Archive for October, 2010

Karen answers Toi

admin on Oct 25th 2010

Comment by Toi on 26 Sep 2010 at 3:28 pm

Hey Karen,

The prayer for those burdened with worry you just posted is exactly what I needed at this very second. I am a worry wart. I finished reading your book and had one hour till dinner. I was worried about so many things and now I have your prayer. I am copying it and reading it every single day. Your story has me feeling relieved that nothing like that happened to me. I do have a friend who I thought was like you, which led me to learn more from your story. I learned enough to know that my friend is NOT like you at all. She is vicious and attacks me and others claiming it’s not her. I kind of am torn how to maintain our friendship when under attack. Do I stay or leave? I don’t know. You and your therapist deserve a reward for bravery and surviving the battleground that I will deem ‘Therapy’. Best of luck to you both.

Toi

Dear Toi,

Thank you for sharing! Dr. Baer and I truly appreciate hearing your thoughts. Please know that our book is not a guide to cure multiplicity. Each multiple is unique and has a different journey towards healing. There may be more to your friend’s story. Maybe your friend is a multiple with an additional disorder that requires attention.

No one needs to maintain a bad relationship. But true friends will step back and wait over a bad spell hoping to gain knowledge and understanding. Please be patient. Your friend may be in turmoil and lashing out today, but with support, that may subside. Think back to what brought you together in the first place. I thought of myself as toxic at times and hated myself. But fortunately Dr. Baer and my close friends never gave up on me. In the end we worked together to maintain close respectful relationships. A multiple’s life is difficult before, during, and after therapy. It takes a lifetime to heal. I’m blessed no one has given up on me.

Wishing you all my best!

Karen

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Karen answers Alexa

admin on Oct 25th 2010

Comment by Alexa on 26 Sep 2010 at 11:23 am

Dear Karen,

I am amazed that you are alive after all that happened to you. Good luck in your future. May you find peace and happiness. Know that you are loved by so many people who you have given so freely your heart. Take care. God Bless you and keep you in good spirits. Has anyone hugged you lately? I cried at the end of the book when Dr. Richard finally gave you the hug he deprived you of for so many years. Hugs are not bad. My psychologist hugs me after each session. It’s a healthy caring feeling I carry until the next time we meet.

Alexa

Dear Alexa,

Thank you for your well wishes and compliments! I, too, am amazed to be alive. Life may have been difficult for me but I was lucky to have found help and support from Dr. Baer, family, and friends.

I do receive, give, and accept hugs these days and feel good about it. I always felt a hug to be very important to my healing. For me, a hug represented acceptance and care. I never thought a hug would be any more than that. But sometimes hugs can bring out discomfort in others.

I don’t blame Dr. Baer nor feel he deprived hugging me on purpose. A hug to Dr. Baer was much more his issue than mine. I understand that his professionalism got in the way while he was trying to be the best therapist he could be. I have accepted that as a part of him and never held a grudge. I am now grateful when he hugs me when we meet. But I understand why a hug was not something he was comfortable with during the therapeutic part of our relationship.

Hugs are not bad, but they can cause chaos for someone with many alters like I once had. If Dr. Baer would’ve hugged me and a younger, traumatized alter mistook that simple hug as an abusive act, our therapy would not have survived. Each relationship is unique and it takes time to build trust and heal. Dr. Baer did his best to be sure that no harm came to me and my alters. That didn’t mean Dr. Baer didn’t want to share a hug, it meant he couldn’t at that time. Dr. Baer’s no touch, no hug treatment worked best for me. Though I would’ve loved a hug from him, I now look back and understand why it was best not to have received one. I survived. Dr. Baer treated me with respect.

Thank you for your questions and thoughts,

Karen

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Karen answers Philip

admin on Oct 25th 2010

Comment by Philip D. on 25 Sep 2010 at 6:34 pm

What was merging with Karen 1 like?

Philip D.

Dear Philip,

Merging Karen 1 was simply adding Karen 1 into the whole of me. I believe Karen 1, like each of my alters, was simply one part of the whole. Like one piece of a puzzle, completed. Once Karen 1 merged within me, her memories blended and became mine. I no longer recall Karen 1’s individual uniqueness. That came with integration. The walls between my alters are now absent.  I am Karen 1 just as I’m each of my other sixteen ex-alters. We are one.

Thank you for your question.

