Archive for September, 2011

Karen answers Samantha

admin on Sep 17th 2011

Comment by Samantha on 24 May 2011 at 2:16 pm

Hi Karen,

My name is Samantha, I’m a senior in high school and for my final Psychology project I read Switching Time. I present next week and I was wondering if there was anything you found particularly fascinating about your treatment or psychotherapy in general. Also is there anything you wish Dr. Baer had included in the book? Do you feel whole again?

Samantha A

Dear Samantha,

I’m sorry that my answer is late. I hope your presentation went well and I would love to hear about your experience. To answer your question about what I found particularly fascinating about my treatment, I would have to say that Dr. Baer and I worked well as a team and for the first time, I felt trust.  I can’t recall myself, or Dr. Baer, ever being late for my sessions. There may have been a time or two over the many years, but always, always I knew I could count on him to be there. Dr. Baer must’ve known that I would not do well if left waiting. It could have caused alter chaos or worse, my never coming back.

As far as what I wish might else have been shared in the book? Of course there were more than a few things missing, but it’s my hope to include those rare and missed moments at a later time.

I do feel whole. I am my alters, my alters are me. We are now one and the same.

Thank you!

Karen

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Karen answers Catherine

admin on Sep 17th 2011

Comment by Catherine on 18 May 2011 at 2:44 am

What did you think of Oprah’s last shows and why do you think you were not chosen? Do you think James Freys book had anything to do with your story not being chosen. I think James Frey ruined all chances for nice people like you to be interviewed. Sad today.

Catherine.

Prosper, TX

Dear Catherine,

I didn’t watch every one of Oprah’s last shows, but of the shows I did watch, I either enjoyed them immensely or had mixed emotions. But I didn’t have any negative thoughts about why I wasn’t chosen to be a guest. I felt privileged to receive more than a few calls from Oprah’s staff during the last three years.  I was considered time and again, but in the end it simply wasn’t meant to be. Maybe my story will be considered for Ms. Winfrey’s new network. Time will tell.

I did, however, watch Oprah’s interview with James Frey. My thoughts were more on forgiveness for him. The interview also left me feeling glad I didn’t appear on her show years ago. I was not ready. I’m on a much better emotional level today for an interview than before. When my story was first published, I felt a bit overwhelmed with fear of what others may think. That may have caused an interviewer to not see me for who I am. In my opinion, that may have happened between Oprah and James. Skepticism is inevitable when it comes to sharing a unbelievable story such as mine, a woman with seventeen personalities.

I don’t believe James Frey ruined all chances for people like me, but he did cause red flags in many areas. I believe it’s best to share the truth. When my story was in the process of being published, we had to verify, prove, and provide documents to validate my story. Switching Time would not have been published without proof and verification on many levels. That’s not sad, just reality.

Karen

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Karen answers Amber

admin on Sep 17th 2011

Comment by Amber on 12 May 2011 at 3:36 pm

Dear Karen,

My mother has D.I.D. some times i feel like my family is the only one that even knows what this is. My grandfather (my mother father) says that every thing she is says she has gone threw as a child is a lie and my grandmother says the same. They do not speak to each other but i try to keep a healthy relationship with them both but its hard to know what the truth is some times. I’m glad there are people like you out there willing to tell there story. I’m trying to find out as much as i can about this topic and help my mother heal along with myself. Growing up i knew there was something off because at times she was the most loving mother and others i couldn’t do anything right and she would beat me but then not remember doing it. Life living with some one with D.I.D. is hard but being the one with it is harder still. I’m happy to see in some cases like yours it gets better.

Amber

Dear Amber,

Thank you for sharing! I understand how it’s easier to deny painful issues rather than deal with them. If my grandfather or father were asked questions about me, they would have denied everything, too. In my family, lies and denial was the dysfunctional way of dealing with everything. It was a major reason I developed multiple personality disorder. Picture this: a young child being abused yet needing to be a perfect child, without complaints, complying with everyone’s needs, making sure not to tell anything, keeping secrets while being abused by the same people who claim they loved me. Mine was the perfect childhood in which to develop multiple personality disorder. Feeling to blame, feeling unworthy, low self-esteem, lack of control, wanting to cry but unable to…the list goes on.

I’m sorry that you mother has D.I.D., but her not speaking to her father may be a good thing. You didn’t mention whether your mom is in therapy. If not, please help her seek a qualified therapist. In my opinion, the truth of what happened doesn’t matter as much as how your mom feels. It’s obvious she’s hurting, and something from the past is causing her pain.  But that’s what she’ll uncover in therapy. What each of us suffers may not be equally traumatic to another. The truth is, your mom needs someone to listen to her, really listen. It is my hope she finds safety for herself. And I believe once your mom feels safe, she’ll become less difficult to live with.

