Archive for May, 2010

Karen answers Beatrice

Richard Baer on May 25th 2010

Comment by Beatrice on 10 May 2010 at 7:49 pm


What do you think helps more, being a multiple, ex-multiple or survivor? The book was the most amazing book I ever read. I can’t get over your survival. Love you.

Beatrice, Canada

Dear Beatrice,

What helps more? I’m not sure I understand your question. Being a multiple, overcoming multiplicity, and living life as one is not an easy journey. There is no comparison between before, during, and after integration. My path was needed. No one can live life in a straight line. My life, just like many lives, branched off into different roads. But most of all, each step along my path was needed for me to heal. I believe there is a reason for everything.

My survival came from my will to live, heal, and my determination to use my healing to help others. All is meant to be. Sadly, as a victim of abuse, my journey was far from pleasant. What’s important to me is too leave the past where it belongs. All that I have experienced has added strength for me to live my life to the best of my ability.

I hope my thoughts answer your questions, please know that you can always write me again.


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Karen answers Gen

Richard Baer on May 25th 2010

Comment by Gen on 10 May 2010 at 7:38 pm

Dear Karen,

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!!!! Thank you for being you, a true child of God. Be Happy today and forever. You make a difference.


Dear Gen,

Thank you very much! I’m sorry that you are reading my response now, but please know that I did receive your kind and thoughtful wishes on Mother’s Day! I felt touched to be recognized as a true child of God, and that I make a difference!

Thank you for bringing a smile to my face!

Karen 🙂

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Karen answers Margaret M

Richard Baer on May 25th 2010

Comment by Margaret M on 10 May 2010 at 8:47 pm

Dear Karen,

Have you ever felt torn as to what your purpose for survival is? I doubt highly that I could have survived all you did. I am an abused woman, mother of four and am honored to know you. Thank you.

Margaret M.

Whittier, CA

Dear Margaret,

Thank you for your kinds thoughts. There was a time when I questioned my survival, my life, and all that I am. But never did I feel torn regarding my purpose. As a child I would pray for help. I remember my promise to God that if he saved me I would help others in return. I never assumed my pleas would be heard, but I hoped to live in kindness. I believe one act of kindness at a time can change the world.

I believe my purpose is to provide knowledge, encourage hope, and share my story. If all people would recognize the signs and symptoms of an abused child and do something once facts are known, then my purpose is fulfilled

Please know that we each have within us the will to survive. Sometimes we don’t know it until it presents itself during a crisis. But you would be surprised how much you can survive with faith and the will to make a difference.

Thank you!


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Karen answers Vivienne

Richard Baer on May 25th 2010

Comment by Vivienne, one of six on 12 May 2010 at 8:02 pm

Dear Karen,

I haven’t seen your new posts and comments of the board for US of Tara? Do you dislike what you see? Stop watching the show? I am disturbed by parts of the show. I suffer like you did and nothing ever happened to me like on this show. I can’t stand the way my friends assume I am like her when I am not. My friends watch the show because of me. I can’t stand they believe in her more than me. What am I to do? Did you even care about the show? It’s not as good as the first season. Please share once again. I like reading what a true multiple, you, has to say.

Thank you.


Dear Vivienne,

Thank you for noticing. I’ve been a bit busy here on my blog and on Facebook. I just watched eight episodes all on the same day and have formed some thoughts and opinions. I just haven’t shared them on the United States of Tara message board yet. I will soon, but what I can share is that Tara is a character, not real, a multiple played by a remarkable actress, Toni Colette. Though she is performing well, it’s not an accurate display of a true multiple. Sadly, I was hoping for a more factual display, in hope to bring more knowledge to an incomprehensible illness. I admit, there are some parts that can be much like a multiple’s experience, but those few don’t add up to a true multiple. In other words, there’s a whole lot of unnecessary drama.

