Archive for March, 2010

Karen answers Sonya

Richard Baer on Mar 30th 2010

Comment by Sonya 23 Mar 2010 at 3:19 pm


Just reading the question not yet answered. Lorraine is right. Please write your own version. Dr. Baer did not really touch on YOUR suffering but more of his own. I am glad to be in England where the title read A Life in Pieces “A WOMAN’S harrowing story…” It’s not Richard Baer’s harrowing story it’s yours. Why not visit England? You are welcome in our country! I am fitfully inspired by your blog. A BOOK in itself. If any agent can’t see that they are BLIND; BLIND as bats! If I were an agent I would be hunting you down. Please find your way to us.


Dear Sonya,

Thank you for sharing!  I understand your feelings about the text on the cover of my story.  I’m glad the version in Great Britain switched to a “woman’s harrowing story”, but please know that those decisions about what goes on the cover are made by the publisher, not me or Dr. Baer. Whichever way you look at or read our story, it’s bound to stir up frustration in some people, mistrust in others, skepticism in those who can’t comprehend, and love in those who can empathize with what happened to me. My story is difficult to read for many.

Thank you for being inspired by my blog. I appreciate hearing that. And thank you for your comments and opinions. Maybe someday I can afford to travel to the UK.


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Karen answers Lorraine

Richard Baer on Mar 30th 2010

Comment by Lorraine on 23 Mar 2010 at 10:00 am

Dear Karen,

I read Dr Baer’s book (”A Life in Pieces” in Australia).

I’m afraid that my initial reaction was irritation about his response to a person he assumed was ONLY? suffering from depression, and thereafter the effect your lack of money and urgent needs made on HIS life.

The result of this is that it made your story read like fiction.

I know people who suffer from long term depression, and people (some the same ones) who suffered sexual abuse when young (although not to the same extent as yours).

I don’t think the book does justice to your suffering. Have you considered doing one of your own?

Dear Lorraine,

There are many misconceptions regarding Dr. Baer’s apparent lack of empathy early on. Dr. Baer cared for me unconditionally for over eighteen years during the dark period of my life when no one else would have. I was suicidal, had no strength, lacked faith, and needed Dr, Baer to help me. Remember, Dr. Baer is a psychiatrist and did what all psychiatrists should do, listen intently without judgment or emotion.

I admit Dr. Baer’s initial lack of interest upset me. But I ignored it, mostly because I wanted to die anyway and no one, including Dr. Baer, could have changed that. For years, he was a blur before my eyes, with a kind, soothing, and compassionate voice. He was someone who listened without saying much and I became comfortable in his presence. As we built a relationship, I started to take notice of who he was; I acknowledged, respected, and trusted him to accompany me on my journey. I believe Dr. Baer was God sent and that my healing under his care was meant to be. We worked hard together to heal me.

I can see how reading my story appears fictional at times, but sadly it’s true, all of it. Dr. Baer and I agreed to share the truth of our journey to provide understanding of my illness: multiplicity. I wish I could say it’s fiction, but I can’t.

To clear things up regarding the payment issue, for most of my treatment, Dr. Baer was paid by my husband’s medical insurance. What became past due were the amounts not paid by our insurance benefits. Every bonus my husband received went to Dr. Baer to catch up with what I owed.  After my divorce, I no longer could keep up and Dr. Baer stopped charging me the balance not paid by insurance, and then stopped charging me altogether. Dr. Baer was paid, just not in full. Insurance companies never pay 100% for psychiatric treatment. Later, once I was on disability for my condition, Dr. Baer took what Medicare paid.

For me, surviving multiplicity also included trying to comprehend money, how to live, and pay my overwhelming medical bills. I am grateful Dr. Baer forgave some of the money he was due for treating me.  For him, I think continuing what we’d started was more important than the money.

Switching Time (or A Life in Pieces, the version printed in Great Britain) was written from Dr. Baer’s point of view. My personal experience and journey was more spiritual and heartfelt. I have considered writing my own version and I have many pages already written. My journey includes Dr. Baer, but Switching Time could not possibly have been written in the way my heart would have wanted to share it.   Dr. Baer saw my alters in a way that I never could, but I knew them from within, and it’s my knowledge of them that still needs to be shared.

Thank you for believing a sequel is possible. Thank you for caring.


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Karen answers Trent

Richard Baer on Mar 26th 2010

Comment by Trent on 23 Mar 2010 at 2:30 am

Hi Karen,

Greetings from Australia. I just finished reading dr baers book regarding your treatmeant and i must say it has been one of the most amazing reads of my life. I myself have been lucky and fortunate to have never been abused and actually im also in the enviable position of not personally knowing anyone who has either, but even so i must applaud you on your strength and fortitude to go through what you did and come out the other side as well as you have.

I was actually given the book to read by my wife who is a psych nurse and at first i have to admit i was hesitant due to her suggesting to me terrible books in the past, but i was bookless for my morning train ride to work so i thought id give it a chance and im soo glad i did!

