over again, which the mind does ad nauseum, I got influenced by the Buddhist philosophy of concentrating only on what is happening right now. How that worked for me is that I would recognize that, right now, (whenever it was that I would sink into suffering) I am having memories of the abuse but because those memories bring me suffering, I choose to stop thinking about them. For that to work though, I had to first accept that such abuse was part of my childhood because I found that the years I spent reliving the abuse were caused by a resistance to the fact that the abuse did, in fact, happen. My mind would scream ‘how could they have done that to me?’and I would relive it again and again because I kept fighting the fact that people did such things. It was only after I realised that I was arguing with reality that I was able to then say whenever a bad memory came up, oh, it’s just a memory, I accept that it happened to me, but it’s over now and I don’t want the pain of reliving it in my life anymore. So I will move on and think of the positive things in my life instead. When I adopted this approach to my past, my suffering was relieved immediately. You yourself say many times that the past is the past. Do you think that survivors of child abuse would be better served by therapists if we weren’t encouraged to keep going back in time and reliving the abuse, and instead focused on just accepting without question that it did happen but that it is all over now? Any behavioral and emotional issues that are caused by the abuse can be dealt with as they happen right here and right now, rather than endlessly going back to the cause of them. I say this because perhaps healing can take place a lot quicker with this approach. I read of how DID suffererers spend many years in therapy. Buddhism is a philosophy that says we can move on to a happier life a lot quicker than that. What are your thoughts?

Regards,

Kerri

Dear Kerri,

Thank you for sharing! I’m glad to hear that you have found a way to heal that’s best suited for you. That’s so important. But for some, like me, there was no forgetting. I tried that with no success. My past memories of abuse would come to me whenever triggered by something and sometimes even startle me awake at night. Forgetting was not an option. How I personally wished to forget the horror I endured.  It would have saved me many years of grief, low self-esteem, therapy, and struggling to get through each day. I am happy that works for you, if it really does.  Often forgetting is just temporary.

I don’t believe anyone chooses to relive the abuse once suffered. It needs to be dealt with as the memories come forth. For me, it was like living in hell, but after the initial shock of my memory pain subsided, I was able to move forward. In my opinion, there are no quick fixes. I believe that though it’s possible to put the past behind you without dealing with it, the trauma left undiscovered and unacknowledged will come back ten-fold. There were times I tried to forget being abused, but forgetting just allowed my wounds to fester until they burst. I was a mess. If I knew then what I know now, I would never have attempted to hide or neglect my memories.

Accepting my past abuse was the first step. When a dark thought permeates my day, I quickly put those thoughts aside, but acknowledge them and make sure I understand that although they are a part of me, there is no room in my present or future to keep them in my life. As time passes, the duration of these dark thoughts becomes less. I no longer worry about holding onto to the past. I am free of those who have once hurt me. I will be hurt no more.

I’m not sure how to answer your question regarding therapists wanting their patients go back to talk about their past. That was never a part of my experience. Dr. Baer never encouraged me to specifically talk about my past. Whatever we talked about came from me. In my case, what worked for me was exactly what I received. My therapist never force-fed me into recalling my past or anything else.  What he did was force me to take charge of my own therapy!

Thank you for your challenging questions.

Karen

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Karen answers Aubrey

admin on Jun 7th 2010

Comment by Aubrey on 28 May 2010 at 7:38 am

Karen! You are AWESOME and INSPIRING! Thank you Thank you Thank you for each new day’s encouraging moments on facebook and here! When I wake I check my facebook and know there will be some form of wisdom from you. I enjoy it! Don’t worry if you need time for yourself BECAUSE you have stored many good stuff in your BOXES. I like your Photo quotes too.

Whatever comes my way, there is something in your box that speaks rights to my heart. Thank you for surviving to share with us opinions! Love ya!

Aubrey, from Seattle

Dear Aubrey,

Thank you for your kind thoughts and compliments!  I am touched by your checking for inspiration on my Facebook page!  When I check Facebook each morning, I search for the same type of inspiration. It helps me start my day, too! We are all the same! We all need a bit of inspiration each day.

Please know that all I post here and on Facebook comes from my heart and brings meaning to my life. I believe if something helps me get moving it may help someone else. I share because I care.

Wishing you happiness and a sense of calm!

