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Hot For Teacher-Starting Over, 10/13/04

10/13/04

The biggest difference from Season 1 is that the Life Coaches know what goes on among the women when they are not watching. The second biggest difference is that the Life Coaches are shared. So today Iyanla describes to Jen how ducks pull stuff out of their tear ducts and wipe it all over themselves to waterproof for the day. She wants to know how Jen protects herself, and Jen says whatever she does, it’s the wrong thing and everyone gangs up on her. She doesn’t know how to take care of herself so she’s always in trouble. Iyanla wants to know if Jen has asked for help and Jen says no. “This is not home,” Iyanla reminds her. “It’s about you.”

Vince the mobility specialist is going to train Sinae for emergencies. She’s wearing a really cute black dress with blue fishnets. He’s going to time her. She’s stoked.

Iyanla has Jen closing her eyes to go back in time and remembering her dad yelling at her mother. She couldn’t stop him from yelling or from dealing drugs, which to the children, meant he was never there to protect them and they were stuck with no transportation all the time. (I dated a cocaine addict for a year and I can so relate to this. Stood up all the time, always borrowing your car, scheming you out of money, picking fights so they would have an excuse to disappear. His kids are a mess.) Back then, she hoped he would die.

Sinae is racing around the house without a cane, collecting flags while Vince shouts at her through a megaphone. She motors around the house in a minute, 26.

Back to Jen and her regression therapy. (I wonder why Iyanla plays the shrink role in the house. I feel like it could be dangerous.) Jen remembers an instance where dad was gone for a week and mom spent the time just calling around trying to find him. She’s mad at her mom for staying with him and accepting bad treatment, and also that her mom always felt sorry for her sister Krista who threw fits to get what she wanted. The mom never did anything for Jen.

Sommer goes shopping with Andy, her mentor. This is the first time we meet Andy, who is 4 years post-op and maintaining a healthy weight. Sommer is mostly a big poop in the clothing store. She hates jeans, colors, shirts that fit, anything feminine. Andy tells her she’ll be bummed if they don’t find anything and Sommer says she won’t be surprised. Sommer invites Andy to the gym later.

Iyanla is trying to sort out why Jen thinks her mom could have left her dad, when she loved hiim, was crippled and sick with 2 kids. Jen says she still feels this way. Iyanla points out that he’s gone now, and Jen retorts that her mother stayed married to him. She has Jen close her eyes and relive the night the S.W.A.T team came to get him. She was at the tabel when they knocked. She answered the door and there were 10 of them. She was relieved because cops are safe and at least now it’s over. When they leave with her dad the house is a mess. Nobody spoke, they just cleaned up. A week later she went to see him in prison. He never came home after that. (Um, he’s still in jail. She still thinks these dysfunctional people could have flown through walls for her or something.)

Vince sets up another drill for Sinae and this time Sinae has to save Kim. She’s blindfolded over her glasses and crawling around on hands and knees. (Yikes, the fishnets!)

Iyanla and Jen are looking at posters they have made for each of Jen’s family members with long lists of what they do wrong. Jen acknowledges there are times when she does those things too. Iyanla tells her she can rewrite the story, make another choice. Jen just seems confused. Iyanla asks her twice, “Are you really ready to heal this?” And Jen replies meekly “yes” both times.

Back in the clothing store, Andy has convinced Sommer to at least try on some things.

Iyanla tells Jen she needs to take charge of her life instead of spending energy controlling “this”. She tells Jen that today they will be enlisting the help of some friends and there will be some soul-searching.

Sommer is trying on clothes. She likes the jeans but the tops feel too clingy. (They’re fine.) She ends up buying 3 out of the 17 things she tried on. Andy tells her they will look at undergarments next time.

Iyanla is giving Josie, Towanda and Sinae their marching orders. They will be trying to move Jen out of the place where she seems to be stuck. She gives them each a poster and tells them to hold it in their consciousness. (I think this means “memorize it”) Sinae will be the mom in a wheelchair, Towanda will be the dad, Josie as Krista will “bring the attitude.” At first, Jen will not be told what is going on.

Sommer and Andy go to the gym. Marcus likes Sommer having Andy because Andy is a winner. Sommer likes the competition.

Jen’s 3 “family members” are plotting their strategy. they are going to try to behave as Jen has described on the posters. Josie narrates it’s worth putting herself at risk. Sinae is excited that this could lead to a major breakthrough. Towanda is psyching herself up to be hateful and mean. Jen comes around and Towanda tries to act hostile. Jen knows something is up and does not take the bait. Kim narrates that she too, thinks something’s going on. Sinae and Josie join in the act and Jen is trying to figure out if they’re serious, but knows they must not be. Towanda narrates this is hard because she cares about Jen’s feelings. Towanda and Sinae (who is not using the wheelchair yet) pretend to fight and then turn on Jen. Jen narrates that they might have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed. She tells them they’re nuts.

Sommer has her meeting with Marcus to discuss nutrition & behavior mods and she narrates that she has a crush on hium. He doesn’t help matters by kissing her goodbye. I guess it’s a good motivational tool.

Jen asks Iyanla if she enlisted everyone to be mean to her today. Iyanla doesn’t answer but instead gives Jen a “shawl of protection” so she can feel safe to say whatever she wants. Jen giggles that by the time this is over, she will have a lot of stuff on. Iyanla hints that the necklace of labels might actually come off today. She introduces Jen to the 3 “family” members.

Sommer tells Rhonda about her shopping trip. They discuss discipline, which to Sommer means sticking with something you need to do even when you don’t want to do it. Rhonda points out that Sommer DOES want to lose weight and asks “Are you sure?” Sommer says yes, particularly because she has announced this as a goal and can’t be seen failing. Rhonda points out that by controlling, she’s actually rebelling. Sommer is afraid to be ridiculed and tells a story about being in 7th grade with a crush on a boy. She would dress to impress him but the more she tried, the more he made fun of her. Rhonda assures us we all have this, and that Sommer is still trying to impress that 12-year-old boy. Emotionally she’s still 12, still trying to find love and using food to get it. Discipline is a choice; commitment is a choice.

Iyanla tells Jen the time has come to hear her own voice. She gets to tell them all off while Iyanla silently arranges them into little tableaus, occasionally coaching them in a response to what Jen is saying. Jen says that because her mother wasn’t there, now she doesn’t let anyone be there. She wants to forgive them but not for them, for her. Actually the exercise seems as cathartic for everyone else as it was for Jen. Josie is haunting as the kid sister with the cold blank stare. When they are done, Iyanla rips through Jen’s necklace, one tag at a time. They all hug and Jen says this is the first time she feels like she has made any progress toward her goal and is excited to see what happens next. The show ends with Iyanla cradling her and whispering “You did good.”

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