Karen Answers Robin

Comment by Robin on August 12, 2008 2:48 am

Hello Karen,

I just finished reading your story. I found it to be fascinating! What a brilliant mind you have. Thank you for sharing it with us. I am a teacher and have suspected abuse in some of my students over the years. It is very difficult to prove this, though when you are working with young children. I am simply amazed at your ability to creat Elise who behaved as a “normal” student during the day. I am sure some of your former teachers would be very interested to know your story. Please consider sending a copy of your book to a former teacher of yours! I am also a mother of two young boys. I find it difficult to find time to be away from the boys to take care of things like occasional doctor appointments for myself. How were you able to find the time to delve into such extensive therapy with your two children at home? Your husband seemed to be angry and abusive, and your parents were obviously not fit to watch your children. Did you have other reliable friends/relatives available to help out with your kids? I am NOT criticizing you in the least bit-you needed and deserved the time to heal yourself. I am just very curious as to how you were able to swing it? As a final note, I admire your courage and strength and would be honored to meet you someday. If you are ever considering a public appearance, please post it to this website. Thank you, Karen. I wish you days of happiness and laughter!


Dear Robin,

Thank you for all your kind words. I am glad you asked the questions you did. And if I happen to make an appearance, I will try to post it.

I honestly hadn’t thought about sending a copy of the book to the teachers who once taught me. Would they remember me? I can understand that being a teacher, how interesting it would be for you to know a child who survived what I have and how she did it. My former teachers could be well into their seventies or eighties, but I will consider sending them a copy. Thank you for your suggestion.

During my grade school years, when Elise took care of me during school hours, my teachers may have wondered about me. There were signs that most of my teachers, nuns, didn’t pay attention to. I had bruises no one asked about. I suffered severe headaches and spent lots of time in the nurse’s and principal’s office feeling ill. I often wondered why, especially after having my own children, no one took my symptoms seriously. I now understand the reason was—I dissociated. If I were a teacher back then, I definitely would’ve questioned everything that caused suspicion.

During my years in therapy, my children rarely knew when I had a doctor appointment. When they did, they knew I was seeing Dr. Baer to make me feel happy and well. Most of the time I scheduled my appointments during the school day, on the same day and time each week. I always made arrangements with a good friend, as backup, in case one or both of my children became ill or I couldn’t get back in time. Neither my mother nor my husband took care of my children during session times.

On the days I had a session, I’d come home exhausted and teary eyed. I’d try my best to calm myself, or I’d switch and another alter would come out to help. Therapy days turned into “pizza and movie night.” These were a wonderful distraction for me and my children that allowed me to hold myself together until after my children’s and husband’s bedtime. I dealt with it the best I could.

Thank you, again, for sharing and caring,



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