Jayne’s Comment to Frustrated Nellie

Comment by Jayne to Frustrated Nellie on December 30, 2008 4:37 am

I have discussed this concern with my therapist many times. She has very patiently explained to several of us that when we were very small and the abuse was happening this was the only coping mechanism we had, we did this to survive–we now have many alternative coping mechanisms that we have learned in therapy and we also have the cognitive abilities of an adult available to help us cope with stressful and/or traumatic situations. She indicates the likelihood of creating new alters or resurrecting ones that have already been integrated is very small.

Dear Jayne,

Thank you for your comment to Frustrated Nellie, and asking your therapist about the possibility of resurrecting alters once they’re integrated.

Karen

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Jayne’s Comment to Cassie

Comment by Jayne on December 30, 2008 4:27 am

I am currently working with a woman therapist who has a definite attitude! However it is her strength and confidence in me that helps me get through these very difficult sessions. I am in the middle of my fourth year of therapy with her (twice a week) and am just starting to get some of the memories from my alters and beginning the process of being aware of what goes on when the alters are out! I have a long way and a rough road ahead of me, Thank God for these wonderful therapists who have the patience, strength perseverance to help us through this painful process.

Dear Jayne,

Thank you for your comment to Cassie. I agree, having a wonderful therapist who has the patience, strength, and perseverance to help one along is vital for the journey towards healing.  I am grateful I found Dr. Baer and we worked well together.  It’s important to have confidence in your therapist.

Karen

Karen answers Winston’s Second Comment

 

Comment by Winston on December 30, 2008 2:10 am

Hey, Karen, Didn’t mean to think this was your only job. Your kind of different that’s why you interest me and my fellow workers. It would be great to see you tell people off instead of being so damn kind hearted. Which leads to my question. Do you ever get angry and pissed off at people other than the people who abused you? Where did you get your kind way from if all you experienced was abuse? People piss me off every day, what about you? What do you do?

Winston

Dear Winston,

Don’t worry, I wasn’t offended by your question.  I know it may appear I’m different, but really I’m not.  I have the same ups and downs like everyone else.  I do the best I can to answer all the questions asked here.  Answering these questions is important to me.

I’m too kind hearted?  Maybe.  This is just the way I am.  It’s not in my nature to be cruel.  I believe by being kind I can make a difference to all those who suffer.  I’ve dealt with my past through eighteen years of therapy and have survived some horrific abuse.  If I had maintained the anger of my past, I wouldn’t have healed, and my abusers would’ve won in their attempt to kill my spirit.  I have very little anger left in me.

Of course I get pissed off at times–doesn’t everyone?  I’m no different.  The only difference is I may have tended to hold my anger inside, and that can cause me distress.  Dr. Baer may be the only one who has ever experienced any of my true past hidden anger.  I’m not sure.

Through many years of therapy, I’ve learned there’s a time and place to express anger, where and when to vent it properly, and to try my best never to express anger in an inappropriate manner.  What will being openly angry prove anyway?  For me, it will cause unnecessary panic and anxiety.  When I feel angry I try to compose myself and walk away.

Thank you for your concern and questions.

Karen

Karen answers Max

Comment by Max on December 29, 2008 5:19 pm

Hi, Karen..

I have to say, your story is one of the most powerful, if not THE single most powerful I have ever read in my life. To think what you had to go through makes all my trials in life seem trivial. I’m so amazed and inspired by your ability to pull through and come out as a content, wholly-functioning person after years and years of hell on earth. Your tale is certainly one filled with tragedies, but it makes it all the more powerful to find how you survived it all and turned your life into something pleasant at last.. and I admire that greatly. I really do.. having suffered clinical depression and anxiety disorder stemming from but a few instances of people who treated me badly, I cannot imagine how hard that had to be.

I just had a little question, and it might seem silly, but I am curious and I haven’t seen it asked here yet: Did Jensen like Shel Silverstein’s book Where The Sidewalk Ends? Because he seems to have redrawn some illustrations out of that book right from memory, like the head-on-top-of-the-head and the bandaged Miles. I’m wondering if it was an inspiration for you as a whole, or more specifically just for that alter, and what other roles it might’ve played. I’m just curious because it was one of my favourite books as a kid, and that’s how I recognised some of the characters.

It’s so interesting, because the poems in the book and the drawings re-created that originally went with those poems are completely different; I’m fascinated with how other works of art might “hit” someone when they first see it.

Dear Max,

Thank you for your compliments! I’m sorry to hear you suffered from depression and anxiety.  I know how being treated badly can cause emotional illness.  As I continue my journey to wellness, each day brings something new for me to learn about myself.  I continue to have a bad day now and then, but when I do, I try to remember where I came from, remember my old inner pain, and seek a few moments of gladness to get me through.

