Karen answers BHJ MD

Comment by BHJ MD on March 28, 2009 8:43 pm

Karen,

I find you fascinating and quite knowledgeable. I found your comments on the USoT message board quite useful in my practice. As a therapist I appreciate your concern in not claiming to be a professional. It’s quite thoughtful and sincere of you to share from your personal experiences. In fifteen years of medical school I have learned more from your input on D.I.D. than what was covered in text. I’d like to commend you for your effort to help. I have met Richard Baer. What he did was no easy task. As a medical professional I would have transfered you and treat only the medicinal part of your therapy. IMO it took two. You and Richard Baer.

BHJ MD

Dear BHJ MD,

Thank you for all your compliments, especially in sharing that you have learned much about the illness through my answering questions. The main reason Dr. Baer and I shared our story in Switching Time was to bring awareness to the illness, multiplicity, in an accurate way. It has always been our hope to help others in the best way we could.

I am glad you met Dr. Baer and felt inspired by what he accomplished in his treatment of me. Although his task may have been difficult, you are right, it took the two of us to accomplish the miracle of healing me.  It was definitely impossible for me to heal from my past abuse on my own. I needed help. I had endured so much that I never thought I’d be alive today.  Dr. Baer never once gave up on me. I will always be grateful.  I believe we each benefited from our work together by respecting each other for who we are.

Thank you for being honest sharing that you would refer a patient like me to someone else. That’s a very important part of being a therapist, to know at the beginning of treatment that you couldn’t deal with someone like me. Dr. Baer hesitated at first, but then took me on wholeheartedly. If Dr. Baer had sent me off to another therapist after working with me for awhile, I would’ve ended my life. Multiples like me don’t take rejection well. It’s always best to cut off the therapy, if necessary, early on with a multiple, before the multiple starts to build trust with the therapist. Any doctor who choses to treat a multiple needs to know this. Otherwise, the pain endured will devastate the multiple forever, and may even lead to the multiple’s death by suicide.  

Karen

Karen answers Kimberly’s Second Comment

Comment by Kimberly on March 27, 2009 7:24 pm

Thank you, Karen Overhill!

You have helped me with your advice. I didnt think of the things you said. I took your advice and called a child protection welfare agency and asked the questions brought on by your answer. I carefully chose each question before making my call. I wrote them down. I was shocked that they said exactly what you said, almost word for word. You should be a counselor. I chose to leave my name because I needed to hear feedback to rest. I was relieved to find the child in question suffers from a medical condition that scares her into having nightmares. The child is hooked up to a machine every night that monitors her breathing. I don’t know details except she stops breathing alot. I was assured she was okay. I was thanked for being concerned. The parents of the girl never knew I called. But they told the case worker to thank me. I feel your advice saved the day. Thank you. Keep on truckin! I am happy you can help people who are confused.

Kimberly

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for writing back and sharing your experience. I’m glad to hear you did the right thing. I’m sure you are relieved to know the truth about what you heard. I admire you for what you’ve done. I know how hard it must’ve been to pick up the phone and make that call to share your thought that a child was being abused, but you did!  That was a good thing. I’m glad all turned out well.

We need more people like you to be aware of suspected child abuse. In this case, it turned out to be a medical condition, but it may not have been, and you could’ve saved the child from further harm. I am also glad the girl’s parents acted in a responsible way by cooperating with the case worker and telling her to thank you for being concerned. I would hope all people would act that way, to not take offense, but to be grateful that someone cared enough to check out suspected abuse.

Thank you for being a good neighbor and caring enough to share.

Karen

Karen answers NAW

Comment by Dolly on March 26, 2009 2:34 pm

Okay Karen,

Richard Baer is great. I can tell by your answers how much he has done for you. I can tell he means a lot to you. I would like to know how you, someone who was so abused found a non abusive doctor? If you are a real multiple personality you would choose an abusive doctor to treat you not one you grow to trust and respect. Doesn’t being abused attract more abuse? I want to know what you consider non abusive behavior. I want to know if your definition of abuse is different than mine. I thought multiple personalities look for the same character in their doctor that was like their abusers. If you liked your doctor from the start then he is abusive because you didn’t know non-abusive behavior. Don’t you think you chose him to work for you because you sensed he was a abuser?

NAW

Dear NAW,

I appreciate your asking these challenging questions. There are many misconceptions regarding how those of us who were once abused choose how to find and receive help. I’ve been fortunate to have had alters who were created to help me survive being abused as a child. Alters are created to help the victim overcome and survive through dissociation.

My alter’s gathered their good traits by absorbing the good from good people,  and through fantasy of what a real family should be like. I longed for help in a respectful way. By the time I met Dr. Baer, my alters and I knew what we needed in order to succeed.  We chose Dr. Baer to accompany us after observing him for awhile, before revealing the truth of our past abuse. It was difficult at first to let my guard down and build trust with him. Building trust with Dr. Baer did not come immediately, it took a few years. During that time “we” (meaning my alters and me) survived on blind faith and grew to believe he would not abandon or betray us.

It’s really hard for me to explain the enormous struggle it was to keep on going to therapy. There were so many times I wanted to give up. Somehow my alters believed Dr. Baer wouldn’t let us down. Dr. Baer was the first male I ever met that didn’t physically abuse me, verbally assault me, or degrade or humiliate me. That is how I built trust. I fed on his strength and good will, and he stayed consistent without harming me. During the therapeutic relationship there were times I thought he might turn on me, but he never did. After realizing I would be safe in his care I started to share my past.

