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Mommy's First Meltdown – Starting Over, 9/20/04

Monday 9/20

Our problem child Deborah is on the phone and this seems to be the prequel to last week’s phone call where she berated her daughter. She starts to tell Aja what the secret mission is, when we hear a recording of a reminder that phone calls are taped. I think we are supposed to believe Deborah heard the same thing but ours was not over the phone, so it was quite confusing. Anyway Deborah ends the call promising to give Aja the details later. She must have done so via cell phone and then later made the call we saw last week.

Jen answers the door and it’s 3 hunky guys. She exclaims “the Hot Boys are here for ME!!” So maybe they are a well-known company? They take their shirts off, bring her breakfast, fan her while giving a pedicure. Jen is visibly uncomfortable. (Hmm, someone else’s boyfriend being paid to pretend they want to strip for you and scrub your heel calluses, what’s not to enjoy?)

Rhonda has Josie imagine Chloe at 22. What would you want her life to be like? Josie says she wants Chloe to be in the theater. She wants to be a theater mom.

There is a meeting in the loft and the focus is on Jen. We see an old photo of her parents in happier times. She relates that she used to be a “daddy’s girl” and she watched him turn into a very ugly person. She was 12 when a S.W.A.T. team came to the house and she tried not to act scared. She was 14 when he went to jail, and she got a job so as not to be a burden. She cries as she remembers how jealous she was of other girls with normal lives who didn’t have to buy their own prom dress. (Note to Jen: NOBODY THINKS THEY HAD A NORMAL LIFE) Iyanla talks to Jen in the 3rd person as if she doesn’t think Jen can survive actually talking about herself. Iyanla tells the group Jen is to sit on the couch or at the pool all day and let the other women wait on her including blowing up a float for the pool. Jennifer narrates she doesn’t want anything from Deborah because she doesn’t want to owe her. Then Deborah volunteers to blow up the float. Jen narrates that she is quite sure Deborah has an ulterior motive.

Later Jen meets with Dr. Stan and the baby talk starts up again. She can’t come up with any positive memories about her father and Dr. Stan suggests it’s because positive memories remind us how painful loss is.

The women get some take-out burgers and sit down to lunch. Kim gives Chloe a teething cookie and assures Josie it’s safe. After a few minutes Chloe manages to break off a chunk and Josie scoops it out of her mouth, which startles her and makes her cry. Josie falls apart because Chloe “almost choked”. She grabs Chloe and runs from the room, still ranting and blubbering as she prepares Chloe for a bath. (Good thing she didn’t see Chloe falling over while playing with the other women later. Someone caught her and eased her down the rest of the way, but hey, she “almost fell”. Here I need to come clean about something: I took a lot of heat from other viewers in season 1 because of my opinion that Josie is mentally retarded. I realize that if Josie saw that, she would feel very hurt. I really just think she has been slow as a result of environmental deprivation. She actually seems to be picking up speed. I admire her for being able to rise this far above all of her role models. Grandma would be proud.)

Jen gets an aquatic massage from a female massage therapist in the pool. She’s not thrilled with the idea of a stranger holding her, but does sort of enjoy it. The therapist tells her to keep a journal near her bed because she may have vivid dreams tonight.

Josie meets with Rhonda to show her a 3-D poster she has made of the list of things she wants Chloe to have at 22. She is still distracted over the bikkie incident but eventually settles down to discuss the poster. She compares her role in Chloe’s life to that of her grandmother in her own. Rhonda has her talk about each item and ask herself if she herself deserves it. Josie decides she deserves everything except love because otherise it would have been there for her, and money because she doesn’t do any work to earn it.

We flash to the living room where Deborah has just noticed that Jen never used the float. She asks why, when she worked so hard to blow it up. She leaves and the women call her a crazy lady.

Back to Josie who is telling Rhonda that she failed at her own life so Chloe is her chance to get it right. Rhonda explains that Chloe does not get to redeem Josie. Josie must fix things for herself before she can give Chloe, and herself, a decent life.

Deborah meets with Dr. Stan and tells him she had a date just before coming into the house but has been celibate for 6 years. One gets the impression he has heard the pregnancy tape because he is really perseverating on the question of celibacy. He also asks if she is willing to explore the impact she has on others, She agrees but says she will have to lie to get along with them. He encourages her not to change herself in order to fit into the group but she’s sure this is the only way. At dinner she announces to the others that she will be showing only 25% of her true self. Then she is shown telling Jen she wishes she had thought of using “I feel so unloved” as a way to get some quality attention. Kim reminds Deborah that Jen would probably envy her successful relationship with her father. Jen narrates that she will just let this go. In truth, Jen has no intention of letting anything go where Deborah is concerned. She meets with Iyanla and shares that she “can’t stand her”. She tells Iyanla she didn’t like being confined to the couch anyway, it felt like “time out” and now Deborah feels like Jen owes her. Iyanla tells Jen that “sometimes the angel you want is not the angel you get.” She wonders what Deborah represents to Jen and Jen begins to cry. This is Iyanla’s cue to GO TO THE INNER CHILD :clap: and Jen says Deborah reminds her of kids in school who were mean to her. Iyanla asks what can be changed about this, and Jen, in baby talk, yells “I need a voice”.

Josie is shown putting Chloe to bed and narrating that she wants to be the best mother EVER and that Chloe will be the first person to see her transformation.

Back to Iyanla, who is now rocking a sobbing Jen in her lap. (Shouldn’t it be the psychiatrist who’s dealing with these issues?)

The previews show Rhonda asking Deborah point blank if she could be pregnant.

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