Obviously, there is a tremendous amount of controversy and upset among the survivor community about how Showtime has presented Dissociative Identity Disorder in United States of Tara series.
Thank you, everyone, for so many lively comments on the previous post about this topic. I think that’s excellent.
It is very good to speak up about your cause and let the world know how it really is. One way to combat the misinformation is to make sure the correct information is out there, available, and viewable for those that really don’t know.
Now I have some questions for you.
- If you were the writer of the Showtime series United States of Tara, and knowing Dissociative Identity Disorder as well as you do….
- In your opinion, how should the United States of Tara series end?
- What would you like to see?
- What would you have liked to teach about DID/MPD through this media opportunity?
I realize Toni Collette, Diablo Cody, and the other producers of the show are not likely to ask our opinion, but I’d still like to know.
AND, I think this public blog site can be a good place to express your opinion. Don’t be silent about this — let the world know what you think!
Remember how we re-wrote the Hole in My Sidewalk poem? If you were to tackle this project, how would you re-write the Tara show??
Mostly what I want to know…. If you were the senior creative writer of the series, what would you include, and how would you end the season?
All creative and playful comments welcome. 🙂
Let’s have some fun!!!
Copyright © 2008-2017 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
We have been stuck on the couch sick for 3 weekends in a row plus every week night so we been watching united states of tara on hulu. we wish they just would take out the part about saying the alters come out when she is not on meds.
wouldnt it be nice if there was medicine i could take to make all the inside kids disappear and stop yelling and having night mares and crying. but that isnt real. wouldnt it be great to have medicine that made me not be a freak anymore.
i wish i had a family like hers. her husband is supportive. she has someone to talk to.
that would be so nice.
All the Jill People says
Seriously.. going to be hearing a LOT from All the Jill People. Primarily because of our own project we are involved with.
Unfortunately as this system sees it, there is going to be a serious backlash from survivors when .. if three major films come to pass ( including the one my system is involved with).
You all hear this now.. because we are not the writers of this program. How much we are involved in what goes into it hasn’t even been in discussion.
There is one coming being circulated throughout online community. My system is not involved with that one.
I guess I’m still a bit… ummm .. upset.. due to the responses. I don’t want to see any of that hurled towards anyone doing any of the documentaries (shows) that might soon come to pass.
I’m getting defensive already and these programs haven’t aired yet.
I am going to repeat this until I’m dead. Doing the project I’m involved in has been scary and hard. Don’t let anyone fool you. Doing television anything is NOT what people think and dream of.
Exciting .. yes .. but hard.. very hard.
I think they did a fine job just the way it is..,
Kathy Broady MSW says
All the Jill People —
I think you are incredibly brave to be involved with a television project about DID. It’s a HUGE thing to do, and I’m sure you’re right — there will be a lot of reactions from all over the map.
But rest assured — we know the beautiful person you are, and THIS community will stay supportive of you. I fully understand that you won’t have the rights to edit, and tv producers can edit comments and scenes to look a particular way simply by eliminating other elements that could offer balance. You are brave brave brave to be willing to even give this a go. I think you’re awesome.
Never ever underestimate the impact you can have in doing what you’re doing. I’ll do what I can to support you along the way. I am definitely on Team Jill People !
I am hoping that your project will be more realistic and even more educational than US of Tara — and hopefully, just as funny 🙂 US of Tara, was a great start for DID tv, but we need an even more realistic and positive show about DID. I found US of Tara very entertaining, but not necessarily accurate in terms of being educational about DID. It was a great show — I enjoyed watching it. I’m quite sure I watched every single minute of it. 🙂
The US of Tara series was so years ago, I’m hoping there will be new writers who are willing and able to be more accurate portrayals and editing. Time will tell…. 🙂
I look forward to seeing your television project — even MORE than US of Tara. I will DEFINITELY be watching every single minute of your show !!!
Just do what you need to do, and try not to stress about what everyone else says in response. You can’t control that — you can only present what you are able to present. You’ll have to ignore some of the negative-nellies.
No matter what — we’re on YOUR team, and I know that I am hugely proud of you for being willing and able to do this.
You’re AWESOME, Jill People — and don’t ever ever ever forget that.
I totally agree the show doesn’t make any use of her littles and what they bring to group – they can be quite funny and yet in an innocent way or mischievous way. The show has not been showing enough of what made her the way she is – they just stand around gawking while she train-wrecks the people she’s supposed to love and care for. (My reality is the huge pressures I’ve always felt to perform and not betray my confusion and the chaotic/and disjointed way my mind works.
