Karen answers DK

Comment by DK on March 23, 2009 2:38 am

I would like to add to what Karen has written to Peggy. I was being sexually abused starting from before 2 years of age. I was also physically abused daily. I had parts that took the sexual abuses and buried them – I don’t imagine I had the language or cognitive skills to formulate what happened to me so the memories were fragmented and stored as snapshots of visual memory, auditory memory, kinesthetic (body) memory and pain memories.. As an adult I’ve integrated those memories to make sense of them – various parts held each aspect.

As a child – I had a part that went to school, that part usually didn’t get interference from the part(s) that were physically or sexually abused. The school part had learning disabilities that probably stemmed from dissociation but there was nothing that would have given the school reason to believe I was being abused. I had other parts that played in the community. My mother was very good at looking the part of the best mom in the world when under the view of the outside world. My father turned a blind eye to much of the abuse or was absent for a lot of it. If the child is not “whole” it’s very easy for an uninformed person to miss the abuse.

While abuse is more likely to be reported these days that’s not necessarily a guarantee the child will be protected because the parents have more rights than the children. Again, if the inside part, that presents to whatever agency interviews the child, if that part acts as if everything is fine because that’s what’s safe for that child’s system, protection is not likely to happen.

I am keenly aware of the kinds of behaviors that might suggest abuse in children – including dissociative behaviors. We need to educate society of how abused children “look” or manifest their abuse and then we need to educate our governing bodies about the importance of ensuring the child’s rights over the rights of the parents.

I just wanted to clarify the amnesia aspect of DID that affects the chances abuse will be reported and stopped.


Dear DK,

Thank you for sharing! I’m so very sorry that you, too, suffered from child abuse. I empathize with you.  As a child who dissociated myself, it was extremely difficult for anyone to see that I was being abused. My alters protected me from appearing different. My mother, too, had a way of looking to be the best mom.  I never appeared dirty, I was fed well and not one thing was out of place or unorganized in my mother’s home. It all appeared nice and tidy to cover the sad truth.

I agree that there is a need to educate society regarding child abuse. There are many misconceptions that need to be made clear. There are signs children show when being abused, whether the child dissociates or not, and it’s important to know these signs, watch for them and be aware of how a child may look when being abused.

As a multiple, most people would’ve never guessed that I was being abused. My alters were created to keep me safe and to hide my distress. In a sad way, this may have prolonged the abuse I suffered.

Thank you.



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