Karen

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Karen answers Dupree’s Mom, Amy

admin on Jun 7th 2010

Comment by Dupree’s Mom, Amy, on 25 May 2010 at 7:00 pm

my goodness my daughter blows my mind sometimes!!! she came to me this evening after reading your Thomas Edison quote and asked if you were the one that Switching Time was about….i said yes and she asked if she could read it. i told her it was waaaaay too grown up for her…that it even made ME cry and that she will need to be older to read it. i told her that i had hoped you would write a children’s book someday and she said she really wants to read it and wanted me to tell her what was so bad that i cried….i explained the basics..that all the grown ups that were supposed to take care of you hurt you in very very serious ways. she wanted to know how old you were…she was upset that you were so young. then i tried to explain Multiples….i hope i did it justice Karen!! i likened it to when you are sitting in class and you dont want to be there so you day dream…your mind takes over and pretty soon you arent in class anymore and you dont have ANY idea what the teacher said or what you missed when you “come back”. i explained that for you, the things that happened to you were so painful that your mind made lots and lots of people to take you away and try to help you forget what was happening and then other people were made to help you live the best you could……she thought that was pretty amazing….

we love you miss karen….you are such a testament to the strength we all posess no matter what…

you are just amazing. im grateful to have your story to tell my daughter and im so glad my boyfriend read it!! i’m so glad my “sister wife” Nikkee let me borrow it!!!.

now write that childrens book!!!!

Dear Amy,

You’re daughter IS amazing! I love that she put two and two together on her own, had a question, and came to you with it! How wonderful to hear that her trust in you is solid. I could never go to my mom about anything. I was threatened into silence and trusted no one. My alters became my family.

I loved the way you explained multiplicity to your daughter, Dupree. I couldn’t have done better myself. That’s why I share my story, to bring awareness to adults who in turn gain the knowledge to be aware and share with their children. Your daughter may be a bit to young for the book, but not too young to know that there are people who can hurt her.

I am writing a sequel and a companion book for children on trusting their instincts. I believe there are many signs to be aware of if we pay attention to them. My hope is to bring awareness to all so that no children suffer as I have.

I believe I survived for a reason. God willing, I will continue to use my voice to help to the best of my ability.

Thank you, Amy and Dupree, for sharing! Thank you Nikkee for your support! I am touched and shedding happy tears as I write…

Have a wonderful day!

Karen

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Karen answers Dupree

admin on Jun 7th 2010

Comment by Dupree on 25 May 2010 at 6:57 am

Karen i know you don’t like to think about your past but my mom told me about the book that you published, i could not even think of that and i am sorry for what happened and i am happy that you got better god bless you.

Dear Dupree,

Thank you for your kind thoughts. I truly appreciate them.

I am glad to hear that your mom has talked to you about what happened to me. That means a lot to me. Knowledge brings awareness. It is my desire to encourage hope through sharing my story.

Wishing you all my best!  God bless you!

Karen

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Karen answers John

admin on Jun 7th 2010

Comment by john michael vanOson 24 May 2010 at 5:53 am

Hello ANGEL Karen.

GREAT WORK Here.

Keep Doin’

What Ya’ Doin’

Which IS

Doin’ Good

Which IS

Doin’ Good

For OTHERS

Which IS

Doin’ Good

For

SELF

Which IS

YOUR Self

Which IS

OUR SELVES.

YOU IS Beautiful In EveryWay.

A Beautiful Being Of LIGHT.

LOVE.

Always

John xxxxx

Melbourne Australia

I Am Happy WE Friends On Facebook.

Dear John,

Thank you so much! What a warm welcoming message! Happy to meet you, too!

Wishing you a wonderful day!

Karen

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Karen answers Revi

admin on Jun 7th 2010

Comment by Revi on 21 May 2010 at 11:30 pm

Hello Karen.

Please to meet you. Thank you for friendship on facebook. Very happy you kind to accept me. I would like to get to know you. I am professor of psychology in India. Good people you are. Happiness sent to you. I study english it not so good. I know about your suffering and sad you hurt. Good luck to you.

Revi

Dear Revi,

Thank you for your friendship!  I am glad to meet you, too!  I appreciate your support. I accept the happiness you send to me and I’m honored by your kindness. Thank you for understanding my suffering and for your well wishes.

Please know that if you have any questions for Dr. Baer or myself, you can ask them here.

Have a nice day!