If I were directing the show at or close to the end of this season I would have the family wake up to how screwy it has gotten and agree to the need for Tara to get into some heavily supported therapy – kind of like an intervention. I would have the family work through their own need to get help and start some kind of family therapy. Believe me that could provide all sorts of ideas for episodes that could be enlightening and interesting too. (As long as they did not pick some slick talking, psycho-babbling jerks and call them therapists)
We don’t get the show and beyond the first episode I’ve not seen any of it and I don’t miss it a bit. This show has probably set back thousands of persons with DID and possibly their families. There was enough stigma left to go around without another dingbat presentation of a woman with DID who acts completely awful and bizzare.
Do ya get the sense I’m not real fond of this show…? Bingo, you’re right.
you’re right about the host not knowing about earlier stuff. Our host had only one “bad” memory (comparitively speaking not actually bad at all). It was actually a fairly early memory, but not from the very beginning. And she thought that’s all there was.
I actually thought the finale wasn’t too bad compared to the previous few shows. Glad they made it clear that it was an earlier trauma that made her split.
Kathy Broady says
Yes, Gobbies – I agree with you. It is much better that they made it clear that there was an earlier trauma. Finally!!!
I suppose — in some ways, it is not so unusual for people to enter therapy, totally unaware of the earlier traumas in their life. I’ve certainly met people who were clearly DID / dissociative / split, and yet were convinced that they had good childhoods. Mind you, there will be other parts in the system that clearly say otherwise, and will have details of childhood trauma and abuse, but it is not that unusual for the adult host to enter therapy being convinced their childhood was good, safe, ok, wonderful, etc.
It makes for an interesting “cliff hanger” to keep people interested for Season Two… Everyone is going to wonder now what actually happened to her in earlier years. But at least it clarifies that Tara’s abuse and splitting could not, and did not, start as a teenager in college (or high school).
Ok. Maybe …. maybe? Maybe season two will show more of the stuff that season one left out.
I took a sneak peak at the season finale.
They didnt take any of this great advice above….lol
Actually, I think making a series about DID shouldn’t be done. But, since it has, I tend to agree with those above who think littles should be included – and they should show the innocence of littles.
I, too, experience that daily confusion of WTF? That aspect of my life actually is funny (occasionally to me, but always to others). I get good laughs because my friends/coworkers don’t know I have DID and so I make some lame excuse about why I just did something twice or asking, “what did I just say?” I’ve even asked, “Did I say that?” when everyone is staring at me and laughing at something I said and I don’t know what I’ve said.
I wish the end of the show would put blame where it should be: on the person who is responsible for creating the alters in the first place. They should exploit him, have him arrested, and stigmatize him, instead of Tara.
BTW: Just for laughs, Dollwise, I have a friend who is very OCP (personality) and she loves the movie Monk because she identifies with him so much!
I wonder if people with OCD feel some of these ways about the show Monk. It seems to me that although it too is a comedy, it humanized and made some of the compulsions more empathically understandable to me.
It looks like the shed did have aspects of littles, but they burned that down – wouldnt her young insides have been devastated?
But the thing is that Monk trips up over “simple” things – and this is what humanized him to people and its what this show seems to have missed – the name thing above is a perfect example. I know people for years and I just have so many ways of camoflauging how wavering is my name or recognition of people ability…. Or what about just not being able to do dishes, or take a bath, must be a shower – where is Toni’s pain and disorientation – what seemed hopeful about making her human in the first episode – those overwhelmed tears in the car – when have we since seen her truly facing how frustrating all this just is??!!!
The meds thing is just incomprehensible – is NO expert actually overseeing this show?????
The show is being renewed for another season – so no integration this year – no worries…
But I do think we are leading to an older memory – the ex boyfriend and his wife next week – I bet you anything she finally gets confronted with – whatever “Happened” – has to do with further back. I mean Gimmee didnt just evolve after `16 – so I do think things are headed this way.
Have the husband and kids realizing they just do need help too in family therapy – what would be the dynamics of change in their responses that actually begins to affect Tara?
To be Dissociative is to have many facets, many abilities, and some very “simple” holes similar in some ways to Monk.
I remain with my original theory – Spielberg is the young son – this show is something of a journey back, and maybe the point isnt really about understanding Tara – maybe its more about understanding that one can have a mother like that – and still make it.
