Karen Answers Cynthia

Comment by Cynthia on August 20, 2008 11:43 pm

I read this book and coming from a background of child abuse myself I could not stop crying after reading it. I came to the conclusion I may need some professional help because of painful buried memeories of my own abusive past. I would just like to know how do we forgive our parents and peopel who have abused us? Do we need to forgive the abusers in order to heal? Thank you Karen for your strength and courage.


Dear Cynthia,

I’m sorry that reading my story as left you feeling badly.. I can empathize with what you’re going through and am glad to hear that you’ve come to the realization that you need help. You just took the most important first step—accepting the fact you were abused. Please do seek professional help. I admit, it won’t be easy but over time you will find the strength to move forward. It wasn’t easy for me to acknowledge and deal with my own painful past. And it was even harder for me to accept that my own family members and their friends were abusers.

I know forgivness is something you can’t understand at this time. I will never forget what was done to me, but holding onto the pain from my abusers caused my spirit to be destroyed, along with my will to live. I had to let it go. How does one let go without forgivness? Since I’m not a therapist, I can only say that no matter how you think of it, those who have abused you should somehow be made accountable for what they’ve done. I believe my abusers knew what they were doing. How does one forgive when someone intentially hurts you? I’m not sure whether I really finally forgave them. My alters helped me let some of it go.

During my childhood I always thought I was evil and deserved the abuse I endured. It took many years to understand that I was the child, my parents were the adults, and the adults were supposed to take care of and nurture their children, not hurt them. I blamed myself and sometimes still do. It’s hard not to after feeling lost for so long. The pain does lessen over time. I can’t explain how talking about what happened helps the healing. What I do know for sure is that each time I spoke of how I was abused to Dr. Baer, the truth and the reality of what I suffered was exposed and I was able to deal with it. Whenever I kept these secrets hidden, they festered, and drew me into a depression, which led to suicidal thoughts. Once I heard myself speak the unspeakable, I felt a weight begin to lift off my shoulders and could begin to put the horrific childhood memory aside and simply understand the stark reality of what happened.

Please take care of yourself,



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