Karen Answers Matthew

Comment by Matthew on August 25, 2008 4:33 am

Dear Karen,

Switching Time has changed me. I was one of those people that had doubts about anyone claiming to have a dissociative condition. I would laugh and think, why does this person need so much attention? I once had a friend who claimed this. At first it was exciting, after a while knowing her drained me. I tried to care, helped her in every way I could only to believe she was a manipulative bitch who lied for attention. To my knowledge she destroyed everything and every relationship around her. I no longer supported her, we broke up and six years later I heard she ended her life. I bought this book because this is the condition she claimed to have. It was out of this curiosity that I bought and read it. I guess I still had many unanswered questions. That is, until I read this book.

I can’t myself know if my ex-girlfriend actually had multiple personality disorder or now called dissociative identity disorder but I do believe in your story, Karen. I believe in you and wish you the best in life. Sadness continues to surround me about my ex taking her life but at the time I believe she acted as if she had this condition to receive negative attention. I’m sure she had another illness, borderline personality disorder or possibly was bi-polar. Not that comparing is right. Understanding is what I sought and received through this book. She needed help this I know. I couldn’t help her. I heard she was in therapy when she took her own life. How sad for her therapist and for those who cared for her. Suicide destroys. It’s so sad she ended her life but I can now understand the pain of suffering from a mental illness. Thank you for allowing your story to be told.

Karen, you are right, the world needed to hear your story

Thank you, Richard Baer, for helping Karen.

Newport News, Virginia

Dear Matthew,

Thank you for sharing your story with me and all those who read this blog. I am sorry for the loss of your ex-girlfriend. I can understand why you have so many unanswered questions. I can sense your sadness. Maybe your therapist can help you get through the mixed thoughts you have and help you understand them. It sounds to me as if you really did care for her, even after the your break-up.

I feel the illness I suffered is a mystery and part of the reason why I wanted my story told. I think there are many misdiagnoses of this disorder and not enough documentation to support true cases of multiple personality disorder. It is Dr. Baer’s and my hope that through our story there will be clearer understanding of the cause and effects of this illness.

I’m not a therapist and can only share my thoughts on the questions you’ve asked. Switching Time is not to be used as a guide for all those who may suffer from multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder. Switching Time is just my personal story. But it’s my hope, through my experiences, others will find their own strength to heal.

I can understand how difficult it can be to befriend someone who suffers from a mental illness. I’m sure I have challenged a few of my own friends! It doesn’t really matter whether your ex-girlfriend suffered from borderline personality disorder, bi-polar illness, or MPD. The fact that she was seeing a therapist meant she was trying to help herself. I’m sure it was sad for her therapist to have lost a patient to suicide. I know Dr. Baer would’ve been devastated if I ended my life.

Thank you for believing in me and for coming to a better understanding of people who suffer from this illness.



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