I understand your dilemma with your friends. They’re simply looking for answers in the wrong place. Maybe reading more about true cases will help them gain the knowledge they require in order to be there for you. I don’t believe they think their opinions hurt and offend you. But you need to share that with them. Share with them what you have shared with me. Tell them you are not “Tara” and that you need them to be your friends without comparing you to an actress. Tell them each multiple is unique and no two share the same experience. Tell your friends that each alter is created to deflect horrific trauma, and that it’s highly unlikely for two to experience the same.

I care about what the show USoT represents. I care about all those who suffer or know of someone who suffers.  I care and believe that it’s important to provide wisdom to know the difference between a true multiple and a fake.

Wishing you all my best!


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Karen answers K Sunshine

Richard Baer on May 25th 2010

Comment by K Sunshine on 10 May 2010 at 9:56 am

Dear Karen,

In your own words what would you do with a million dollars? I am in awe of you and wonder because you always care about people. I am a reader and know you are hurting because of your kindness. I also know you have what it takes to succeed. The vision I see for you is far greater than your least expectations. I am on YOUR side. YOU have written a great story BUT have not finished your journey. WRITE YOUR version of YOUR story. YOUR fortune awaits YOU.

K Sunshine, Arizona

Dear K Sunshine,

Interesting question! I’ve fantasized about winning the Lotto like most people have, but maybe not for the same reasons. I would rather earn my way toward having a million dollars. I would then feel I worked hard for my money. I believe with my caring nature, I would continue to help others, whether I have a million dollars or just a few.

Money has not been good for me. I’ve always tried my best, but I’ve never understood the term “save for a rainy day.” I am generous to a fault, which for me has spelled danger. My giving nature has been both one of my best features and worst nightmares. But I’ve come to understand more about myself as time has passed. My thoughts have improved regarding money. I once felt undeserving and would give all my money away before thinking of my necessities and needs.

In the past I have given too much away leaving myself in trouble. Money is one issue I have yet to overcome. I’d love the chance to relax a bit. If I earned a million dollars, I would now try to take care of my needs first, and then invest in helping others, in their best interest. I have known great pain and joy when it comes to receiving. I am forever grateful for all the times I was in need during my illness and a generous friend helped me out. I am a giver at heart and need to be cautious.

During my childhood I was abused over money issues. I don’t feel comfortable having money. I have never been on a true vacation. A cruise would be nice. But honestly, I rarely fantasize about having money. I fantasize about making it through each day, one day at a time.

Thank you for your compliments and for encouraging me to write more.


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Karen answers Wendy

Richard Baer on May 16th 2010

Comment by Wendy Son 09 May 2010 at 1:44 pm


I sat down on Friday with your story thinking I would be reading a clinic account of MPD. Instead, I found myself engrossed for the next two days with your story. I literally could not put it down. Your strength and spirit are both unbelievable and inspiring. To endure, to survive, to continue after what your mind and body experienced is a feat within itself, let alone your ability to open yourself back up to the pain and take the steps to heal. I am a psychology major and your story has forever changed the way I perceive MPD, especially after just learning the very clinical aspects thought my psych classes. I hope that in these next semesters I can have the chance to study MPD more and find out about the clinical aspects of helping those who are in need of treatment. You inspire me to want to help others, to watch for signs of abuse within children I am around, and to continue on my path in psychology. One day I hope to have even half the impact on a life as Dr. Baer had with yours. Thank you so much for having the courage to share your journey and for reminding us all that abuse is out there lingering behind closed doors. Hope life is finding you well these days and hope you have a very Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you again for touching my life and good luck to you!

Dear Wendy,

You’re welcome! Thank you so much for all your kind thoughts and compliments!  Though my journey has been a difficult one, I always believed God chose me to survive and help others by encouraging hope through sharing my story. I am blessed to have found the right therapist to accompany me on my journey. I can’t imagine ever getting this far without appropriate and unconditional guidance and support. There’s a great need for good, empathic therapists who can see beyond their text-books into the spirit of those who hurt.