Karen

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Karen answers SoulWind

admin on Oct 25th 2010

Comment by SoulWind on 25 Sep 2010 at 5:50 pm

I believe that most of us struggle with the concept of love. We came from an environment where trust is betrayed, and trust is so interwoven with love. We don’t feel you can find true intimacy with another without trust, so it stands to reason the confused feelings many of us have related to trying to love someone or allowing oneself to be loved. After many years of therapy we came to a crossroad, a decision to continue the hate and anger, or attempt to redefine what love is or should be again. It is not an easy path to walk.

SoulWind

Dear SoulWind,

I agree loving someone and feeling loved is not an easy path to walk once one has suffered horrific abuse. Actually, love is not easy for most. For me trust and love are different. I can love someone but not trust him or her. Trust is harder for me to establish than love. After suffering abuse and struggling through years of therapy, I’m amazed that I’m able to love unconditionally. The odds of my ability to do so should be slim to none.

I’ve met many people who can’t love anyone but him or herself. That saddens me. Some believe that to love someone means to be sexually intimate. Not true. Love is love. And for those who can’t admit to loving someone: how sad for them. Why? Because love is the sole reason we’re here. I believe one act of kindness at a time can help change anger and hate to love.

I’m incapable of hating and harboring anger toward those who’ve betrayed me. Maybe I should, but I can’t think of a reason that maintaining anger could benefit me. I believe that God loves me unconditionally and helped me survive against great odds by creating a incomprehensible coping mechanism. Of course, I’m human and get my feelings hurt. But I’m here for a reason. And love is one of those reasons.

It’s my desire to encourage hope through sharing my story…

Thank you for sharing your thoughts,

Karen

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Karen answers Autumn

admin on Oct 25th 2010

Comment by Autumn on 24 Sep 2010 at 12:32 pm

Hello Karen,

I have read Switching Time twice and find it hard to comprehend the pain you have overcome. I was molested as a child and am only 16 right now. Do you have any ideas for how I can try to look past my….past?

Dear Autumn,

I’m sorry to hear that you were molested and are suffering from your past at sixteen. Have you talked to someone? Are you in therapy?  Have you reported your abuse? I don’t know all that you have been through, but I feel your pain.  Please seek help as soon as possible.

I know it’s hard to understand the pain I have overcome. I couldn’t heal on my own, but it was possible to begin the healing process with support and counseling. I thought I could help myself but my pain was far greater than I could manage by myself. I learned to build trust, and once trust was established, I started my journey towards healing. I admit, it’s not easy to get over the pain of an abusive past, but you can lessen the impact your past holds on you.

I am not a therapist and can’t give advice, but in my experience, I found that releasing what happened to me in a safe setting with my therapist lifted a ton of weight off my shoulders. Once I was able to share without shame what happened to me, my fear of living slowly subsided. It takes time to heal, and though my road was bumpy, I was determined not to allow my past abuse to keep me a prisoner in my present and future. I won’t lie to you. Sharing pain opens a door that cannot be closed. But I truly believe that once you open the door that holds your dark secret past, you will find those secrets exposed and defused. Those secrets will lose their power and have nowhere to go but away.

Please take care and know that what happened to you was not your fault. You were a child. Please know that there is no shame in being a victim.

Wishing you a safe journey of your own.

Karen

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Karen answers Beth

admin on Oct 25th 2010

Comment by Beth, on 23 Sep 2010 at 5:39 pm

Dear sweet Karen,

Your life story is a miracle. I have always wanted to hear of a miracle and I have been granted my prayers. The weight of your story was so much to bear, hearing about the horrendous abuse you faced as a young girl, but when I realized how God had given you this amazing miracle of being able to practically set aside the bulk of the feelings and pain from the abuse until it was ready to be dealt with as a mature adult, I was absolutely blown away. Your story defies so many things I once thought to be true. Baer’s book is now in my top ten favorite books ever read and I thank you so much for allowing him to publish it. You are a strong individual and I will never forget your battle story.
I only wish that I could know about and have had the chance to change the lives of the poor children who didn’t make it past the abuse. Because of you, Karen, I promise to never be ashamed to question a troubled child and try to led them out of despair before it’s too late.

Much love and pride to have even known of your story,

Beth

Dear Beth,

I am speechless. Thank you so much for your kind thoughts and compliments! I’m grateful to receive the God-sent coping mechanism of multiplicity that helped me survive until I was able to deal with it in the safety of therapy. I was fortunate to have found good therapeutic help. I’m not sure what would have happened if I fell into the wrong hands. I believe there’s a reason for everything. I believe Dr. Baer was God sent. My story may defy reality, but it’s true. I would love to learn more about how my brain created multiplicity. I wish someone could explain the details to me, but what matters most is that I survived. I’m blessed.

