Archive for November, 2011

Karen answers Amy

admin on Nov 28th 2011

Comment by Amy on 02 Oct 2011 at 7:39 pm

Hi Karen!

You are absolutely incredible. I met a woman a couple years ago with DID and she showed me her journal with all the different handwritings, and she had sketches of the personalities. I am so glad that someone had the strength and the courage to allow their story to become a book, because it offered a whole level of insight into what she was struggling with. I still am so impressed with you and how amazing you are. Your story made me cry, and knowing that you are not losing time anymore is a miracle and is so wonderful.

Thank you again for letting the world know you story, its one more step to ending the horrible stigma of mental illness.

Amy

Dear Amy,

Thank you for your kind compliment! When making the decision to share my story, Dr. Baer and I both hoped to reach all those who have suffered, or knew of someone who had suffered, with multiplicity. I’m glad my story helped you understand the woman you met a few years ago. Hearing stories such as yours touches me. I agree, Switching Time has brought a whole new level of insight to a once incomprehensible illness. Sharing brings knowledge and knowledge brings wisdom. I continue to learn something new about myself each day.

I truly appreciate your thoughts and though my story made you cry, please know that I’m alive and well, thanks to Dr. Baer and my alters, who protected me my entire life.

Wishing you all my best!

Karen

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Karen answers Danielle

admin on Nov 27th 2011

Comment by Danielle on 01 Oct 2011 at 8:29 pm

I have great respect for you and would like to ask if you could share any recent hurts that took you for a loop back to end of your therapy. I am in a loop right now I am embarrassed to admit I hurt again. What can you share of getting over new hurts? Thank you.

Dear Danielle,

There have been hurts, but I deal with them quickly by acknowledging the hurt and trying to place it where it belongs. If it’s an old hurt resurfacing, I remember what I’d learned from the past and let it go by not allowing it to affect my present or future. It’s easier said than done, but I try to stay on the side of reality and be optimistic. For me, insecure thoughts tend to threaten my present.  I accept that life is a challenge and my healing journey never ends.

I admit that I, too, feel shame at times when taken back into dark thoughts and despair. I’m glad it doesn’t happen often. It’s hard for me to accept those temporary bad times after all the accomplishments I’ve made, but truthfully, I’m human, just like everyone else, and suffer setbacks now and then.  The difference is now I can recognize these times and quickly address them. It’s important to have a trusted someone to talk dark thoughts over with. Whatever helps you feel better, just do it.

Please don’t be too hard on yourself. No one’s perfect and we all need help at times.

Wishing you all my best!

Karen

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Karen answers Roben

admin on Nov 27th 2011

Comment by Roben on 29 Sep 2011 at 3:57 pm

I’ve finally taken the time to read the book! Will send feedback once I’m done. Just learned today from Darlene that you’d moved out of state. You are sorely missed! I thought I had your email but don’t and failed to ask if there was a way to reach you just to wish you well. So, doing so via this blog….sorry if it’s an issue. You’re such a nice lady and always so kind & caring…just felt compelled to say good luck to you & God bless!

Dear Roben,

So great to hear from you! I’m glad to hear you started reading my story and I know how important it was for you to take care of your own needs first. I miss you and many from the Center and wish to keep in touch. It’s my hope they find me here on my blog, on Facebook, or through my email: karenoverhill@yahoo.com.

Yes, I moved from Chicago to Texas and I’m doing my best to settle in. I’m meeting many wonderful new friends that touch my spirit and my future growth. I survived my psychological journey and am beginning my spiritual journey to wholeness.  I believe I’m right where I need to be and that God has opened a new door for me to explore and become my best self.

Thank you for your kind compliments. I look forward to keeping in touch!

God bless you!

Karen

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Karen answers Margaret

admin on Nov 27th 2011

Comment by Margaret on 28 Sep 2011 at 11:22 am

Dear Karen,

I admire your strength and courage. I listened to your last interview and I am encouraged to get to know all of me by journaling and taking time out for myself. In the last two months I have completely finished one journal and reflect back making comments and highlighting moments of accomplishments. Do you encourage people to write and read back what they have written or write and not re-read? You are a awesome healer. Bet you din’t know that!