Multiple personality disorder (multiplicity, I prefer to call it) is an incomprehensible illness. There are many false cases and doctors who try to influence that diagnosis onto their patients. My doctor did not. I was fortunate Dr. Baer didn’t treat me and my alters as an oddity. I have a favorite quote by Jonathan Swift: “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” I believe Dr. Baer was able to envision my world and alters as I shared with him my horror. I am glad to hear that my story has touched you.

What is most important to me is to help provide knowledge of what can happen to a child when abused. The pain of abuse may subside but never really goes away. Knowledge is the key. There are visible signs that identify an abused child if we pay attention and know what to watch for. No one paid attention to me and many could’ve helped, but they turned their backs on me in fear of causing trouble for themselves.  As responsible adults I believe we all need to watch out for all our children. That doesn’t mean to accuse before facts are known, but definitely pay attention to the signs and do the right thing when needed. I wish someone was brave enough to help me.

I am touched that my story inspired you to continue on in psychology. Thank you once again for sharing. Please know that you can write me anytime here or join me on Facebook. I’d love to hear how your future learning experiences help you uncover the mysteries of the mind.  I’m sure you will be a wonderful therapist.

Wishing you much success. Thank you for choosing a profession to help others.


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Karen answers Grace

Richard Baer on May 16th 2010

Comment by Grace on 06 May 2010 at 10:59 am

Dear Karen,

How are you?I am not doing well and needed to write to someone.I believe my life is over. I can’t stand living with two men who abuse me. I dont think I am a multiple like you but go away when they rape me.not at the same time but both do.I am a foster child age 17. I will be 18 in december and have no one to turn to. Two of the other foster boys rape me whenever they want to. I am afraid to tell anyone because I don’t wish to go back into foster care in another home. I got a job and am saving some money to get out on my own. I am bothered since I read your book. I think I am using some ideas of dissociation without really dissociating. I pretend I dont remember the rapes but do. If I pretend nothing happened then no one gets hurt. What will happen to me if I keep doing this? Will I become a multiple?


Name changed for protection

Dear Grace,

I’m so sorry to hear you’re suffering and trying to handle rape on your own. I know you’re afraid to upset your situation, but believe me when I say you need to seek help as soon as possible. If your foster parents are kind and responsible they will respect you and not allow any further harm to come to you. I don’t believe they will send you away. But they may need to send your foster brothers away. What your foster brothers are doing to you is wrong and shameful.

Abuse is abuse. Rape is rape. And you are being abused and raped. I believe your feeling of going away is a form of dissociation. Please tell someone: a counselor at school, your social worker, and your foster parents to start. You do not need to suffer alone. You need to do this to survive. It’s not okay to allow this to continue. Please seek immediate help.  Just think if your abusers are doing the same to other young women or children! It’s not okay.

I admire you for wanting to take care of yourself by getting a job, saving, and dreaming of moving out, but please be realistic. The pain you are enduring will follow you. It’s hard to let go of such horrid experiences. It’s impossible to run away from yourself. A qualified therapist will help you find the right path to heal. First you need to talk. I believe you are trying to dissociate to eliminate your trauma. Trust me, it isn’t helpful to try to force yourself to forget. It won’t work, and will only postpone an avalanche of inner chaos in the future. You mention you pretend no one gets hurt. That’s not true, you’re already hurt. And you need to take care of yourself first. Do not worry about your abusers, you are the victim.

Wishing you all my best. I have faith in you. Please do what you know is best for you.


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Karen answers Rachel

Richard Baer on May 16th 2010

Comment by Rachel on 05 May 2010 at 3:28 pm

We have been dx’d w DID since 2001– we have struggled for a long while not only to accept the dx, but to try to seek adequate help, with very little success. Close to giving up, we found a copy of the text at our local library and decided to take it home to read. It was so incredibly written and insightful! we shared it w our then psychologist and it helped her also. Together we learned about treatment and we were SO MUCH BETTER able to find the beginning of finally being able to live effectively as a multiple. Thank you, Karen for putting yourself out there, and thank you, Dr. Baer, for writing this book.