I’m glad to hear that my story changed your thoughts to never to be ashamed to question a troubled child. I think it’s best to be there for a child, but without asking too many questions and allowing them to share in their own way. Sometimes a child will wish to please you, so question with caution. And if the child confirms being abused, report what the child shared with the police or proper authority. It saddens me that so many children continue to be abused with no one to help them. I am attuned to people and sometimes find myself sensing a child has been abused or an adult is an abuser. When I suspect something is not right I pay close attention. I observe closely, and make sure I don’t falsely accuse anyone. It’s hard not to jump to conclusions when abuse is suspected, but sometimes it’s best to take a small step back and be sure.

Thank you for caring,

Karen

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Karen answers Norah

admin on Oct 25th 2010

Comment by Norah on 23 Sep 2010 at 2:24 pm

Hi Karen,

Quick check. How are you? Been noticing the step back in posted answers. I have been drawn to your thoughts on this blog. I check every few days to see what else I can learn to help my cousin who suffers from D.I.D. I find more information and help from you than any other media. Please keep on. You are a true inspiration. If I could do anything other than pray for you, I would. Sending all my love. Good day.

Norah

Dear Norah,

Thank you for caring! I’m doing okay, just going through a few life changes. I’ll always be here, although my answers may take a while to post. I’ll do my best to answer questions quickly.

I truly appreciate your compliments! It’s nice to hear that I inspire you to help your cousin.

Sending your prayers is very thoughtful and helps me realize that my answers encourage hope. Thank you!

Wishing you all my best!

Karen

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Karen answers Suzen

admin on Oct 25th 2010

Comment by Suzen on 20 Sep 2010 at 9:26 pm

Hi Karen,

Just read the book. I am disturbed and yet happy that you overcame your condition.
 I am a preschool teacher and a child advocate against violence. 
At the end of the book you were willing to let your story out for the sake of helping other children. I have encountered many children with many different signs of abuse. What other signs can you advise me and what would of told me if I were your teacher and you had your voice? I know impossible to meet you but would love to correspond with you since my friend and I are opening a new school that will help all children. Look forward to hearing from you. Good luck and many days of happiness to you and your family.

Suzen

Dear Suzen,

Thank you for sharing! I am glad to hear from a child advocate against violence and hope to learn more from you. I would like to help to the best of my ability, but please know that I’m not a therapist and can only share from my own personal thoughts, opinions, and experiences.

During my childhood there were many signs that were visible yet ignored. I believe a few reasons were from lack of knowledge and fear of getting involved with with any child being abused. I recall one teacher who “felt” my pain but feared acknowledging it. As I look back this nun did the right thing by not singling me out and bringing attention to my bruises or appearance. I recall Sister B making eye contact with me, working her way back to my seat, while casually stopping at every other students desk along the way. I knew her goal was to talk to me. I sensed it. When she arrived at my desk, she knelt down and whispered to me that she knew I was not okay and that if I needed to talk, she would listen. It was in this sister that I first confided.

I believe some signs of abuse are low self-esteem; simple things forgotten, not socializing with fellow students, being bullied, nausea, headaches, not wanting to go home, seeking approval, trying to be the best student, always compliant yet distant.  Hope these few will help.

I’d like to meet you someday!  Wishing you all my best!

Karen

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Karen answers Carson

admin on Oct 2nd 2010

Comment by Carson on 28 Sep 2010 at 7:43 pm

karen,

what if you were able to drum up your alters again? which alters would you choose? any favorites? i would think it best to keep a few. why didn’t you? did your doctor baer talk you into integration or did you decide with your group of alters? you are one fascinating chic. awesome reading your story.

carson
, south carolina

Dear Carson,

Interesting questions! If I had kept a few alters and didn’t integrate all of them, then I would not be complete and feel whole. The sole purpose of integration was to become one. My alters were no longer needed to help me survive as they once were during my childhood. Time and again as an adult my alters would cause chaos because they really did not understand the reality of the adult world. My alters did a great job protecting me, but now that I am an adult I can deal with my problems in an adult way.

To answer your question about which alter I would’ve like to keep separate, I’d most likely choose Holdon, the last alter integrated. Why? Because Holdon seemed to know more about everything, including me. But honestly, he too grew tired and was unable to keep up without the other alters. His job was done. Dr. Baer never talked me into integration. Dr. Baer suggested the possibility, my alters decided it was best.

Thank you for your compliments.

Karen

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