Love you,

Margaret

Dear Margaret,

Thank you for your kind thoughts and compliments! I’m glad to hear that you journal. Journaling has been a part of my healing and has enabled me to move forward. I think of writing in my journal as venting my emotions on paper. I let my thoughts flow freely and never re-read my words unless there’s a need to. Most of the time I would write in my journal and once I filled it, I’d turn it over to Dr. Baer for safekeeping. Much of what I’d written in my many journals helped with the writing of Switching Time. Dr. Baer is holding onto thousands of my written pages.

I encourage everyone to write. It’ gives me an amazing feeling of freedom. Writing helps you let go and understand your past.  Keep on writing and know that moving forward, with an occasional look back, can be the most fulfilling experience.

Wishing you all my best!

Karen

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Karen answers Louise

admin on Nov 27th 2011

Comment by Louise on 21 Sep 2011 at 9:12 pm

I really felt your presence next to me when I read your story. I am praying for you. Did you know that there are a lot of people who feel the same way as I do. My reading club finished your book and out of all thirteen of us not one felt anything less than inspired by you. I hope you don’t mind my asking the following questions? It will help me understood more before you write the next book. What is your relationships like now with your mother? and with Dr. Baer? Do you communicate with them? If you do can you give me an example of how you view these relationships years after healing? Thank you. In His name.

Louise

Dear Louise,

I’m touched by your believing in me as well as hearing your reading club’s thoughts. I don’t know what to say but thank you for sharing this moment with me. I don’t mind answering any questions and will below.

My mother and I continue to have a strained relationship. What I mean by this is that I’m always there for her and help her by taking her to and from doctor appointments, the grocery store, etc., but we rarely have any meaningful discussions about the past. My mother is more about herself than paying attention to any of my needs. This past year she has briefly mentioned things that confirm she knew about my being abused, and that she didn’t pay attention to my hurts as most moms would. She wasn’t there for me as a child. As an adult , she’s helped me a few times with non-emotional things like cleaning my house after I had surgery. I spend brief periods of time with my mom, such as over coffee, and end up listening to her go on and on about herself. Though I’ve forgiven her, I continue to feel saddened by our relationship. My mother is in her seventies, and I don’t believe she will ever make amends.  My mother had been abused, too, not that that’s an excuse. For me, it simply means she needs help.  But her narcissism won’t let her.

Dr. Baer and I will always be connected because we share a bond built on trust and respect. A bond like ours, tested time again, cannot be broken. Our journey to healing me was a once in a lifetime event and the reason we continue to share our story. Dr. Baer and I will remain respectful friends forever.

Thank you for your questions. God bless you.

Karen

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Karen answers Barnaby

admin on Nov 27th 2011

Comment by Barnaby on 18 Sep 2011 at 7:55 am

Dear Karen,

I marvel with fascination upon finishing my read of your story. I am inspired and know fully that there is hope for the horrifically abused. I do hope you continue to share your story. People like me benefit from your wisdom. You ARE a angel personally chosen by God. Bless you. I do wonder about your future. Do continue to write.

Dear Barnaby,

Thank you so much for your support and kind thoughts. I truly feel inspired to continue encouraging hope through sharing my story. I’m touched to hear that my story has inspired you. What’s most important to me is to help those who have been, or know of someone, who has been abused like me.

I’ve been blessed. I know God is always nearby. I’m currently working on writing a sequel to Switching Time. It will be a blessing to share more some day.

Wishing you all my best!

Karen

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Karen answers Dr. Dan

admin on Nov 13th 2011

Comment by Dr. Dan on 14 Sep 2011 at 9:16 am

Hello karen, with the ending of therapy you must have ecperiened the ultimate reality shock of richard baer not being real, relationships once assumed cancelled out as if you no longer matter. I assume your pain to be unbearable. How did you manage your well being? What lessons have you learned? That is the story I wish to read in your sequel. Dr. dan

Dear Dr. Dan,

Dr. Baer not real? Cancelled out? I don’t think so. Dr. Baer is very much alive and an important part of my life. We share a respectful friendship and I know I matter to Dr. Baer.  Besides, why would he cancel out our relationship after all that we have accomplished in over eighteen years of work? I admit, there have been ups and downs, but we quickly resolve all issues that threaten our relationship. There is no need to make amends because my pain is not unbearable.

