Archive for December, 2009

Karen answers Courtney

Richard Baer on Dec 26th 2009

Comment by Courtney, Canada on 08 Dec 2009 at 11:30 pm

Dear Karen,

I have a background of being sexually abused. I completed therapy many years ago and found peace in my life. My children grew into teens and all that healed re-triggered. Can you share how you handled arguments and agressive teenage behavior? How did you communicate with your children and other family members even loved ones when disagreements cut you like of knife? My family blames me for everything because of the period of depression from sexual abuse memories took a toll on my life. Why do people bring up what they know damn well will hurt you? I admire you sooooooooo much! I respect you for telling your story! Thank you Karen, love you babe!

Courtney, mom of three teen stubborn girls, 14, 16, and 17


Dear Courtney,

I hear you. I am not a therapist and can’t give advice but I believe, based on my own personal experience, that you may be experiencing the re-awakening of your past abuse because your daughters are at the ages you were at the time you were being abused. Three daughters, ages 14, 16, and 17, who may be starting relationships with young men, can trigger past sexual fears, trust issues, and memories of your abuse. If I were you I would seek help either with your past therapist or a new one. These triggered feelings are real and need to be dealt with. I’m sure you will find a sense of understanding once you take a step back and reclaim yourself.

Regarding family arguments? I ignored them as long as I could until all calmed down, then I tried to talk. But that didn’t always work. I tried to diffuse anger. Though none of the usual strategies seemed to work in my family’s arguments. Everyone knew each other too well. Ultimatums ring hollow when you can’t turn your back and walk away. It doesn’t help that those who love you the most may also be the quickest to find fault. I can’t begin to share how many family members, friends, and those close to me blamed me for their own faults. I was always an easy target for someone to place blame on.

I can’t say why people use the most hurtful words, like a knife that stabs you. But I believe when certain people become angry they unconsciously use whatever they know will hurt you most. I know this because it happens to me often. At times when I voice my opinion or make a comment that doesn’t comply, I feel ridiculed and hurt by spoken words of hatred. People are human and make mistakes, but may use whatever they can to hurt when they themselves are hurting.

Thank you for sharing,


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Karen answers Alan T

Richard Baer on Dec 22nd 2009

Comment by Alan T. on 13 Dec 2009 at 10:19 pm

Dear Karen,

I am a med student. Just completed my EMT! My first experience came from a woman who fought our med team in different voices. I had read your story in my abnormal psychology class and knew the difference between a mpd patient and a paranoid schizophrenic. She was clearly not a mpd. How did I come to that conclusion. Your book. Luckily during my first call I knew how to handle and ask the right questions needed to proceed. I am positive if it weren’t for reading Switching Time I would’ve never have had the required knowledge accessible. Thank you Dr. Baer and Karen. This book is a must read for all med students in all areas of medicines. This book provided me with a new insight I never imagined I’d ever need. Great to know the both of you!

Thank you,

Alan T.

Dear Alan,

WOW! That’s an amazing story! I am glad to hear that you came to a better understanding of what to look for in a patient who may have been experiencing alter chaos. It’s important to have an idea of what to look for even though a diagnosis is hard to make on the spot. I believe you showed cautious judgment and had just enough information to ask the right questions. That’s an amazing accomplishment!

Thank you for sharing! Dr. Baer and I hope that our story will be acknowledged and accepted by all medical students during their psychiatric rotations.

Wishing you success in your medical career.


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Karen answers Bethany

Richard Baer on Dec 22nd 2009

Comment by Bethany on 13 Dec 2009 at 10:17 pm

Dear Karen,

Life sucks for those of us who have been abused. Where does your faith come from?


Dear Bethany,

My faith comes from God. My will to live, from within myself.  I was unable to stop my own abuse so my mind created a sophisticated way to cope by creating alters. Trust your instincts. Believe in yourself. Have faith and your healing will follow. Please know that what has happened to you was never your fault. Abuse is abuse. You were a victim of abuse, not the perpetrator or a facilitator. Life may appear to suck at this time but with qualified help you too can overcome the past that haunts you.