Karen

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Karen answers Kathleen

admin on Jun 7th 2010

Comment by Kathleen Schramm on 21 May 2010 at 9:50 am

I ordered Switching Time today. I look forward to learning more of your story.

Dear Kathleen,

Thank you for ordering Switching Time! Dr. Baer and I truly appreciate hearing from you. It is my desire to encourage hope through sharing my story.  Please know that if you have any questions, you can ask them here on my blog.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Karen

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Karen answers Nancy

admin on Jun 7th 2010

Comment by Nancy on 20 May 2010 at 10:01 pm

Dear Karen.

Thank you for inspiring me to live well. After I finished reading your book I grew up in sorts. I was demanding, childish and saw myself in your story. Thank you for helping me. I had a very hard time putting your book down. Do you ever wonder what it would be like today if your alters were spared?

Nancy

Dear Nancy,

Thank you for choosing to live!  I am happy to hear from you. Sometimes reading about someone else’s journey changes your own perspective on life. What was once so important turns out to be not so important after all. In truth, we all learn something new about ourselves after each experience we encounter. That is growth and maturity. I know that when I read an inspirational story, good thoughts fill me with knowledge and understanding of something other than myself. I awaken a part in me that gains nourishment, hope, and the ability to move forward.

I can’t imagine what would happen if my alters were still present as they once were. I have grown to accept that I am one woman and no longer need alter help. When my alters were a necessary part of my life, there was much confusion and alter chaos. I was depressed, suicidal, and could never envision any happiness in my future. Multiplicity is a sad life.

Since my alters are me and I am my alters, their individual parts are no longer required to come to my rescue.

Thank you for your compliments.

Karen

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Karen answers Isabella

admin on Jun 7th 2010

Comment by Isabella on 18 May 2010 at 7:34 pm

Hi Karen,

How do you put up with annoying people? I have DID and have been in therapy for three years. As the days move along more and more people annoy me. Did you ever feel this way? I can’t believe how much strength I learned from you through your writing. Thanks. I would not be here if it were not from your calm presence in my soul.

Isabella

France

Dear Isabella,

Great question! How to put up with annoying people?  Any suggestions? Of course I’ve felt the same as you, and there are times I still do. During my therapy years when I was emotionally drained, I tried to stay away from those who stressed me. But that’s not possible if you happen to live with or near one. I felt frustrated at times but never confidant enough to say STOP. I was the great listener and diffuser. Yet no one but Dr. Baer heard me.

I never shared with anyone what was discussed in my therapy sessions. The more I learned from Dr. Baer from how he listened to me, the more I paid attention to myself, and the better I felt. I need to take time for myself to heal. What I once assumed was selfishness on my part proved to be a necessity in order to survive and live my life. I had to let go of those who annoyed me until I was well enough to decide whether I needed that person in my life. I believe people come into your life for a reason. Annoying people are there for a season. I found that once they no longer receive your undivided attention, they move on to someone else. True friends don’t annoy you; they respect you.

During therapy, I found the stronger I became, the less I could tolerate annoying people and dysfunctional relationships. Maybe that’s what’s happening to you.

Though I no longer enable others and understand the need to focus more on myself, I continue to feel drained at times from the constant I neediness I experience from some people.  In my job this is a constant challenge. I understand this now. During therapy I did the same to Dr. Baer. I now walk away, and with caller ID, I simply choose whether or not I’m able to listen at that moment. There are times when I’m open to conversation, but not when feeling sad, deep in thought, or working on healing myself.

My sanity and time is important. So sometimes I put up a WALL (wait a little longer). Believe it or not those who call me with urgency often have soon forgotten why they called me in the first place. I realize they just found someone else to annoy.

Thank you for your challenging questions and for all you compliments!

Karen

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Karen answers Patrick

admin on Jun 7th 2010

Comment by Patrick, UK on 15 May 2010 at 7:35 am

Good morning, Karen!

Finished reading A Life in Pieces yesterday. I am happy for you. I hope you have less stress in life. I believe you are one remarkable woman. Thanking you for allowing others to see through your eyes the entire process of MPD. I am honored to know you. Joining you on facebook. Please accept my friend request.

Patrick UK

Dear Patrick,

Thank you for your kind thoughts and compliments! I truly appreciated hearing them. As you know by now, I have accepted your Facebook friend request. It’s my desire to encourage hope through sharing my story. Looking forward to getting to know you.

Karen

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