Posts Tagged ‘Tara’

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I’m Not the Only One!

March 5, 2009

I ran across an article today from the Sidran Institute website. It expresses some of the very same concerns that I have had, and more, regarding the “United States of Tara” TV show on Showtime.  Since it is someone else’s article, I will just give the link here.

Will Showtime Series The United States of Tara Promote Understanding or Misconceptions?
NSU psychology professor Steven Gold fears misperceptions from new TV series
By Esther Giller

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Tara #4

February 4, 2009

The fourth episode of United States of Tara did not have her switching. We saw no sign of her alters until the very end…and that was interspersed with a scene of Tara and her sister, so it appeared to be more of just showing something about Alice rather than a current switch.

There was an incident that appears to have been done by an alter. I say “appears” because I am not convinced that it necessarily is an alter of Tara’s. Supposedly, “she” did it because she is the only one with a key. Yeah, right. How many times has someone been accused because they were the only ones with a key and then, when the real culprit comes to light, it’s “Oh yeah, I forget that he/she also had a key”?

It could have been done by a former lover (or even a current one who’s angry for some reason). It could have been done by someone who knew Tara would be blamed and took advantage of that…someone who could have even “borrowed” her key? Hey, this is TV, after all. This is not a documentary, which I hope people keep in mind. Although the show is about something real…Dissociative Identity Disorder…the story line is fictional.

I so feel for her in thinking that she has finally found a friend, only to have that friend insist on meeting one of her alters. How disrespectful. She shared her heart with this woman…only to have her do this to her…and in front of her sister, no less. This woman and her sister end up talking about her as if she is not even there. Invisibility. That is painful. Betrayal…that, too, is painful.

I felt rather emotional at the end of this episode. At first, I could not figure it out, but now I think I know what is going on. Tara’s life is radically different from mine on just about every level. However, there are some things I relate to her on. The incidents are different. The people are different. Yet, the pain is the same. I relate to the struggle…to the confusion.

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What Is a Disorder Anyway?

January 29, 2009

Well, I wrote to Secret Shadows about the definition of “disorder” and decided it was time to write something here about it.

I have run across several people who disagree with the idea that DID…Dissociative Identity Disorder…should be called a “disorder” at all. I have to say that I agree with them.

Webster’s defines a disorder thusly:

1 : to disturb the order of
2 : to disturb the regular or normal functions of
Now,  I can appreciate the argument that it is not ideal for people to have to live as multiples and, therefore, it can be looked at like it is a disturbance of the order of things. However, it is also not ideal for people to go through the horrific things that cause DID, either.
The way I see it, our brains and minds were wonderfully designed by our Creator to enable us to survive things that we should never have had to survive in the first place! Yahweh designed us to have this coping mechanism because He knew what kinds of evil people would perpetrate against each other. It is far better to have DID than to lose one’s sanity!
Therefore, those who responded to the horror by developing DID are actually functioning normally! Dissociation to that degree is a normal response to a horribly abnormal situation. I guess you could say it is a gift rather than a disorder.
Once we are no longer in that horrific situation, we no longer “need” the high dissociation to function…and that is where it becomes problematic. The coping mechanism is still in place, but it is no longer needed. In fact, like many other coping mechanisms that people still have that are no longer needed, it can actually become a major hindrance. Work needs to be done. Healing needs to take place.
Dissociation is on a continuum. At one end we have the kinds of things we all do when we shut out the world around us to focus on something like a book or movie or job. At the other end…we have people like Tara. However, the huge majority of us are somewhere in between.
I like what Secret Shadows wrote about DID: “Many of you nonDID people can totally identify with the concept of wearing more than one hat. You have your “work hat”, your “spouse hat”, your “parent hat”, your “best buddy old pal” hat, etc……..See, the difference between DID and nonDID hats is that nonDID people can fluidly change their hats, whereas those of us with DID get stuck in ours. Sometimes we cannot get them off. Then sometimes the hats come out of nowhere and plop on our heads.” She goes on to talk about one 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 amount of very horrific stuff that you have been through. It can take years to work through and unravel all of that, but it can be done. It is being done very successfully by many people.
What does the end result look like? That depends on who you ask and on what end goal was chosen by the system. Not everyone looks at healing in the same way…but that is fodder for another post.
The point I am trying to make is that this is a normal response. It is a normal and regular function of many people’s brains. It is not a “dis”order, so much as it is regular and normal function of the brains and minds of many.
Why is it that not everyone who goes through these horrors early on develops DID? Well…it appears that either not everyone’s brain and mind comes thus equipped…or perhaps their brains and minds were simply able to handle it better without needing to use the dissociation? I do not know. I am not sure it is even possible to know. That may be something that only Yahweh…the designer of our incredible and marvelous bodies and minds…knows.
I hate living in a fallen broken world. I hate having to deal with all that brings and all that entails. I hate seeing brokenness of any kind. Yet, I also have hope. I know this is just a temporary shadow of better things to come…much better things! I look forward to when Yeshua/Jesus will come back for me. Marana, ta!
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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.

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