Karen answers Long Distance Friend

Comment by Long distance friend on October 28, 2008 3:44 pm

Dear “Karen”,

I wanted to thank you for giving me “Switching Time”. There are some elements in it that shed new light on my own life. The specificness of your memories are like what his memories are. My memories are much more impressionistic. The writing style you have allowed me to step outside of myself at a time when I really needed a break from my inside management. I love you even more now!

Some favorite moments:

I could relate when Holdon was saying how stressed he was trying to keep things functioning. The constant worry that someone inside would ‘out them’. The disputes about who was going to do what.. and the inevitable prefernces of someone who preferred to be ‘out’ or ‘in’. The gender issues when someone knew they were the opposite gender of the body and how frustrating that was.

When you found the tie to give to D. Baer.

Agreement is so precious. To find something that everyone liked and appreciated is such a treasure. What it made me do was enjoy all over again, the wonderful gifts you gave me and the girls. How completely appropriate… how full of love and appreciation. *smile* I get all teary just remembering all over again.

The ending

That’s the you I’ve met. The one after all the tears and stress and challenge of healing. I can enjoy you more now because I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet all the ones who kept you safe all those years. And I can appreciate you more because I’ve been blessed with healing too. I know the struggle to keep it all together and the bewilderment and the weariness of getting from one day to the next.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

*hugs*

 

Dear Friend,

I am happy to hear that my story has touched you and has shed some new light into your own life.  I also appreciate you sharing your favorite parts of Switching Time.  It’s really nice to hear you paid attention to all the little details that made my alters come to life and be experienced as they really were.  I am amazed at how well you understand my overall experience.

Thank you so much for sharing your warm thoughts of my journey with Dr. Baer.  Thank you for bringing a smile to my face and believing in me. I am blessed to know you, too!

Karen

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Karen answers Karla W.

Comment by Karla W on October 28, 2008 11:25 am

Hi Karen!

This is great, you providing insight to your life before and after integration. I loved the mind tease your book gave me. It’s so interesting to read about how your mind set you up for survival purposes. I have these questions regarding memory. Do you believe in false memory syndrome and the possibilty it might have pertained to you? I don’t see anything that would suggest this and know how trauma experienced can make an dent in your mind. How would you explain your remembering all the details so vividly? Is this unusual or talent? Also how has your memory been seen integration? Do you have lapses or continue to remember all?

Thank you,

Karla W.

 

Dear Karla,

I have heard of false memory syndrome, but in my case this isn’t so.  Unfortunately, I can remember the details of all that happened to me because of the traumatic nature of each abusive episode.  My alters kept most of my life fragmented until integration when each alter’s memory fragments combined to become complete memories for me.  I am clear about all that happened to me and have verified much of it.

I’m not sure how to explain how I remember so much.  I wish I couldn’t.  What I do know is my mind never stops recalling, thinking, and processing information.  My mother and grandmother have amazing memories, and told stories of all that had happened in each of their lives during their childhoods and the war.  Until the day my grandmother passed, at age 98, she was fully aware of her surroundings, had an amazing memory, would recite poems, and shared her childhood stories in vivid detail.  I guess in runs in the family.

Since integration, I remember all of my past, but I don’t have a very good sense of the passage of time.  For me, all that I’ve experienced and known continues to feel as if it wasn’t that long ago that I suffered.  I don’t think of these bad times on a daily basis, but much of the past continues to be triggered at inconvenient times.  These moments pass very quickly, but during the moment may overwhelm me.   I continue to work on trying to understand the passage of time.  I wish I could forget the past. Then again, I am who I am, which includes me and all my past memories.

Thank you for your interesting questions,

Karen

Karen answers Barry

Comment by Pissed off Barry on October 28, 2008 2:30 am

Karen, you have every right to label this guy a child molester because he IS and WAS convicted of it. I am grateful this freak wrote in. It was so weird but helpful reading what his thoughts were about. He assumes he’s ok? This weirdo doesn’t even feel remorse. Let him write a hundred times so we can learn about the minds of molesters. Thank you Karen for answering CM even though you were too easy. I would like to read that you call him worse. Don’t be nice to him. Tell him off!

Hey, Child Molester, What area do you reside in? I sure would like to know? If you ever think of doing something like hurting another child, do us all a favor and report yourself. Why did you read Karen’s book, for your own sick pleasure?