Going off Gobbies meds point, it’s weird to me too! The only thing I use medication for is the PTSD symptoms that I have. It’s just kind of strange it seems like Tara never gets any flashbacks that she can talk about. Those aren’t something I black out, I know I’m having them. I don’t always understand entirely what they are but I can still talk about them, you know? So the whole thing at the spa that other people brought up in the last post was weird to me too and it seemed like she blocked out what ever feelings she had just prior to the switch. K (littlestsurvivor) you made good sense, I feel like I’m making no sense either though ha! I wish we the audience had more about what was going on inside her head (not necessarily more of her video blog but that kind of content. I don’t know, rough day, can’t say what I’m thinking, I’m just gonna go mosey along now lol.
I agree that they should have some littles around!! I am glad they started showing how it can effect the family in negative ways. This sounds kind of bad, but I would include a little more confusion for Tara. She has this huge switch, that everyone can see and then she sits down and writes what happened. I think that a HUGE part of DID is the day to day confusion. Those switches that happen a million times in a day. The ones where you are on the way to the store or some other mundane thing, and then you arent, or get turned around and confused. Where she is standing in the store and for the life of her, cant figure what she is there for, or reads the note that she JUST wrote for a teacher 5 minutes ago and cant remember what is on there and has to make sure it is acceptable. Or her standing there looking at her kids and for the life of her, knows she knows them, but cant find their names. I almost think that DID would be sooo much easier, if there was this huge obvious switch and somebody could tell you everything that happened!
I would end the season with her having a memory. A memory that would show the audience that DID comes from severe abuse. (I hate that word)They wouldnt need to be graphic, but it would show where it comes from.
Sam's the most (too much) righteously bold & creative alter says
At the Facebook (I don’t have an account there, I just googled with a search term “United States of Tara” and one of the results was the disccusion) “United States of Tara”discussion there seems to be at least one of us – the real DIDers – watching the faked one 😉 and judging by this the real one doesn’t seem offended by the faked ones’ behavior, hhhhm…
Littles! I think littles would be a hugely valuable addition. It would make things mroe accurate, plus they open up heaps of possibilities for entertainment that DON’T involve her becoming a criminal. I would maybe give her a new friend (like I thought Tiffany was going to be) who is totally new to dissociation, and as Tara explains it to the friend she would be explaining it to the audience as well. I would remove references to medication. I believe the meds they are referring to are more used to control secondary issues like depression and anxiety, but I think it is just confusing and misleading for the audience.
I also had the idea of making it an hour long show. The first half hour is the episode. The second half hour could be a documentary about dissociation in real life. A chance to talk about anything “off” the show needed to do for entertainment or whatever, and a chance to see real people living successfully with this “condition” (hate words like that!).
As for the end, I don’t know. I don’t think I would want to see her “fully healed” as I wouldn’t want the audience to be misled about how long that takes or how hard it is. And I certainly wouldn’t want to see her integrated. We certainly don’t need any more credence lent to the idea that integration is the only way. I suppose I would like to see her coconscious, working on her healing, with her family having worked on their issues, with everyone finding some sort of stability and happiness. Knowing that they aren’t there yet, but that they will make it.
i think i would have to agree with thelittlestsurvivor. work on internal communication and internal safe places and system maps with tara. things that tara can do that would help not hurt. i wouldn’t make her “all better” at the end of the season and i don’t think that is planned in this season cause then they wouldn’t have anything to do next season, but i would show her on a path of healing. i would add in challenges that she would have to face as most people face in day to day life and see her working through them. i would also put in some child alters and less of the ‘dangerous’ ones. the family definitely needs the therapy and have them talk about how it really affects their lives as well.
i don’t know. i’m not a writer, but these are a few things i would address. maybe i will think of more later.
I really think that USOT should work more on teaching people about DID, you know causes of it, not focus so much on the dramatics of it. I know they have to make it entertaining, but why can’t it be education and entertaining. I’ve only seen a couple of episodes but if i were the producer i would bring in more softer parts, some child like alters, ones that aren’t so destructive and criminal. I guess i would try to end the series with Tara working through her trauma with a decent therapist, getting the family some therapy also. I wouldn’t integrate Tara, i think because i don’t want to be integrated, but i would work on all of her parts working together to and forming better internal communication and cooperation. Does that make sense? Right Tara needs more stability and consistency in her life. Her family needs therapy, they need family therapy, and each child and her husband need individual therapy. I am sorry if this isn’t as cognitive as it is in my head im having a rough switchy like day inside…i missed therapy this morning…eeek.