Together, as a team, we have done very well. Sharing our story presented a few new issues to deal with; the legalities of writing a book can be tough on any relationship, but that remains between me and Dr. Baer. My journey continues on. Dr. Baer is there for me if I need him, but I’m trying my best to live my life and be my best self. And yes, the sequel will most certainly tell more of my continuing journey to wellness.

I’m most grateful for Dr. Baer’s care. I would not be here without his support. I truly believe our story is amazing and one of a kind. Dr. Baer and I respect each other and share a forever kind of bond.

Thank you for sharing; I hope my answer changes your thoughts about therapy and relationships.

Karen

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Karen answers Ray

admin on Nov 13th 2011

Comment by Ray on 12 Sep 2011 at 12:20 am

If thoughts could kill do you believe you would have killed your abusers? You once wrote a mind is a powerful thing. How did you know things beforhand? Can you still predict things?

Ray

Dear Ray,

Kill my abusers? Yes, I admit, I had those thoughts at times, but doing so wouldn’t have made me feel any better about myself. Not only would I still have been abused, but I would carry the guilt of killing another human being. I believe it’s not my job to judge, and that God will take care of those who abused me. I let it go so that I can move forward to become my best self. It’s against my nature to hurt anyone.  My abusers may have hurt me, but if I turned to violence like them, it would mean they would have won. I’m alive and well. My abusers are dead.

I did say that “the mind is a powerful thing” through an alter. I believe I meant that we choose our own destiny. If I choose to be a victim, then I’ll always feel like a victim. I chose instead to constantly be on guard and that has taught me to trust my instincts. That’s a bit different than predicting things.  I listen intently to others, have compassion, and know that my instincts are usually right. I trust myself.

Thank you for your challenging questions.

Karen

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Karen answers Afaye

admin on Nov 13th 2011

Comment by Afaye on 11 Sep 2011 at 10:06 am

I am a simple man from China.  I read Richard Baer’s Switching Time.  it’s not only an book, it’s a dictionary.  Thank you for giving me such a wonderful time.  It’s my first time I can’t sleep after reading a book.  Hope u geting well, thank you, thank you, take care. kiss u

Dear Afaye,

Thank you for sharing!  Switching Time is not meant to be a dictionary or guide book, but we did hope it would teach people about an incomprehensible illness. Our book is the story of one psychiatrist, Richard Baer, and one patient, me, and how we managed to work together as a team to heal me through many years of work.  I believe Dr. Baer did a great job! Our story is a success story shared. Our journey to heal me came from building mutual trust and respect. I’m grateful for all that Dr. Baer has done for me and for the reward of being able to bring knowledge and understanding to people.

I’m doing well; I thank you for your concern.

Wishing you all my best!

Karen

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Karen answers Aleska

admin on Nov 13th 2011

Comment by Aleska on 24 Aug 2011 at 4:08 pm

Hi Karen! My name’s Aleksa and I’m seventeen years old. I’m from Australia. Four days ago I was in the library looking for about three books I needed for school but I couldn’t find them. Instead, I stumbled upon the book about your life story. Instead this one is called ‘A life in pieces’. I just wanted to tell you that I think you’re so so so amazing and strong. I hope to be as strong as you someday as I’ve been in a battle with depression all of my life since I fell into a hot bathtub when I was 3 years old, leaving me with a horrible scar. I’m currently half way through the book and I’m absolutely amazed. How are your alters today? I would like to say hi to each and every one of them. My favourite is probably Miles and Katherine, and you of course. I just wanted to say that I look up to you so much and hope to aspire half of what you have one day. I am also a writer and I try to write everyday as much as I can.

Much love,

Aleksa. xoxo

Dear Aleksa,

Thank you for sharing your journey and finding my story! That’s amazing! I believe there’s a reason for everything. And though you mentioned you are only half way through reading my story, you may have already found the answer to your question. My alters have merged within me. I am my alters and my alters are me. We are one.

Please know that you are only as strong as you believe yourself to be. Have faith and know that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. I understand how you may be feeling about having a scar. You didn’t mentioned where, but I , too, have a scar from childhood on my forehead, but I no longer pay much attention to it.

I am not a therapist and can’t give advice but I know from my past that my scar does not define me. I am me and will always strive to be my best self. Beauty comes from within. Have faith and believe in yourself.

Keep on writing!

Karen

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