I have a few questions that i hope you could find the time to answer for me, and forgive me if youve answered them before in your blog, but as im sure you know its quite large

Firstly Im curious about the gifts/posessions that your alters gave to Dr Baer. They were obviously very important to your various parts but since youve been integrated for some time now, if you see these items, do you still feel any affinity towards them?

Secondly and lastly, at the end of the book Dr baer wrote how he has received over 5000 pages of writings from you, and that was back in 1998, Now that its nearly 12 years later and you have still been filling notebooks and entrusting them to the good Dr, does he have any plans on putting together another book/website of it all? Id love to be able to read some more, and besides surely he must be running out of room haha

i again thank you for your time karen and also thank you for allowing Dr Baer to document this amazing process. I hope everything in your future is what you hope


Dear Trent,

I’m glad you took a chance and read my story, and I’m glad your wife thought my story was interesting, too!

I don’t mind your questions. I’m not sure if I’ve answered them all before, but that never matters to me. I answer each question as it comes and never search back through my previous answers. It’s easier this way.

My alters did give Dr. Baer many gifts through the years. I don’t believe we ever missed a Christmas or birthday, including many in between special occasion gifts. My alters wanted Dr. Baer to feel appreciated in the best way they could. I’m sure Dr. Baer knew that if he did not accept these gifts it would’ve devastated our entire system and well-being.

I recently had the opportunity to take my alters’ gifts, drawings, and journals back from Dr. Baer. But I couldn’t. I became overwhelmed with emotion just viewing the open box. Seeing my alters’ possessions had an affect on me. Once I saw one of the six file boxes that contained my things, I froze. I felt it would be too overwhelming for me to sift through those items at this time. All that my alters and I have shared with Dr. Baer is being cared for by him. Dr. Baer has promised that if something were to happen to him, all will be returned to me. You are right, Dr. Baer is running out of room and has limited space to store more. Actually, I now send him emails: thousands of them since the publication of our book.

Dr. Baer keeps all my writings up to the end of our therapeutic relationship. I myself have a few thousand pages waiting to be shared for a sequel to our story. We surely do have more than enough information! I’m not sure whether Dr. Baer is willing to help put together another book, but I am more than ready to share my journey after integration. I would love for us to write a sequel together.

There is so much more to tell about my becoming one woman, dealing with heartbreak, relationships, dreams, and more.

Thank you for all your kind thoughts, compliments, and well wishes for a future filled with hope. I truly appreciate them.


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Karen answers Willow

Richard Baer on Mar 26th 2010

Comment by Willow on 21 Mar 2010 at 9:36 pm

Hi Karen,

I read you answer about hypnosis. what an interesting way to word it. Thank you. I understand. I always thought hypnosis was cruel and you were talked into it by Dr. Baer. I wish you the best. I am hopeful for people who have walked your walk. If you continue to share many will become stronger off your strength. I did. Please never end your life. Please write another book with Dr. Baer. Love that you remain true to yourself. Love that you care.


Dear Willow,

I am glad to hear my previous answer about hypnosis was helpful. I hoped my answer would provide knowledge. Before hypnosis therapy I would have said it was something made up, false, and brought on by drugs.  But no, it was nothing like that at all. I believe my multiplicity was some form of hypnosis in itself. I never thought hypnosis to be cruel, but I did once believe it was a way one person could manipulate another. I was cautious before and during hypnotherapy. Dr. Baer took every precaution to make sure my alters and I were safe and comfortable. It would have been impossible for Dr. Baer to hypnotize me if I felt threatened.  

It’s amazing to learn how one’s brain works. I continue to learn something new about myself each day. The alters I created to help me survive were incredible. I was blessed.

It is my hope to share more of my story some day in a sequel to Switching Time.  I pray never to be visited by my past thoughts of suicide, but although they may visit now and then, they don’t stay long. I will always try my best to continue living my life the best I can. Thank you for encouraging me to move forward.


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Karen answers Karen, psych major

Richard Baer on Mar 26th 2010

Comment by Karen, psych major on 20 Mar 2010 at 8:07 pm

I just finished reading “Switching time” and it was fabulous.

I am amazed by the way you battled all of your demons and opened up our eyes through your harrowing story. You are a true warrior. I am so proud of you.

Dear Karen the psych major,

Thank you for your compliments, for believing me to be a true warrior, and for understanding and being proud of me. I am touched by your kind and thoughtful words. Battling the demons of my past is a lifetime process. I admit, it’s been difficult to overcome some of what I have endured, but each day that I wake I am amazed I’m here. I believe sharing my survival has given me purpose.


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Karen answers Dr. Sullivan

Richard Baer on Mar 26th 2010

Comment by Sullivan MD on 19 Mar 2010 at 10:56 am

Hello Karen,

Many thank you’s to you and Richard Baer for your contribution to psychiatry. I have gained insight through your book and blog. If anything, I am taking with me more knowledge on dissociation, sexual and ritual abuse than learned in twelve years of med school.

