Karen answers C Jane

Richard Baer on Jan 30th 2009

Comment by C Jane on January 25, 2009 4:25 pm

Let me get this straight. Karen, you bring forth curiosity about mpd. In the answer you provided Jonathan Lee you shared an incident that clearly was not of abuse yet you dissociated anyway. Please elaborate on this fascinating switching alters process. What exactly causes a switch to occur? In that show USoT Tara switches but what causes her too.? I canʼt buy any simple reason for her to do it. Did your alters come out all the time like hers in the show, were they a regular part of your daily life?

You are a great asset to all who must suffer from dissociative disorders. How did your psychiatrist keep up with each alter, is it true he had to treat seventeen parts of you? Thatʼs like a full-time job all in itself. In USoT not too much was mentioned of her therapy. I canʼt wait to see tonights episode. Are you going to see it?

Dear C Jane,

Thank you for your questions!  My alters came out when needed.  I would not switch at random, but the best alter would come out to take care of a particular situation that stressed me or I was uncomfortable with. Not every alter would surface to be a part of my daily life, some days one or two came out, other days as many as five may have surfaced, it all depended on what was happening in my life at the time.  The alters were protectors; they would help me survive, not always in the most appropriate way, but nevertheless they helped  in the best way each of them could. The two adult alters, Holdon and Katherine, would oversee all the alters’ activity and make sure we didn’t get into too much trouble.  Switching into an alternate personality was always a coping mechanism.

In the show The United States of Tara, there were reasons for Tara’s switches, if you watch closely, you will notice that anything unpleasant or uncomfortable that came Tara’s way would cause a switch. For instance, in the department store, Tara kind of spaced out for a few seconds and switched into her alter, Alice. That is how it works. Tara couldn’t handle that particular moment and simply went away. The alter Alice was summoned up, and appeared. Just like that!  Problem temporarily solved.

I, too, often wonder how Dr. Baer kept up with all my alters.  He had to treat seventeen different patients in one, a mind boggling job, and it took quite a bit of his time. Regarding whether Tara is in therapy, there were hints to it, and in the third episode I believe there is a scene where she is in a session with her therapist.

Thank you for all your compliments!  I will continue to watch The United States of Tara.  Although it’s not an depiction of what I’ve experienced, the show continues to interest me.


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