Please remember to take care of yourself first. If your mom is beating you, it’s not okay. Please seek help for yourself, too. It’s important to be safe.

Wishing your family all my best,

Karen

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Karen answers Denny

admin on Sep 11th 2011

Comment by Denny on 18 Apr 2011 at 4:55 pm

Hi Karen,

Read your book! Awesome testimony of bravery! Congratulations on your recovery. I wish you happiness, peace and contentment along with love.

Keep your spirit light! You will never be forgotten!

Denny

Washington

Dear Denny,

Thank you having faith in me, believing my story to be awesome, and remembering me! That means so much to me!  It’s so nice to hear wishes for happiness, peace, contentment and love. It’s important that we share with each other. Learning from each other brings knowledge, strength, and well-being. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the support I receive from friends like you.

We all need to stay brave and face life’s challenges one day at a time. My journey to wholeness continues on.

Thank you,

Karen

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Karen answers Mik

admin on Sep 11th 2011

Comment by Mik on 11 Apr 2011 at 12:52 pm

Karen,

I have many times in my youth that I have been told that I’ve done or said something but I dont’ recall any of those situations. I don’t know if what I’ve experienced in my life could cause this to happen or not. I have a hard time talking to peaple from my past/when growing up because I feel like I need to apologize to them all in case I may have said or done something to them. My father killed himself when I was 7 and I carried around the burden that I caused him to do it but I know that I didn’t. I only know things of my childhood based off of stories that I have been told. Sometimes when I hear music I can recall certain situations but…

Could this be something more?

Dear Mik,

It could be something more, but only someone more qualified than I can help you to find out. I dissociated many moments and felt the need to apologize time and again for unknown things. Guilt of the unknown kept me in dark thoughts and feeling depressed. I assume those feelings came from losing a part of me, and the grief that came from that loss.

I’m sorry that you lost your father to suicide.  He must have been deeply troubled and felt hopeless. Being a child of seven years is too young to comprehend what led to your father taking his life. I am not a therapist and can’t give advice, but I can share that therapy can help you sort out all that is troubling you, including causing you to lose time or not remember. Lost memory could be a coping mechanism and a protective shield. Maybe in the safety of meeting with a qualified therapist you can discover these underlying emotions, acknowledge them, and begin your healing journey.

Please know that hearing music that reminds you of a past memory is a trigger. It may be that you are ready to seek help and start your own healing journey. That’s how I started mine. When certain triggers made me aware that something was not right, I knew I needed help. I knew my apologetic nature was coming from my past. In therapy I discovered not only what hurt me, but who I was meant to be.

I have faith in you. Wishing you all my best as your journey begins to unfold.

Karen

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Karen answers Sol

admin on Sep 11th 2011

Comment by Sol on 05 Apr 2011 at 5:45 pm

Hi Karen,

Thank you for making a difference in this world of uncertainty. I read your book. It helped me a lot. Will you be appearing in any documentary anytime soon? Dr. Richard Baer? I think you should do one together.

Best regards,

Sol

Dear Sol,

You’re welcome! I am forever writing in hopes to one day publish a sequel to “Switching Time”, with Dr. Baer of course! As far as a documentary goes, I’m not sure at this time, but we’re most certainly open to the idea.

Thank you for caring.

Wishing you all my best!

Karen

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Karen answers Hallie

admin on Sep 11th 2011

Comment by Hallie on 28 Apr 2011 at 6:08 pm

Hey Karen!

First of all, I just want to say how much I respect and admire all that you have gone through and accomplished. I read the book a few years ago and have been fascinated with MPD ever since and hurt for those affected by it. When I discovered this site, I had to write to you and ask a few questions. I had questions for you after reading the book and especially now after reading your blog. Being a strong Christian myself, I had a lot of spiritual questions throughout the book. When I read the epilogue I did not seem to detect any Christian undertones or beliefs, but your answers on the blog seem that you are a believer as well. So, I guess I just wanted to know your spiritual views in your life, if and when you accepted Christ? Do you think God may have given you MPD as a blessing in a form of protecting you and your mind during your childhood? I know there is no answer to why God allows things like that to happen to his beloved children, but I guess I wondered what you thought His plan for you was through all of that. Have you been able to truly forgive those who have abused you? I hope these questions aren’t too personal, but as a praying woman myself I was so encouraged by your blog! I appreciate and support your constant prayers for your readers!   is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.” – Psalms 46:1-3

Keep doing all that you are doing, you are a blessing! Adding you to my prayer list

Hallie

Dear Hallie,

Thank you for your kind thoughts, compliments, and especially for asking me about my spiritual beliefs.  Not many have asked about this and I don’t mind answering. No question is too personal for me to answer. I’m a grateful believer in Jesus Christ.