I was somewhat lucky to find Dr. Baer.  I didn’t even meet him until that first day of therapy. I was referred to work with him by another psychiatrist. However, I admit, the first day I walked into his office I didn’t like him very much. I thought he was standoffish, rude, arrogant, and selfish because he was formal and matter of fact. Then I realized that was part of a psychiatrist’s job. I learned that I had projected those feelings onto him because of my hatred for men. I thought he was a threat to my system. He wasn’t. Together, we worked very hard to heal me. We respected each other’s time. I still believe Dr. Baer was God sent.

It is my hope that my answers satisfied your curiosity. Please know that multiples don’t wish to seek out abusive relationships in any form, although they sometimes tend to stay in them when they’re in one. A multiple will always sense trouble immediately and want to run. The alters of a multiple seek to be treated with dignity and respect. Trust is very difficult for any multiple to obtain. It takes hard work and persistence to live in a multiple’s world. The will to live is hidden in dark corners and needs to be discovered slowly.  

Karen

Karen answers Rose

Comment by Rose on March 25, 2009 1:25 pm

Karen,

What a beautiful quote from Audrey Hepburn you left on Facebook. Beautiful Woman. Do you believe all women who have the traits stated are beautiful? What kind of women are ugly? why do men always pick the stupid pretty girls. Not saying your ugly. I’m trying to figure out if men are more likely to abuse ugly women? You are a beautiful woman.

Rose

Dear Rose,

Thank you for sharing and bringing my Facebook comment to my blog. I will add the quote below. I thought this quote from Audrey Hepburn was beautiful and well written. I believe beauty is within each of us. We all are unique, some of us may have had hard lives, and some of us may not see ourself as beautiful, when we indeed are. Beauty is present when we each live with the traits that truly make us beautiful.

I can’t explain why most men tend to pick pretty girls. I am not an expert on why men do the things they do.  But I surely don’t believe pretty girls are stupid. That’s a judgement that I don’t wish to be a part of. I chose to share Audrey’s quote because I believe beauty is more than just looks, it’s about living your life in confidence.

Regarding women who are abused. Abuse is abuse, and an abuser will abuse anyone they can manipulate and control.  Abusers abuse all kinds of people; being a beautiful person doesn’t prevent you from becoming a victim.

Below is a wonderful sentiment Audrey Hepburn wrote when asked to share her “beauty tips.” It was read at her funeral years later. 

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. 

For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. 

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others. 

Thank you for your thoughts.

Karen

Karen answers Matt

Comment by Matt on March 25, 2009 12:33 pm

Karen or Richard,

Can’t buy the book from amazon? Was told all HC sold out, will there be a second edition? I hate trade paperback? If a second edition prints have them add the reader group question to the end. I bought six books as gifts to share with my colleagues. Don’t want to buy second editions, want first. Great work you two!

Matt

Dear Matt,

I’ve noticed, too, that Amazon.com has been out of the hard cover version of our book.  Thank you for purchasing extra copies of Switching Time to give as gifts to your colleagues. I appreciate your interest in the first edition of our book.

It’s Dr. Baer’s and my hope that our book continues to sell well. We believe there are still hard cover books available, maybe just not through Amazon at this time. There could be a possibility for a second edition at some point, or maybe, God willing, a sequel. Of course, the trade paperback version of Switching Time is available, as well as a version for Kindle and audio. 

Thank you for your compliments, for your support, and especially for your suggestion for adding the Reader Group questions.

Karen

Karen answers Cindy

Comment by Cindy on March 24, 2009 4:11 pm

Karen, coming to your site makes me and I am sure many others feel comforted knowing we are not alone on our journey of survival and healing. It seems like one of the things I noticed is that I tend to be more intuitive and sensitive than the average person…My therapist told me because I grew up with with a lot of child abuse that some children are a lot more intuitive and sensitive that get abused. I notice when I meet a stranger I am able to sense a lot of things about that person before they even tell me much about themselves. I also have had many dreams in my past that have come true that I was not able to explain. I guess if there is anything good that did come out of my child abuse it would have to be that I am grateful to have this gift of sensitivity that seems to be protecting me from any further harm and abuse. I just wanted to know if you have ever experienced anything similar to this? Blessings to you.

Cindy

Dear Cindy,

Thank you for your compliments and sharing that coming to our site brings comfort to not only you but to others as well. It’s important for me to share in hope to help others through their own personal journey.

I have always been sensitive to everything around me.  I call it being attuned.  I have no choice but to be aware at all times.  Being attuned could make the difference between being abused harshly or less so. There were many times I sensed trouble ahead and tried to get away or disappear before it was too late. It’s hard to live in such a way, and although being attuned may appear to be a gift, it isn’t always.

My gift of being attuned can cause me heartache. Recently, I sensed a trusted friend’s dislike for me. It’s devastating to know how someone feels about you without them telling you so. I can tell by reading facial movements, body language, and patterns of speech. Sadly, I always feel to blame even when I’m not. It’s hard knowing what people think before they speak.

Since integration, whenever I sense trouble, betrayal, deception, or someone who may try to deceive me, I know, I always know.

Thank you for your questions.

Karen

Karen answers Kristi

Comment by Kristi on March 23, 2009 11:57 pm

Hey Karen, i read your book and its amazing how you overcame everything…i’m doing a report on DID for speech..i was wondering if you had information i could possibly use for that speech…if you could email me that would be awesome.!

-Kristi!

Dear Kristi,

Thank you for your compliment! Dr. Baer and I chose to share our story to give accurate information about multiplicity. Most of what I know about DID came from my own personal experience and journey. I am not a therapist and can’t give advice, but if you read my answers here on the Switching Time blog, as well as our book, you may come to a better understanding of the illness. I have also shared many of my opinions on the message board for United States of Tara.

Good luck with your speech.

Karen