Hope you sell a million books!

Dr. Sullivan,

Dear Dr. Sullivan,

Thank you for acknowledging our work as a contribution to the medical world. Dr. Baer and I truly appreciate being respected for sharing our experiences. I’m glad to hear Switching Time has given you insight into multiplicity.  For many years there was a lack of information on dissociation. It was hard for Dr. Baer to find the information he needed to help me along. It was hard work treating me, but I believe we worked great together. It was teamwork at it’s best. 

Thank you for sharing and for your compliments. We hope to sell a million books, too!


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Karen answers Chesca

Richard Baer on Mar 26th 2010

Comment by Chesca on 19 Mar 2010 at 11:35 am

Hey Karen,

Spring Break! Yeah! I am writing to you to let you know that I had planned to read your book this week, a few chapters a day for an assignment due April 1st on DID. Well, well, well, Ms. Karen I read the book in one day. It was so fascinating to learn about your mind. I am writing my paper today and wanted to tell you I never felt so excited about an illness until today. Case studies like yours has me wanting to know more. Found your blog and your facebook. Happy Spring!


Dear Chesca,

Hope you are enjoying your spring break! Isn’t it nice to be able to finish reading quicker than expected? Thank you for sharing your enthusiasm about reading my story. I’m glad your interest helped you become fascinated with the wonders of the mind. I agree the mind is fascinating. I learn something new about it each day. I hope your writing assignment goes well. I’m sure it will just by hearing the excitement in your comments.

You can befriend me on Facebook. I am here to help. Happy Spring to you, too!

Wishing you all my best.


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Karen answers Lindsey

Richard Baer on Mar 26th 2010

Comment by Lindsey on 19 Mar 2010 at 8:15 am

Dear Karen,

Peek-a-boo? Where oh where are you? You’re not posting? What’s up? Are you ill? Stopped the blog? C’mon don’t quit now I just sold four of your books to my classmates. WE NEED YOU, YOU ARE OUR GROUP PROJECT THIS SEMESTER!!!!!!!!!


Dear Lindsey,

I’m here.  My blog continues on.  I’ll never quit.  My answers may sometimes be slow in coming, but I will continue on as long as questions keep arriving. I don’t mind answering questions. It is my purpose. Thank you for caring.

I appreciate your selling four books!  Each book sold helps bring knowledge of multiplicity.  Thank you!

I like the idea of being your group project. I would like to hear how that goes. Please know that you can ask me any questions here.

Wishing you good luck with your project!


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Karen answers Pat

Richard Baer on Mar 26th 2010

Comment by Pat on 18 Mar 2010 at 11:58 pm

Hi Karen,

it’s that time again! Are you going to be giving your input on the USoT show again. I found you an asset to the show. Hope they are paying you for your time. My interest peaked after reading about you. You could advise them.

Lots of love to you…beautiful spirit.


Dear Pat,

Thank you for believing my comments on USoT to be an asset. Of course, I am not being paid to comment on the United States of Tara message board, just as I am not being paid to answer questions here on my blog. I do so to help bring awareness and knowledge to the illness I once suffered from, multiplicity. I believe we all can help each other by sharing. Though it would be nice to be paid, my first desire is to encourage hope through sharing my own personal journey to healing.

It’s nice to hear that your interest in multiplicity peaked after reading about me. I’ll take that as a compliment. If asked, I would love to help with the show or with therapists and doctors who wish to understand how I managed to survive a dissociative disorder. I believe each multiple is unique and while their experiences differ, all multiples use alters as a coping mechanism to survive while they suffer from trauma. Multiplicity follows horrific abuse.

Thank you for your compliments, and for sending love.


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Karen answers Judi

Richard Baer on Mar 20th 2010

Comment by Judi on 18 Mar 2010 at 8:41 pm


I just read your remarks on CBS website regarding “The United States of Tara”. I am a ‘galaxy’ and was diagnosed by Dr. Richard Kluft.

Thank you for standing up for those who suffer from this. By the photos I see here, I imagine there was ritual abuse too.

Good luck with your book.



Dear Judi,

You’re welcome! Thank you for sharing and for your well wishes for Switching Time! Yes, I suffered some ritual abuse, not by an organized group, but by my father, grandfather, and a few of their sadistic friends. I believe they may have heard about it and decided to try it themselves. My abusers were manipulative sexual predators.

I’ve not heard of “galaxy”? Is this a new diagnosis? I never claimed to be an expert and sharing my thoughts about USOT are from my own personal experiences. United States of Tara has been an interesting show to watch, and I found myself wanting to help those watching understand a bit more. It is my hope to bring awareness about the illness of multiplicity.

Please know that you can ask me questions here on my blog or find me and Dr. Baer on Facebook. I have included more pictures on Facebook.

Thank you for your kind thoughts.


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