Pissed off Barry

 

Dear Barry,

I appreciate that you agree with my addressing Male 3 as a child molester.  I felt justified because he is a convicted child molester.  In a way, I was glad that he wrote in, too.  This way, those who read this blog can understand better the mindset of a child molester and see how there is no remorse or guilt.  This child molester, in particular, doesn’t seem to show remorse even after spending five years in prison for his crime.  I can understand your not wanting me to be nice to people like him and wish for me to tell him off.  However, this man needs professional help, which I cannot provide.

Regarding your message to this child molester, hopefully he will read your comment here.

Karen

Karen answers David

Comment by David on October 27, 2008 3:42 am

Karen,

Were you drugged before abused? If you were what do you think you were given? I read Switching Time and was absolutely engrossed in your life. I canʼt imagine how you went from one point to the next. You mustʼve been drugged and if the alters were to protect you why didnʼt they? Why did you go willingly and why didnʼt your alters hide you or fight back? If you couldnʼt what made you not kill them any chance you had? I donʼt get it? I wouldʼve killed them all the moment I had a chance. Perverts need to be destroyed. Do you think they received their just reward?

David

 

Dear David,

I’m not sure whether I was drugged before being abused.  I may have been, but I lost time and slipped into an altered state of mind.  My alters were created for the sole purpose of sparing me from the horrific trauma and experiences I endured.  I may have been drugged afterwards.

Why did I go willingly with my abusers?  I was a child; how could I foresee what would happen?  My alters were created to protect me.  They were within me and could not prevent what happened; all they could do was take control and endure the pain for me.  My alters kept the rest of me unavailable during the worst of the worst abuse.

I can understand why you would imagine killing those who might have hurt you.  This is not who I am.  I couldn’t kill anyone.  However, I did think about it.  You are right, perverts need to be done away with, but it’s not in my nature to take this task into my own hands.  I will leave this to the justice system, or better yet, God.  In the end, all those who have abused me, as well as all God’s children, will receive their just rewards.

Thank you for your questions,

Karen

Karen answers Stampede

Comment by The Stampede on October 27, 2008 12:32 pm

Dear Karen,

Like many others I was diagnosed about six years ago. My husband and I have been dealing with it together for the last two years. It has been a tough road for me. I am just an alter who was created just for the sole purpose to have a “normal life”. (Whatever normal is) I functioned remarkably good for eight years. Once my father passed away my internal world that I didn’t know existed came crashing in. I was diagnosed not long after that and have been in therapy every since.

I now have a wonderful therapist after many tries and am grateful. The problem now is I want my own life but insiders say I am not ready for integration. I am so mentally exhausted and physically drained. I don’t know that I can see it through. I feel that I may never intergrate because I have such a complex system.

I struggle with the horrific memories I recieve these days and I in good moral feel my alters even though did what they did to survive are wrong. It makes me question my religion. I fight with if I will go to heaven or hell when I die.

The reason I am telling you all of this is because I feel like you know what I am going through. This is the first time that I see my struggles in black and white and I feel they are real. There are some days I just feel it isn’t real and any mintue this horrible dream will be over. It isn’t though, I never wake up.

How did you find the strength? I find most of my strength in wanting to be here to watch my sons grow up. I just worry that will not be enough strength to get me through the rest of my journey. I have so many more miles to travel and I am down to a mere crawl. Thank you for Listening.

Dear Stampede,

Thank you for sharing your story.  I totally understand all that you’ve written.  I also had  alters who kept my life as “normal” as possible.  This is how I survived each day.  My alters were born to keep the trauma separate from my everyday life.  I can understand how your father’s death triggered chaos.  My system became chaotic at the birth of my daughter during a cesarean section.  Unfortunately, like you, my past came flooding back and knocked me down. It took many years to get back up, and I did.

In time, as your alters accept therapy and achieve trust with your therapist, I think you will start to change and integration may finally happen. It took many years, actually nine years before my integration was completed.  Dr. Baer had to get each alter on board.  It was exhausting, mentally and physically. However, with you finding the right therapist, I have faith you will make it through.  Having patience is hard but necessary for your alters to gain the strength needed before integration can be accomplished. Please have faith and don’t give up. I fought against the inconceivable and you can too!

I found strength in journaling, accepting my past, and releasing most of my pain.  I fed off Dr. Baer’s strength until I could manage to build strength of my own.  I admit, seeing my story in black and white was therapeutic.  I had journaled all through my life, and my written words were a necessary part of my healing. I thought of my journaling as venting my anger  and my pain became less of a burden for me to carry, and being less of a burden, I was able to function better.

I wish you inner peace and a sense of calm as you continue your journey to wholeness.

Karen

 

Stampede also writes this to the Child Molester.