I try my best everyday to stay optimistic. I admit some days can be hard and tiring. But what I do is try to distract my dark thoughts in any way that I can. Being a survivor is what makes me believe I am here for a reason. And NO one will ever take that away from me again. I have faith in you.

Wishing you all my best.


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Karen answers Mrs. McCoy

Richard Baer on Dec 22nd 2009

Comment by Mrs. McCoy on 11 Dec 2009 at 1:38 pm

Dear Karen,

How are you? How is Richard Baer? Do you guys still talk about things? I read your book and thought WOW what love between two people thrown together in such a service to promise great knowledge to mankind. Did you know that doesn’t happen very often? When two people are cast in each others direction their lives were bound together by God’s promise. A therapy like yours was meant to be told. Thank you for sharing your story with all the graphics most cringe over. I needed to hear the truth about sexual abuse. I needed to know someone like you. I needed to know there are a few doctors willing to risk all to help a spiritually dead person by helping bring them back to life. God bless you both. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, for you are one of God’s true miracles!

Mrs. McCoy


Dear Mrs. McCoy,

Dr. Baer and I are doing our best to keep our lives moving forward. We get together often and continue to maintain our relationship, bound by trust and respect for each other. Relationships like mine and Dr. Baer’s don’t come around very often. We stuck together through thick and thin, good and bad times, and have cherished our time together.

I believe my meeting Dr. Baer and my healing was meant to be. I was fortunate to fall into the right hands, and I will always be grateful. What we have accomplished together is an amazing, once in a lifetime journey that succeeded. We’re sharing our journey with all who would like to understand the true depth of an intense therapeutic journey between one psychiatrist, his patient, and the incomprehensible illness: multiple personality disorder.

I believe all that we accomplished was God’s promise. When I was a child of thirteen I prayed along with my grandmother for God to send someone to help me. I believe Richard Baer was God sent, an answer to that prayer.

Regarding sharing the truth about the ugliness of child sexual abuse and what can happen to a child who has been repeatedly abused? It is my and Dr. Baer’s hope that by revealing the horror that can happen, people will gain the appropriate knowledge and learn what signs of abuse to look for in all of our children. I was not the only child abused, sadly, many are. Maybe through sharing my story in Switching Time, people will become more aware and report abuse. Maybe, in sharing my story it will make a difference to one child.

Thank you for your blessings, I will share them with Dr. Baer!

Merry Christmas to you, too!


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Karen answers Ava

Richard Baer on Dec 22nd 2009

Comment by Ava on 13 Dec 2009 at 10:21 am

Dear Karen,

Finished my class finals and passed. I did my paper on you and received the highest grade in class. I had to let you know this blog of yours gave me an entire book of notes. I would’nt have passed without you! The book was one part but getting to know you through your answers gave me a chance to add in depth more about the personal side of you without ever meeting you. I’d love to meet you someday! You are the best person to share your story. Merry Christmas and A Blessed New Year!

Hugs and more hugs to you. I’m glad Dr. Baer hugged you in the end. I thought it was highly wrong of him and cruel not to hug you all through your years of healing. It was his loss and was his inability to love anyone but himself. I hope you finally came to realize the selfishness of his actions. My therapist always showed affection and there were no ill effects. I would’ve been devastated having Dr. Baer as my therapist if he refused me the affection needed to heal. You are an amazingingly strong woman. Love you!


Baltimore, MD

Dear Ava,

Congratulations! That’s great news! Passing your final with your report on me put a smile on my face, thanks for sharing.  I know I’ve answered hundreds of questions here but I had no idea how much was revealed about me personally. I guess I am an open “book,” and proud of it. For me, having people understand who I am and where I came from, survived from, and how I healed is important in helping others gain their own strength to move forward. I am happy for you.