Dear Rachel,

You’re welcome! Thank you for sharing! I am glad to hear that my story has helped you along on your journey. In deciding to write the book, Dr. Baer and I felt it necessary to tell the whole truth, which includes all the trauma child abuse can bring into the life of one who has endured such pain. I am happy to hear you are on your way to recovering from multiplicity. I admit, accepting your diagnosis and healing is a difficult road to take, but worth it in the end. To live as one is incredible. I continue to live a life I once thought impossible. I am blessed to have survived.  I believe you will, too. Please don’t give up.

Thank you for sharing my story with your therapist. I am glad to hear she felt it was helpful, too. I will pass along your compliments to Dr. Baer. I’m sure he will be happy to hear them.


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Karen answers Alicia

Richard Baer on May 16th 2010

Comment by Alicia from Maine on 04 May 2010 at 8:19 pm

Hi Karen,

I have D.I.D. and read what you said about not reading about your diagnosis during therapy and agree with you but my therapist actually gave me YOUR book to read? I have not read it because of what you said. I do not wish to defy my therapist but what do you think about it? Could you ask Richard Baer if he thinks it’s a good idea? do you think I should ask for a second opinion? Is your book a guideline for us patients? If my therapist gave me the book you would think it safe for me. I feel very uncomfortable right now. I received the book one week ago and have an appointment in two weeks. I have ten parts and am considering integration. I read your blog once a week but have not read your story by Richard Baer. I first heard of you from my therapist.


Dear Alicia,

Thank you for writing and sharing your confusion. First, please know that Switching Time is not a self help book or a manual for therapists to treat multiple personality disorder, or dissociative identity disorder. I agree, Switching Time may be instructive for therapists and patients about how one treatment was conducted successfully, but it was never intended to replace a therapist’s good judgment.

Dr. Baer never suggested any books or other information regarding multiplicity during my therapy, but he never discouraged me from any either.  I chose not to read any in fear of causing added turmoil to myself and my alters. In my opinion, although I’m not a therapist, there is no reason to add someone else’s story to your therapy. It’s hard enough to get through each day, with a group of alters causing chaos, without outside influence.

You may be different.  I’m not sure why your therapist introduced my story to you, but before you begin to read Switching Time, go to him and discuss with him the concerns you’ve expressed here. I believe he will listen intently and share his reasons for giving you the book. I have no idea what would’ve happened to my therapy if I chose to read a book like mine, but I am glad I didn’t. That was the best choice for me.

Thank you for sharing that you read my blog.  Trust your instincts and you will know what is best for you.

Wishing you all my best!


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Karen answers Justine

Richard Baer on May 16th 2010

Comment by Justine on 01 May 2010 at 7:44 pm

Hi Karen!

I am a therapist in the Detroit area and found Switching Time on the Library book site. When I requested it found that there may be a three month wait to read it? I was shocked that the library waiting list for your story had thirteen people ahead of me. Needless to say I searched and bought the book. I am a very opinionated person and you caught me off guard. To have your story in print is one thing but to continue here on a blog and facebook blows me away. I am inspired. Is Richard Baer helping you? I assume you must be overwhelmed with stress and gladness. Great work! Take care!


Detroit, MI

Dear Justine,

Thank you for sharing! WOW! Thirteen people waiting to read Switching Time is amazing. I sometimes wonder how people find my story. I understand these are hard times and many can’t afford to buy a book, but I’m glad you chose to buy Switching Time rather than wait. I appreciate hearing your opinions. I understand you were caught off guard; my story is shocking but true. It’s my desire to encourage hope through sharing my story.  Please write back after you have read Switching Time.

Thank you for all your compliments! They fill me with gladness. I get a bit weary at times answering all these questions, but I feel honored and privileged to help.


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