Karen Answers Irena

Comment by Irena on July 11, 2008 12:45 am

Dear Karen,

As I read your life’s journey, I kept feeling thankful for your alters and the beautifully functioning selves which protected you and each other. It would be good to know how you have been able to continue long term without therapy or losing time, without alters to help you along and take the stresses of everyday living. What an amazing age at which to get to know yourself all over again, or for the first time even. How are you doing this?

I was dying to hold you all through the book. Thanks for allowing Dr Baer to write your story so well. I hope that the book and all the interest it generates doesn’t bring back any trauma to your life now.

Dear Irena,

Thank you for your kind words. I, too, am thankful for my alters. My alters spared me the pain of the most horrific abuse until I was old enough to deal with it in therapy with Dr. Baer. I believe my alters were a God sent coping mechanism. Since my therapeutic relationship ended with Dr. Baer two years ago, I continue to have a bad day once in awhile. But I’ve been fortunate that Dr. Baer and I maintain a supportive relationship and talk.

Not having the alters saddens me at times. Sometimes I think I miss them – not the alters themselves, but the idea of having an alter who would take over and spare me from dealing with something I didn’t want to. I admit dealing with the stresses of everyday life on my own has been difficult at times. I do the best I can, and afterwards am glad I didn’t need to dissociate. I continue to learn more about myself each day. Getting to know myself at this age has been another journey; my children are grown and doing well on their own, and now I can focus more on me. I’d love to travel more, take a few college courses, and experience things I never have.

It is my hope my story will shed light on the illness I suffered, the extent of what child abuse can cause, and how one’s mind can create a way to cope in order to survive. It was difficult to go over what happened to me, but the distress was short lived. I’ve grown stronger as time has passed and am able to talk more freely, answer questions, and accept my past without pause.

Karen

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