I just learned (having not watched TV since 1974) there’s a TV show called “United States of Tara” which depicts a character who supposedly “became multiple” as a teenager (highly unlikely), whose behavior is highly destructive – also unlikely, since dissociation is an adaption discovered in order to create functionality.
An excellent critique of the show has been written by a therapist of 20 years on her Discussing Dissociation website, here: http://discussingdissociation.com/2009/03/28/
As a trauma therapist with 20+ years of clinical experience working with multiples, I have to say I’m quite frustrated that Showtime has presented multiplicity in this way.
… there is not a medication that can remove or prevent or end dissociative identity disorder. Medications can address various symptoms, and can even slow the thinking down, but medication cannot remove multiplicity….
I can understand that the visual presentation of the various alters is metaphorical for how switching feels from within. …For the Tara show, the insiders get to look as extremely different on the outside as they feel on the inside. However, it’s not typical for DID’ers to actually present so drastically even if they wish they could. [JE: DID’ers = people with Dissociative Identity Disorder, which I call “multiples”]
The different presentations of Tara are excessive….
Now to my biggest beef about United States of Tara: the criminal behavior.
…The multiples I have met in the past 20+ years are not out-of-control monsters like this. …DIDer’s might have flashbacks or a hard time functioning or emotional outbursts, but typically, trauma survivors will have enough self-control to manage their behavior without committing a crime in public.
Showtime crossed the line by making Tara a sex offender.
It is true that many multiples have been tangled up in sexual crimes, but typically, multiples that are in treatment have not chosen the life of a sex offender. All too many trauma survivors were forced to perpetrate as part of their victimization by organized perpetrator groups, or even by violent single abusers, but being forced to hurt others is not anything near the same as purposefully deciding to sexually offend in the day world.
Most multiples are not sexually inappropriate of their own volition.
…What a slam.
A great big huge insulting ridiculous slam.
38 comments followed before mine. I commented: From your description, I hate it! But I quit watching television in 1974 (with maybe 100 hours watched since then), and your description of this show says why: TV is a huge misinformation/disinformation enterprise – selling us ideas always in someone else’s benefit. It’s in the culture’s benefit to misrepresent and confuse images about who we are. As a “high-functioning” (sometimes) multiple (I prefer this term), I’m really offended. Our work of explaining our condition to others has been made infinitely more difficult with these sorts of images.
(And I just returned to add another comment:) I absolutely believe that this show was crafted as disinformation, probably because the CIA and other perpetrator groups have seen such numbers of their experimental subjects begin remembering their experiences that they need to discredit us all as a group.
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