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Daddy's Little Girl – Starting Over, 01-24-05

by LauraBelle

As the sun is rising at the beginning of today’s shows, it’s foreshadowing of Denise and Candy’s relationship, just like the thunderstorm a few shows ago. After their dinner together, they are enjoying a new beginning after sharing some personal secrets. These two seem to always be ahead of the plan, overachievers, if you will, in self-healing.

As Candy meets with Iyanla, she says she is beginning to realize other people have always seen her as more feminine than she herself has. Iyanla also notices she has always defined who she was by being a caretaker of others. Iyanla asks her to finish the sentence, “Being alone with myself helps me feel …”, and Candy finishes it saying, “helpless.” Iyanla furthers it with, “and helpless is …”, while Candy completes it again saying, “weak.” Asked if women are weak, Candy says sometimes. Candy is realizing more and more that her fear of vulnerability comes form her dad trying to make her be a male. To show her that she is worthy and “enough”, and to help her learn how to receive, Iyanla is going to send Candy for a spa day with Rachael. She recognizes Candy misses her eight children, and being with parent-less Rachael helps fill that void.

The past few days of writing and learning about her father have left Denise very emotional. In a one-on-one with Rhonda, Denise shares her dad’s life story. Among the things she learned was that he wanted to be an entertainer, but was forced into the family business of a meat market/deli. This left him very frustrated. Her father began hitting her mother for the first time when she was pregnant. Denise realizes now it was brought on by the anger of being forced to marry her instead of the other woman he had gotten pregnant. The final straw for her mom was when he nearly killed her. Stalking her and finding her in a Greyhound bus station, he beat her so severely, she was sent to a hospital.

Denise’s parents divorced when she was twelve, and she went to live with her dad for a short time when she was fifteen, but left once the violence continued. She realizes for the first time, she can now look at her dad with compassion. She now feels she is finally ready to write that letter to her dad. After all her earlier resistance, she is finally ready. Denise hugs Rhonda, and through tears, says, “Thanks for making me see he was human.”

Iyanla meets with Renee, and looks at her list of the nine people she feels she has wronged. To make amends, Iyanla is having Renee be “President of the Giving Club.” In a continuation of this confusing project started a few days earlier, Renee has to assign some of her prized values and an action to be taken to a person on her wronged person list. For instance, for Neely, who was an animal lover, Renee tries to contact the Humane Society, but instead finds a Pet Orphans organization. She will donate time to the Pet Orphans to right the wrongs she has done to Neely. She goes to Pet Orphans later in the day, and makes arrangements to be back in the following day to volunteer her time.

Iyanla opens Group, talking about what else, Secrets … what Denise and Candy have realized that could help bring them close. She explains to the women that when you combine Guilt, Fear and Judgement, you wind up with a a secret. Iyanla asks everyone to write down their biggest secrets, and everyone is so fearful that she tells them it seems she has asked them to give up their two front teeth and an eyeball. They eventually do as asked, and they are then asked to hold them up. When asked if they are ready to give them up, all the women agree hesitantly, and are horrified when Iyanla makes them all exchange their secrets with each other. Holding everyone else’s secrets, everyone feels guilt and fear, and is afraid of being judged. The women are allowed to take their own secrets back, and then are encouraged to destroy them. Iyanla winds up the session telling them that the fear they were feeling about their secrets being exposed is what is holding them back in their lives.

Candy and Rachael enjoy their spa day together. They start with a mud rub and follow this with a facial. Rachael says she is so proud of Candy, knowing Candy doesn’t do “body” work, but is wiling to try everything openly. In the end, Candy even enjoys her very first manicure.

Denise and Rhonda continue Denise’s healing process, and are sitting facing an empty chair representing Denise’s deceased father. She reads the letter aloud to him, and says she realizes now that people we don’t forgive want to be forgiven. She tells him she needed him to tell her he loved her, as she never knew where she stood. She says she just wanted to be daddy’s little girl. Denise explains she is sorry they spent his last five years alive being strangers, and ends it telling her dad she loves him. Rhonda gives Denise a present, and it’s a picture of Denise’s dad. She says it’s hard to look in his eyes now, knowing what’s behind them. She hugs Rhonda and asks why Rhonda never told her forgiving her dad could be such a high.

Renee meets with Iyanla after returning from the Pet Orphans. Iyanla wants to continue to discuss the relationship, or lack thereof, between Renee and Rachael. Renee admits to previous problems trusting women, and doesn’t understand why women see her as such a bad person. Iyanla tells her she needs to have a fierce conversation with Rachael, and ask her why she sees her as bad. She warns her, though, to make sure she is ready to hear the truth before she asks for it.

Denise is feeling very free since forgiving her father, and shares the picture of her dad with Cassie, who says she feels her father never left her, and is perhaps responsible for Denise finding her way to the Starting Over house to heal. Looking at the other pictures on the wall, Cassie notes how courageous Denise’s mom was to be so open and honest about her story. Cassie tells Denise what she could also be telling herself, that she sees how much she has grown.

Denise wants to continue feeling better, and wants to unload more secrets. She suggests they all play the Secrets game again, but say them out loud this time. Bethany says it’s like playing Truth or Dare without the Dare. I liken it more to playing Scruples. One question asked is when you got your period, or “Aunt Sally” as Denise calls it. As some people say they don’t remember, Bethany says, “I truly don’t’ remember,” with everyone busting out laughing. When the question is asked when was your first kiss, Candy says her first kiss tried to rape her. As she explains the details, all the women sit gaping. I hate to say it, but Candy telling of her near-rape experience makes her seem more feminine. I wish it wasn’t the case, but the vulnerability makes her seem so female.

The sun doesn’t set this day, as it is raining. There is still some trouble ahead. But Denis has her own sun shining on her right now. The exposing her dad’s secrets, she has never appeared warmer.

I welcome all questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com

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