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Love Each Other Through All Our Junk – Starting Over, 02-15-05

by LauraBelle

I love it when Iyanla calls Candy by her full given name, Katrinda. It just seems to lead more towards her feminine side she’s searching for. To reach that side, however, she still has some work ahead of her to be able to let go.

Candy and Denise, polar opposites that they are, start their day in completely different ways. Candy is curled up reading, and Denise is putting on her makeup. The doorbell rings, and it’s Rhonda carrying a bag and looking for Denise. Denise is so excited at the thought of getting a present. Sitting down, Rhonda tells her since she thought the day before that she was ready to graduate, she thought Denise may like to practice wearing a cap and gown. Denise dons the black outfit and hums pomp and circumstance.

Her celebration is short-lived as Rhonda tells her she’ll be grading herself. Asked her first priority, she names herself. Rhonda tells her she gets an A for selfishness. Trying again, she places taking responsibility number one her list. Much better. Number two, she says is trusting self. After listing all the priorities, Rhonda asks Denise to now grade herself on all of them. Denise asks if this is like a mid-term, and Rhonda replies it could be that or maybe even a final. It’s up to her. For taking responsibility she give herself a B, trusting self C, compassion A. Rhonda asks even with Candy? Denise changes that to a B. For being structured she gives herself a B, being proactive a C, and supporting her husband she gives herself an A. She is told her challenge will be her ability to self-motivate. She is to make a three-course dinner for her husband when he is in town tonight.

Iyanla arrives to speak with Candy. Iyanla notes it has been much discussed that Candy’s father is at the root of her femininity issues. Candy acknowledges that her and her sisters all have similar issues with their dad. The result is none of them feel they have value. He made them all feel this way, and this is what has made them make poor choices throughout their life. They made these choices because they were trying so hard to find the love and acceptance her father couldn’t or wouldn’t give them. Asked if she has any personal tabus, the first she can think of is not spending time on herself. Iyanla explains this can also be looked as as a loss, and gives Candy a stack of signs with the universal no symbol. Candy is to fill these out later with what she feels are her tabus.

Iyanla decides to try pushing Candy a little while the wheels are spinning. She takes on the persona of Candy’s dad, and starts taunting Candy. “Don’t be a girl. Only whores wear makeup. Who do you think you are?” Candy tries to remain calm and says she’s herself. “You’re nothing; you’re not a woman.” Candy’s voice raises a little as she tells her faux dad he doesn’t know or care anything for her. “You’re a whore, tramp and slut if you wear makeup.” Candy keeps trying to say the right thing and tells Faux Dad that he won’t make or break her. “You are broken.” Candy says she’s not and works hard to be who she is. The heightened emotions rise up out of Candy and she shouts, “I’m not going to grow up like you. We all had to sleep in one room because we were cold. I hate you! I hate you! I hate you!” This may not be making Candy cry yet, but I sure am. Iyanla, as herself again, hugs her and says that type of anger will kill her. Iyanla is realizing she is probably correct, that her tabus are preventing her from expressing herself, and leaves her with the signs.

The other women are inside watching Candy scream at Iyanla outside. When she comes in, she says nothing, but starts criticizing Bethany for the way she is cooking her eggs. Rachael thinks she is being defensive, and criticizing others helps take the focus off of her.

Cassie finds out from Rhonda that she will be getting her GED results later, and Cassie admits to being nervous. For an exercise to help her through some of what she is feeling, Rhonda has her writing the things that she feels weigh her down on bags of dirt. There is a board balancing on a barrel representing an even keel. It’s the balance of self doubt against self worth. When all those bags of dirt written with her self doubts are placed on one end of the board, it becomes unbalanced. Asked how to balance this, Cassie writes down the things that bring her self worth on more bags and adds them to the other side of the board. She names things like journaling her good qualities, expressing her feelings, loving herself. She realizes until her visit with her biological mom, she had more unrealistic views. With more reality now comes more self doubt.

