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Stop That Or I'll Go Blind – Starting Over, 11/3/04

11/3/04

Starting Over comes on at 3PM here, which was the time of George Bush’s victory speech. Luckily he decided not to spend the entire afternoon gloating, so we didn’t miss the whole show.

When the show comes on, we have Rhonda and Sommer discussing freedom. Sommer reverts to sadness and hurt, but doesn’t stand up for herself because anger is not comfortable for her. Rhonda tells her that anger can be used in a positive way, and encourages her to keep an anger journal.

With Iyanla, Kim is still feeling rejected because Towanda and Jen heard back from their sisters but she has not. Iyanla speculates that Kim’s sister may be taking time to figure out what to say. She narrates that she hopes Kim can learn to give and love with no expectation of a reward or recognition. Iyanla reminds Kim that she is the one with the new skills. Towanda, Jen and Kim are to paint a vision of their relationship with their sisters, then they will come together and make a plan to move toward that vision.

Dr. Stan meets with Josie to talk parenting. He gives her advice on what to look for in a daycare or sitter. He cautions her that soon Chloe will begin mimicking what she hears, including swearing. They talk about values and Josie tells him she doesn’t want Chloe to see anyone naked. He asks if Chloe can see a man naked and Josie says only in magazines and sex education. Before then, she thinks she might see a naked man, but not from Josie. Dr. Stan asks, if Josie’s not going to be responsible for that, then who is? And she gets even more flustered. Dr. Stan narrates that Josie’s trying so hard to not have Chloe repeat her mistakes, that she’s gone too far. He tells Josie he wouldn’t want Chloe to react to her conservatism by rebelling at 13. Then he tells Josie that little kids masturbate. She won’t even entertain the notion. He tells her he just didn’t want her to get freaked about it, and the concept totally upsets her.

Later she tells Towanda about it and Towanda is shocked into a stunned silence. Kim comes in eating a snack and Josie asks if she knows that her daughters touched themselves because it felt good. Kim nonchalantly says oh yah, I already knew that because of an incident that happened. Josie, incredulous, demands to know if it had been confirmed by a doctor and Kim says it was. Jen narrates that Josie’s just being a drama queen. She jokes that maybe Josie is about to have a breakthrough. Josie leaves the room in a huff. “I think I’ve been scarred.”

It’s time for the three sisters to have their meeting. Jen and Kim think their sisterly relationships will start with a simple conversation. Towanda suggests that Kim send her sister a card once a week and Kim chimes in “maybe once a month,” which amuses Jen a lot.

Josie’s discussing parenting with Rhonda now. Josie tells Rhonda she doesn’t like it when the housemates says “bitch” in front of Chloe or sing “hootchie mama” songs to her. (I guess screaming and the effie word is ok?) They role-play what Josie would do when she disapproves of how someone is handling Chloe. Rhonda pulls out a baby doll and pretends to cough all over it, smoke a cigarette and play with scissors. Josie protests mildly but doesn’t move to take away the doll. Rhonda admonishes Josie not to beat around the bush or worry about what others might think.

With Dr. Stan, Sommer is working on identifying emotions. She says she recognises her emotions but doesn’t show them. They explore emotional eating and he helps her see that it never does reduce the stress. She narrates that he is pissing her off because she doesn’t think she has these issues. he tells her the food is a reward for pain, and she agrees with him.

The three sisters are comparing their drawings. Towanda’s is of herself and her 4 sisters as stick figures, with words written all around them. (Why is her brother never part of the picture? I should think he’d be the one with the issues.) Jennifer did not draw a picture but instead made a list. Kim used a photograph of her sister and brother and drew positive icons around it of things they could do together after they make a fresh start. Jennifer narrates Kim is still not getting it and is wasting her time. Kim tells them she learned from Iyanla that her sister has emotional problems. Towanda asks, if you were in a room together who would leave first? And Kim says she would, because she doesn’t want to “get into it.” She feels she has it harder than the others because they are on speaking terms with their sisters but she has “not spoke (sic) to my sister in five years.” She narrates the only way to forgive and forget would be with an act of God.

Sommer and Dr. Stan continue their conversation about food issues. He explains that sometimes our bio-chemistry might tell us we’re hungry, but emotionally we can make ourselves wait. They explore her emotions around food and her parents. He leaves her with some thoughts for the future: 1. Know your history; 2. Understand your triggers; and 3. Know what you’re trying to do when you use food to suppress emotions.

In the kitchen, Josie tells Towanda not to sing the hoochie song anymore and to point out if Josie does it too. Towanda takes it well.

Sommer, on the phone with a friend, says she cries every day and now realizes her parents did the best they could, but it wasn’t enough. She’s in the process of tearing down everything she knows about herself, and it’s like admitting they didn’t do a good job with her, that she’s being disloyal to them. She narrates she has little anger flags going up all over, that everything she has thought about herself was wrong, and it’s like having a catfight with herself.

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