I Watched It

January 21, 2009

Well, I watched the first episode of United States of Tara. I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

Yes, there can be humorous moments in the life of those with DID, just as there are in anyone’s life. Yes, whenever there are tough things going on in our lives, it is always useful to try to find humor in our lives…to be able to laugh at ourselves. However, I see it as a private humor…not something to be displayed in public.

This show is supposed to be a comedy drama, but I sure did not see much of anything funny about it. There simply is nothing funny about living with DID, about the tragedies and traumas that cause it or about the effects it has on the individuals and the families of those who have it. Tara, as portrayed is dealing with some very difficult things.

Most people do not know about or understand DID. To have a show like this be their introduction to it is rather disturbing. As Kluft says, Tara represents an “over the top” example of someone with DID. There are so many out there who you would never know have it…people for whom, the DID manifests itself a bit differently.

It is also interesting that nothing of what I read about the show mentions a child alter. DID is something that starts in early childhood. Somewhere there should be a child alter who took all that initial pain. Where is she? Perhaps she will show up later?

Her sister is interesting, too. She does not believe the DID is real. DID comes from severe trauma of some kind. What could Tara have been through that was so serious it caused DID that her sister would not know about? Of course, her sister may just be in denial. In fact, she may even have DID herself and just does not know it yet. This is especially possible if the kind she has is not so blatant…not the “over the top” kind like Tara has. It is possible to have DID and not know it until things start happening that start bringing it out to the surface.

It is also interesting to see how free Tara is about sex. That is a rarity. I am not saying it is impossible…just that it is atypical. Having a very sexual alter, especially a teen, is not atypical. Just having a host like Tara who is.

Another disturbing thing is how the husband won’t have sex with the teen alter because Tara would not like it…which they know from history. For crying out loud…what about not having sex with a 15 year old because it would be inappropriate??? Those alters are there for a reason. They are the way they are for a reason. The initial cause was not a good one…it was abusive. Not only is having sex with a 15 year old wrong, but it can contribute to the abusive cycle that started the whole thing in the first place. If I were Tara, I would be upset, too, if my husband had sex with a teen alter!

These are some of my thoughts on the show. If I am able to, I may watch more of it…just to see what they do with the show. I don’t know yet.


  1. I heard of this show but I don’t have cable so I didn’t see it. I fugured it would be hollywood. It would be difficult for hollywood to come up with 13 episodes about someone with DID if it wasn’t “over the top”. Thirteen episodes about me would be boring. But I’m not sure I want my life to be not boring, that would mean that life might be a little too challenging. Sometimes I think I didn’t do much in a day. I worked, went to the store, sat in front of the computer….boy I’m exhausted! Then it’s time to reflect and pray and write. Surviving for the next breath of hope is enough.

  2. I was wondering the same thing about the child alters. How come she doesn’t have any??? That should’ve been one of the “typical” alters that “made the cut” because I think I speak fact but couldn’t swear by it that all people with DID have child alters. I just don’t get it.

    Secret Shadows

  3. Hi, Daisy, I don’t have cable, either. I watched it online. I hear you about not wanting life to be too challenging. Boring sounds kind of nice, huh?

  4. Hi, Secret Shadows, yeah…that is my understanding, too. I have never heard of someone with DID that did not eventually have a child alter come to the front. Yet, if you read the posts at the Showtime site for the show, there are people who say they have DID and yet have no trauma!

    Far be it from me to tell someone that their reality is incorrect. However, I have to wonder if they simply have not remembered the trauma yet? Everything I have read has indicated that DID comes from some kind of severe, repeated trauma when very young…which is why there is at least one child alter. I guess time will tell for them.

    Although, I suppose, if one is very closed to it, they could remain in denial and never get down to why they have the DID in the first place.

  5. […] Who Keeps Me Going « I Watched It […]

  6. […] part of therapy being about how to learn to manage those hats. The closer you are to the “Tara” (United States of Tara) end of the spectrum, the greater the likelihood that you have a huge […]

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