I’m glad Dr. Baer hugged me in the end, too! I really needed to feel that human touch and only wished he had hugged me during therapy. I have mixed feelings regarding not receiving his hug during therapy. I, too, felt hurt and thought that it was selfish on his part, but I also understood why he couldn’t hug me, for ethical reasons. It would’ve been nice for me, but professionally, not for him. I respected that, though I always felt he was wrong about the hugging issue.

I believe the hug issue was more Dr. Baer’s issue than mine. It continues to bring tears to my eyes whenever I think of all those years needing a bit of comfort from him and not receiving it. Nevertheless, all turned out well in the end and I finally received my long desired hug. That moment meant more to me than anything. Why? Because for me, it was at that moment that I actually felt he cared for and accepted me. Human touch is very important. Dr. Baer always did the best he could.

Thank you for asking this difficult question. I believe there is nothing wrong with a therapist giving their client a simple hug, although Dr. Baer would ask when, if ever, a hug was “simple.”

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!


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Karen answers Jesse Raymond

Richard Baer on Dec 22nd 2009

Comment by Jesse Raymond on 13 Dec 2009 at 12:28 am

hi karen,

just finished reading the book. you are an inspiration to me. thanks a lot for revealing the details of your abuse in a way that made at least me get what child abuse is. i care about people who suffer and work in a nursing home geared for the young abused, i learn from those i take care of but never felt their pain until i felt yours. i hope you never hurt again.

thank you karen.

jesse raymond

michigan city

Dear Jesse Raymond,

Thank you for sharing! I am impressed that you came to a better understanding of the abuse the young in your care have suffered. It always amazes me to hear those “ah ha!” moments. I’ve experienced them, too!

Sometimes it takes a moment of feeling someone else’s pain to carry on. I believe you accomplished just that.

Wishing you all my best. I respect you for making a difference.


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Karen answers Becky

Richard Baer on Dec 22nd 2009

Comment by Becky on 09 Dec 2009 at 3:26 pm

Dear Karen,

I am fifteen. I know something terrible happened to me when I was little. I know this because I have recurring nightmares and don’t feel well enough about myself. I am shy, hide my body under large clothes and even gained weight not to appear attractive. I don’t like to be touched and fear all men. But I don’t remember specifics only creepy feelings of things that could have happened but without detail. I read your story and it answered some fears. I know I was abused. Don’t know what to do about it or who to tell. Don’t want to accuse anyone because of your good advice in someone elses answer. I am glad you are here.


Dear Becky,

I understand. I can empathize with you regarding triggered memories and recurring nightmares. I’ve had them, too. I started having flashbacks during my teens but often ignored them. While in my twenties, I could no longer deny nor ignore all that I recalled. My memories were clear, my nightmares were organized, and I knew the sad truth.  It was also at that time I knew I needed to seek professional help. I believe you are very brave for recognizing and accepting where your distress may be coming from.

I’m sorry to hear that you may have been abused, but I’m glad to hear that you have taken a mature attitude and are in the process of the journey to help yourself. Please know that your dark thoughts will come and go while in the process of healing. Though I am not a therapist and can’t give advice, I believe you are on the right path. Those creepy feelings you are experiencing are coming from somewhere within you. There is a reason you are having a hard time. Therapy can help release the tension that is building.

Memories can be tricky. It’s best to sort out your memories with a qualified therapist before making accusations on someone. It’s always best to be sure of the facts first.

Trust your instincts., they’re usually right.

Thank you for sharing. I wish you peace.


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Karen answers Theresa

Richard Baer on Dec 17th 2009

Comment by Theresa on 11 Dec 2009 at 12:16 am

Hi Karen,

I read your story as a project for my mental health rotation in nursing school. Upon finishing the book Switching Time it became apparent to me that I was deeply touched by your strength and ablilty to change your life for the better. Hopefully just one more semester and I will be an RN at the age of 47. I thank you for all the incredible inspiration, if I could only be half as courageous as you.


P.S. Happy Holidays!!!!