Comment by The Stampede on October 27, 2008 12:59 pm

Child Molestor,

You are a very sick man. No child ever asks to be abused. No little girl or boy ever asks for it to just happen to them. They aren’t standing in a line with their hand raised in hopes someone will pick them to hurt them and break their faith in a good human existance.

I feel if you rehabilitated yourself you need to allow someone else to help you, a professional would be wise, because you didn’t do the job. I worked in a group home for perpetrators and I honestly believe that perpetrators can be rehabilitated but it requires a lot of hard work and revising your thinking. You clearly are one of the ones that has been rehabilitate thus far. I am not saying you won’t ever be, but at this moment in your life, you need to be real with yourself because you aren’t rehabilitated.

Karen answers Sister Mary Frances

Comment by Sister Mary Frances on October 26, 2008 1:04 am

Dear Karen,

I met a woman on the train who was reading your book and sobbing. I asked her if there was something wrong? She said, We all have strengths and weaknesses, this book is a very special book, for it identified my weaknesses, the woman in this book wanted to heal and give of herself to help others achieve their dreams. She said this woman came into my heart. This stranger told me to pick one up that she thought it’s reading most important. I did and wish to talk with her again. Don’t remember her name? We talked for twenty minutes about this book and when I exited the train I picked one up at the bookstore three blocks away, guessing curiosity at this strange meeting got to me? God works through each of us to learn. The conversation began as many do? Is something wrong? Can I help? When you witness someone like this it’s hard to turn your back.

Normally I would never dare buy a book like this. I am a nun. I am appalled by the church where you schooled and attended. I will pray for all. Situations influenced you to make decisions you were not sure about. Trust your own thoughts and go with them. I believe God has spoken through you, to all those who read your story. What happened to your soul when the spiritual underlayment was destroyed and a part of your “whole” being was missing, was horrific?

I pray for you to grow, it’s a wonderful feeling, your efforts will bring you everlasting love.
God bless you,
Sister Mary Frances

Dear Sister Mary Frances,

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story!  I can visualize this meeting.  How nice to know you took the time to ask a woman in need if she needed help.  This is how we all should be.  I am glad to hear there was a very encouraging conversation between you and this passenger who happened to be reading my story.  I, too, believe there is a reason for everything.  What are the chances of this happening without God’s help?

I am surprised that you read Switching Time.  You are kind to share that you felt appalled by the school and church I attended.  However, it wasn’t the fault of the school and church, it was the fault of those few members who abused me under God’s name, in God’s house.  I was reluctant to tell anyone, because who would listen to me when a priest and policeman were involved.

I always try to trust my own instincts but sometimes fail at this. I believe I’ve been fortunate to have someone look out for me.  Dr. Baer has been my mentor, and whenever I messed up he was there to help me understand what I’ve done wrong.  I’ve been far from perfect.

I’ll continue to pray for all those who suffer from the pain of childhood abuse.  It’s not easy living with a heavy heart.  Maybe it’s true that God has spoken through me.  I share my story hoping to help others.  I just wish it wasn’t so hard to do.  My story does have a happy ending though, for I did survive.

Thank you for your blessings,

Karen

Karen answers Claudia

Comment by Claudia Beverly Hills on October 25, 2008 11:37 pm

Hey Karen,

When you think about how your life was in the old days when people may have only needed to make three o five decisions in a day, when times were simplier and defined, how are you when bombarded with information and questions after integration of the alters who kept things separate? How do you deal with the constant noise of information and choices that may be difficult to get away from? In todays world with constant picture taking, cell phones, sound bites, computers and all the rest, how did you transfer alter ways into modern day ways? You must have had an incredible amount of shit to sift rhough. Are you done yet?

Claudia
Beverly Hills

Dear Claudia,

 

I’ve never thought about these things before you asked these questions, but I’ll try my best to answer.  My old days were lived in chaos.  If it weren’t for alter help through dissociation I’m not sure what would’ve happened to me.  I believe my dissociating was a God sent blessing.  Of course, times seemed simplier back then, and I lived one day at a time.  Most of the time I never expected to live another day. I grew up either believing I would be killed by my father or wishing I would die. Not much decision making, is there?

 

Being bombarded with life after integration was hard.  I won’t deny this.  As a matter of fact, I continue to struggle with trying to fit into the real world.  I am definitely overwhelmed by all the noise of information coming in.  It took a while before I started accepting all the new information coming in as my own reality.  I believe some of my alters learned a little of everything I needed in order to survive. I used to joke with others about knowing a little bit of everything and not enough about anything.  There is always room to learn more, and I continue to learn more each day.  

 

Thank you these challenging, thought provoking questions.

 

Karen