Karen Answers Breanna

Comment by Breanna on August 27, 2008 12:17 pm

Dear Karen,

Great Book! This is the best book I ever read in years! It carried me without my losing interest. Now I sit here in awe of all that you’ve accomplished in becoming the woman you are today. I wasn’t an abused child but have a friend who was and never understood her pain. In reading Switching Time I can now understand more than I did not just about multiple personality disorder but all kinds of abuse suffered by the hands of all abusers. Now I can be more empathetic to her and to others who may share their pain with me in the future. Thank you for making this book happen. My questions are:

1. Can you explain how you feel when you switch?
2. Was there a warning or feeling you experience like (not to offend you) animal instinct, like animals can smell danger ahead of time?
3. If you did, now that you are integrated do you still have this same ability to be forewarned?

Thank you,
Breanna
Maine

Dear Breanna,

Thank you for all your compliments and for sharing some of your personal thoughts on your better understanding of child abuse. It’s nice to hear that you have changed how you feel, and believe you can be more empathetic to others.

You asked a very good question. Switching, or losing time, was something of a mystery to me, too. I often wonder exactly how I did this. It really wasn’t under my control. I’ll try to explain the best I can.

Usually, there was a feeling that came over me, an intuition, that forewarned me when something bad was about to happen. As a child, this warning would signal a switch for another alter to take over. I was always vigilant. This is how I survived my entire life. I would experience an overwhelming feeling of dread that would cause me to pause for a few seconds. At this time, I would try to put up a “wall”, a metaphor for protecting myself for something that was about to happen. It started with the same feeling you have if you think someone is following you, you’re frightened, and you cross the street to protect yourself. Then I would just switch. I don’t know why or how I did this, I just did it.

Not everyone can switch into an altered state as I once did. But it started with something similar to animal instinct, I guess.

Karen

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