Karen answers Phoebe

Comment by Pheobe on February 25, 2009 4:43 am

Dear Karen,

If someone would hurt you now would your old alters come back or would you create new ones? I have a brother who integrated five of five personalities and swear one returned. He was hit by a car and has been recovering from a back injury. A alter he had was mean. Do you think he came back? Whatʼs your suggestion? I have never read a more optimistic book than Switching Time. Tell Richard Baer thank you for making you well so that you can help others like me. I am worried about my brother. He lives with me and frightens me.


Dear Pheobe,

There were more than a few times when I’ve felt hurt since the integration of my alters, but not once did any of my ex-alters return.  I don’t believe that it’s possible to create new alters at this time in my life.  I’m an adult now and deal with the reality that life brings in an adult way.  Multiplicity was an illness formed and created during my early traumatic childhood.

I admit there have been a few times I wished I had another alter to spare me from some painful moment, but I take a few deep breaths until the stressful period passes.  I try my best to stay on the side of reality, and the reality is, life with alters is not fun.

I’m not a professional therapist and can’t give advice, but I believe your brother may be in severe pain, especially after recovering from back surgery.  The car accident may have triggered some ill feelings.  The pain may be the cause for your brother appearing to be mean again.  Remember, alters that have integrated are still a part of your brother.  When an alter integrates there is a merging that takes place.  I believe what frightens you is that you may recognize the behaviors of one of your brothers former alters while witnessing his pain.  I believe what you are seeing is just another side of your brother who happens to be miserable and in pain.

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful compliments.  I can understand why you are worried about your brother.  Please seek help if you feel threatened.  It’s important for you to feel safe.  Maybe a call to your brother’s former therapist may help.  I wish you all the best.



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