Karen answers Margaret Nell

Comment by Margaret Nell on February 10, 2009 3:36 pm

Hi Karen,

Very interesting what you wrote to Paul. In addition to his question I would like to know if your relationship with your husband and children was as open as Taraʼs character in USOT? Did your children have a relationship with each alter by name and personality? Last question? Did your children turn out gay, dysfunctional, in any way bad because of your illness?

Margaret Nell

Dear Margaret Nell,

I am glad you found my answer to Paul interesting, however, once again, I must say my story is unlike the show USoT. The character Tara is portrayed by an actress, Toni Collete, who has not suffered from the real illness of Multiple Personality Disorder as I have. I believe Toni Collete is doing a great job acting as a multiple mom and gives a convincing performance, it’s just not an accurate depiction of my experience, or the actual illness. 

My relationship with my husband and children differed from that of Tara’s.  My husband was not as supportive, and was frustrated more often than not.  Our marriage was a rough ride that only added to my alter chaos.  My husband had been abusive and the alters switched out of fear.  I never shared the alters names with my husband, there was no reason to. He would know when I wasn’t “me” but that’s about it.  Most of the time I’d try to stay away from him.

My children never acted as Kate and Marshall, Tara’s children in the show, do.  My children never referred to each alter by their individual name.  My alters protected my children and kept them involved in many activities that included me as the Mom.  As a matter of fact, my children never took drugs, smoked anything including cigarettes, nor drank alcohol.  I am not saying they’re perfect, because none of us are, but I’m proud of my children for never getting into trouble. That’s what we all hope for our children.

Thank you for your questions.




  1. Hi Karen, I just happened to watch one episode of The United States of Tara last night and I wasn’t impressed with it at all. I like Toni Collete and think she is a great actress but, there is something about the show that rubs me really wrong (maybe I do not get all the dark humor). I hope in the furure someone can produce a better show about multiple personality disorder because I think the writers did a poor job on this one… Thanks for listening, Cynthia

  2. Karen, I just wanted to thank you also for keeping this message board up…I love reading all the questions and your answers are great! Blessings~~Cindy

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