Dear Theresa,

Thank you for sharing that you were touched by my story! It’s great to hear that you read my story as a project for your mental health rotation in nursing school. It is my and Dr. Baer’s hope that our story will be shared in this way to help all those who are in the medical field understand the complexity of treating a patient like me.

Dr. Baer and I have worked hard to help me heal. Our journey wasn’t easy. Often times, multiples are misunderstood and misdiagnosed. It’s always best to hear the patient’s side of treating a multiple. For me, there were so many symptoms that when asked a question, I would become confused, answer inconsistently, and therefore not be believed. My medical doctor always had a difficult time treating me. Strange as it sounds I would always feel ill and never know why. Abuse victims generally ache everywhere most of the time.

Congratulations on your success! I believe you are courageous for going back to school to complete your RN at 47. Actually, you have inspired me to think about going back to school myself. Thank you!

Wishing you all my best!


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Karen answers Arlene

Richard Baer on Dec 17th 2009

Comment by Arlene on 10 Dec 2009 at 9:59 am

Good morning, Karen!

I was writing out my Christmas cards thought of you and would love to send one to you. Is there any way I can do so? If so, please share with us an address we can reach you. I am sure there are many like me who would like to remember you at this time of the year. As for my selfish self I want you to know how much your story and answers on your blog have helped me grow. I am a much stronger woman because of you. Thank you. Love you. Thanking God for you.


Dear Arlene,

How thoughtful you are to think of me at Christmas! That means so much to me!  I appreciate all your kind thoughts and please believe I have received your warm Christmas wishes.

Thank you for sharing that my answers have been of help to you as you journey to wellness. I can tell you are an amazingly strong woman yourself. Wishing you all my best for a happy future.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!


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Karen answers Ellen

Richard Baer on Dec 17th 2009

Comment by Ellen on 09 Dec 2009 at 9:35 am

Hi Karen,

Thank you for providing such a great on-line support system for the abused. I can’t get over your story. I was not abused as a child but a best girlfriend suffered such abuse by her father. I am now in my thirties and can’t stop thinking of my old friend from childhood. I haven’t seen her in over twenty years but was reminded of her by your story. Thank you for sharing your story. Because of you I searched for my old friend. Sadly she committed suicide eight years ago. I found her sister who is in therapy for being abused and told her that I knew. No one back then knew such things happened. It may be too late for my old friend but not for her sister who was also abused. I wish I knew what to do back then. I feel guilty for not doing anything to help her. What I could have done was out of my experience and knowledge. I was a child to. But your story is what needs to be told. I bet without you knowing it there are many child predators and sexual abusers defrayed from finding ignorant victims. With the knowledge you provided I personally know many people will now watch out for the signs. Thank you for bringing truth about the ugliness cast by jerks. Never stop what you are doing. It really helps people. It helped me understand. Thank you.


Dear Ellen,

You’re very welcome! I’m sorry to hear your friend has taken her own life. That’s sad to hear. Sometimes when inner pain becomes too overwhelming to bear, an abused person can’t see a light at the end of their tunnel. You hadn’t mentioned if your friend was in therapy but I am glad to hear that her sister is currently doing her best to heal. Abuse is abuse; memories never really go away and need to be confronted and dealt with. This I know for sure.

It’s true that not much was discussed years ago. Most people who were abused felt shame and were unable to share, and those who knew were too ashamed to share for fear of being thought to be to blame. I believe that’s why it’s most important to share stories like mine. It’s my hope knowledge will be gained from my story, as well as from others’ who have also suffered at the hands of someone they wished loved them.

Please know that your friend’s death wasn’t your fault and the guilt you feel is normal under the circumstances. I would’ve felt the same way. I’m glad my story reminded you of her but sad that she took her own life before she was able to heal.

No child deserves to be mistreated and raped. All child sexual abusers need to be found and imprisoned for life.

I will continue to do my best to share my story in hope for an abuse free future.

Thank you for caring.


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