Many years ago, after integration was complete and my journey continued on in therapy, I accepted Jesus through a friend in a McDonald’s parking lot over coffee, an egg McMuffin, and a long discussion. I felt all along that my illness, multiple personality disorder, was a God-sent coping mechanism. God removed most of my pain by providing me with an amazing way to fragment and separate my thoughts and painful memories through dissociation and alter help. I’ve been blessed and I know it! I also believe my meeting Dr. Baer and receiving his care was God’s doing. I have faith and believe there is a reason for everything. God did not prevent the trauma I experienced, but He did create a way for me to survive it. I have forgiven those who have abused me.

I was raised Catholic and continue my spiritual journey at a community church in Texas. I believe God has a plan for me and I’m doing my best to keep my heart and soul open to hear His wisdom.

God bless you.

Karen

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Karen answers Peaceful Friends

admin on Sep 11th 2011

Comment by Peaceful Friends on 08 May 2011 at 10:41 pm

Happy Mother’s Day, Dear Karen! Missing You! Please come back to us! Love you!

Dear Peaceful friends!

Thank you! Well received! I am back, a bit behind but doing my best to catch up. Thank you all for your support and prayers!

Love always,

Karen

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Karen answers Whitney

admin on Sep 8th 2011

Comment by Whitney on 28 Mar 2011 at 6:35 am

Ms. Karen,

Hello! I am a Masters in Community Counseling student at George Mason University. We were assigned to read a memoir or true story regarding someone’s struggle with a mental disorder or illness.

Your book struck me. It was beautiful, filled with hope, and painful to read. My heart goes out to you for what you have experienced and how strong you are to work towards overcoming it all.

My question is- what type of “things” do you think those up-and-coming in the therapy profession would know/do differently when working with someone who has DID/ Multiple personalities?

Thanks so much! I am looking forward to sharing your story with my classmates.

Whitney

Dear Whitney,

Thank you for your kind and heartfelt thoughts and compliments! I’m touched to know my story made a difference to you. It’s my desire to encourage hope through sharing my story. If I’m able to help in the smallest way, I will. There have been times during my therapy years when I wished to gain knowledge and understanding of why I felt the way I did. I was fortunate to have Dr. Baer’s confidence in treating me and his wholehearted and unconditional care. We made a great team, and it most certainly was teamwork at it’s best.

To answer the second part of your question I would say as a new therapist you should strive to be consistent, take your time, set clear boundaries, especially with touch. Dr. Baer learned a lot as my therapy progressed.  You will learn as you go…each person is unique. In my opinion, all relationships must be treated with compassion, respect, and safety. Reality may appear different for a multiple, but in the end, reality is simply shedding old false beliefs and being realistic.

During my therapy, the one thing I would fantasize I would change was not being hugged by Dr. Baer. The lack of a hug caused me unnecessary grief. There was a time when I felt un-worthy, disgusting, and my self-esteem felt contaminated. I had never been hugged by my father or mother. I felt ashamed for wanting and needing to be hugged. But I learned that Dr. Baer’s not hugging me was more about him than me, and more about my alters’ needs for discipline and growth. It was all about being consistent and setting boundaries. I accepted and respected Dr. Baer for sticking to his principles. That’s how I came to learn trust.

I believe it’s best not to repeatedly hug, but I see no reason to withhold an occasional safe hug. We are all human, right? Than again, I’m not therapist. In my opinion, there needs to be mutual agreement and only the therapist and patient can decide what’s best for both. With me and Dr, Baer, there was no hug until the end. That worked for us. We built a trustworthy relationship.

Wishing you all my best on your Master’s. I would love to hear how sharing my story with your classmates goes!

Karen

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Karen answers Kenzie

admin on Sep 8th 2011

Comment by Kenzie on 25 Mar 2011 at 7:57 am

Good day, Karen!

Kim, the MPD woman on the Oprah show said she can’t be integrated. That it’s not possible? Why? What do you think about her statement? You are an inspiration to me. Thank you.

Kenzie, UK

Dear Kenzie,

Thank you for asking! I’m not sure, and I’ve never met or spoken to Kim. But we did share an article together a few years ago when both of our stories ran side by side. I can’t answer for Kim, but in my opinion, based on my personal experience, I would guess that she’s not ready to integrate. I don’t believe in the word “can’t” when it refers to integration. For a multiple like me or Kim to heal, integration is a must. I have no regrets and would welcome talking integration over with her.

I believe Kim simply does not wish to integrate based on her own personal experience. Through the help of her therapist, Kim has had quite a bit of exposure. I was fortunate not to have shared my story before integration.  Dr. Baer respected the confidentiality and boundaries of our relationship. He didn’t share with news media before we talked about it, and I expressed an interest in helping others who have suffered as I have, and then only when I was safe and well into the next phase of my journey, after integration. I believe too much exposure has led to Kim’s not moving forward with integration.

Hope my answers helps.

Karen

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