Your question about Jensen is definitely not a silly one!  It’s a question I continue to ask myself.  My ex-alter, Jensen, was an eleven year old boy who loved to draw, paint, and create a world of color for me.  I wish I knew where his inspiration came from.  I understand that children copy drawings from books; I just never knew whether Jensen did this.  I’ve always felt uncomfortable sharing any art by Jensen because I didn’t feel I could claim it as my own.

I don’t recall the book you are referring to, but I will definitely check it out.  I believe Jensen may have been inspired by many children’s books.  I’m always interested in finding out where my mind came up with everything.

There are many things my alters have done that amazed me and left me wondering where their thoughts and ideas, including the way they chose to survive, came from.  I guess that is one of the great mysteries of multiplicity.  Anything’s possible.  For me, what’s most important is that through Jensen’s creative ways, I grew to enjoy and express myself through art.

Thank you for your insight, it may very well help me come to a better understanding of my ex-alter, Jensen.

Karen

Karen answers a Male Therapist

Comment by A Male Therapist on December 26, 2008 1:54 pm

Karen,

Thank you. As a therapist, who happens to be a male, it was enlightening to read your answer. As a therapist. male or female. it is not our intent to display arrogance or appear that way. Therapist’s are trained to listen to their patients and not bring their true selves into the therapy. When a patient decides on therapy it’s because they need help, and it’s our job to provide this help. I read Switching Time. I respect Dr. Richard Baer for the consistency he provided during your treatment. As for you, Karen, I am one male therapist who has learned from reading your story the depth of pain suffered from abuse. I had my doubts about MPD and have gained respect for Dr. Baer and his work. I haven’t provided care to a patient with this illness as of date, but if I ever should, I will provide better care because of reading Switching Time. I am interested in learning more.

Dear Therapist,

Thank you for your comments! I’m glad my answer provided a better understanding of how therapy worked for me.  Dr. Baer was an excellent therapist who not only provided consistency, but also provided me with the unconditional care I needed to feel safe and secure. It wasn’t easy for me to trust anyone, yet alone to share my painful past with Dr. Baer.

Thank you for respecting Dr. Baer’s work as a psychiatrist.  The illness I suffered is an unbelievable one, but it is my hope that in sharing our story, therapists and their patients will be able to work together towards healing.  Treating a patient like me can be a time consuming process, but in the end, seeing your patient become whole is a once in a life time experience.  I believe Dr. Baer was proud of his work with me.

Although you haven’t treated a patient with MPD to date, I am glad to hear that through reading Switching Time you’ve gained a better understanding of how it can be done.

Karen

Karen answers Someone Wishing Merry Christmas

Comment by Someone Wishing Merry Christmas! on December 25, 2008 5:28 am

Merry Christmas, Karen and Richard!

I read Switching Time and became fascinated with all of your accomplishments. How the both of you managed all that you had simply is unheard of. People really don’t care for that length of time.

I wish you both a safe and happy holiday season. Karen, do you believe in Santa Claus? I had to ask for you seem to be the kind of person that survived on belief in the greater good of people. What makes you different will determine you future success.

Merry Christmas, to you and yours, from Karen and Dr. Baer!

Thank you for thinking of us on this special day, we truly appreciate your kind wishes.

I know how hard it is to imagine how I sustained my relationship with Dr. Baer after so much trauma during my therapy.  I am very grateful that Dr. Baer continued to treat me after I caused him so much grief.  I’ve been blessed.

And, yes, I believe in the spirit of Christmas, and this also includes the idea of Santa Claus bringing good cheer and happiness. To me, Santa Claus lives within each of us, especially as we give gifts to those we love and care for.

Wishing you all the best during this holiday season.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Karen

Karen answers LNM

Comment by LNM on December 21, 2008 3:22 pm

Dear Karen Overhill,

I read Switching Time twice for a complete understanding. It was interesting. But thereʼs something missing. How would you describe your life not mentioned in the book? I guess most personal family times is not known due to confidentiality but how was it like living the part of your life not written? Why didn’t you write more about regular life, the day to day experiences as a MPD person. I think if you included more about life outside the box of therapy Switching Time would be a bestseller.

Has anyone welcome you to the real world. I am right now.

Thank you, LNM

Dear LNM,

Thank you for reading Switching Time twice to receive a better understanding of MPD.  In writing this book, Dr. Baer accumulated so much information that it would’ve been impossible to write it all in one book.  Dr. Baer chose what he felt would best describe the pain and suffering I endured that created alternate personalities.  Dr. Baer knew from his experience what should be written to accurately tell our story.  I couldn’t have done this.

Of course, there was more to my life than what was written in Switching Time, however, that would be another entire book to write. We didn’t bring too much of my personal life outside of therapy into our book because we decided it would be too much to read and would distract from what we were hoping to accomplish.  In one way, answering questions here gives readers a chance to ask me the personal questions they would like to ask.  I’ll answer them the best way I can.

Karen