Cassie admits it is hard to admit, but she has a lot of anger, prompting Rhonda to say hallelujah. Cassie is angry because she didn’t think she was smart enough, her mother dumped her downtown Birmingham with a suitcase and told her she couldn’t be helped. She’s angry about the disease of alcohol. Rhonda shows Cassie what she wants to do with Cassie’s anger. She picks up a bag of dirt and whips it at the wall, saying she’s angry Cassie has to be so confused. Cassie does the same with the rest of he bags, releasing her anger and hurt. I don’t know how much of a release it was, but it looked fun, and can only imagine the release came out of that.

Rhonda asks what hinders good news in Group. She says the women there are so busy gathering tools to change their lives they forget about letting go of their past. The others name the fear of being a burden as being what Bethany needs to get rid of. They all think Candy needs to let go of thinking she always needs to know the answer. Candy admits to becoming more comfortable having female friends, and believes she wears her feelings on her face. Denise refutes this as does Rhonda and the rest of the women. Rachael tells her she never shares herself, and Candy disagrees. Rhonda points out she and all the other women feel the same as Rachael, and asks if they are crazy, liars or stupid to all think differently than her.

Candy starts to feel attacked, and asks if the others don’t have enough problems of their own. Cassie says that’s what friendship is, supporting each other. She points out when she was upset about her mom, it was Candy that helped her. Candy says it’s different because she cares about Cassie, making everyone nearly say in unison, “And we care about you!” to Candy. Rhonda says they tell her this not to trap her, but to love her. She needs to let go of thinking of others and doing too much for them, and winds it all up telling everyone to love each other through all our junk.

Denise is busying herself in the kitchen preparing food for her dinner with husband, Ermanno. She makes an olive spread for what she calls an “appe-teaser” as she knows Ermanno orders it in restaurants often.

Candy completes her signs and shares them with Iyanla. She tells her the lack of femininity stands out the most. Her other tabus are showing no weakness and showing she can take care of herself so she is not taken advantage of. Iyanla tells her the only thing that will get her past this is to believe in herself. She wants Candy to create a vision and have a new dream so she can lay all the tabus down. She is bringing in a bereavement expert to help Candy grieve the loss of those feelings. Not understanding this one, but I’ll play along.

Rhonda brings the GED results to Cassie who doubts she passed with flying colors. She needs a 410 in each of the other sections to pass it. In Social Studies she gets a 430, Science a 440, Reading a 540 and Writing, one that she was worried about, she gets a 560, the highest of all her scores. Cassie believes she failed the math, and thinks she only got a 310. Rhonda tells her it was actually a 380. While not as much as was needed, it’s still better than she thought. She can retake the test, and only needs to redo the math. Cassie thinks she’ll be ready in two weeks. Rhonda tells here this is a different Cassie today; this is one willing to walk through the fire.

Cassie shares the results with her housemates and everyone cheers each score. They encourage her with the low math score, and Cassie tells them her overall score was above average for first time takers of the test.

Denise is waiting at the window, and Ermanno finally arrives. Before she can spend time with him, though, he is whisked away to speak with Rhonda privately. Rhonda shares with him that Denise believes she’s ready to graduate. He doubts it some, and says that’s what she thinks. Rhonda shares Denise’s list of priorities with him. Secretly, she wants Ermanno to watch Denise over the next day, and before he leaves she wants him to grade her progress. He does this willingly as he has concerns, expects changes, and doesn’t want to go back to the way things were before.

Candy meets with the bereavement counselor. The counselor tells her to let it all go, and tells her she will guide her along the way. She tells her to remain open and honest with her emotions (Excuse me, but you are asking the wrong person for this.) Closing her eyes, she is told to speak to her dad. She says she thought he didn’t love her, and wants to know why he was making her protect the others just because she was the oldest. She doesn’t understand why girls are less. She doesn’t want her last days with him to be like this. She cries, hugs the counselor and proclaims to feel free. I consider myself to be really open with these types of things, but I’m just not feelin’ this one.

Ermanno is impressed with Denise’s dinner and tells her it is really good. They go out after to celebrate his birthday and the new Denise. Asked if he is skeptical, Ermanno admits he is. Denise says it wasn’t just the dinner tonight, she did it all on time, she got it all together, etc. He tells her just keep doing it, and that he can’t judge just from one thing. She tells him his opinion is so important to her, and when he asks why, she realizes maybe she isn’t as ready to graduate as she thought she was.

Denise last let go of so much of her past, but needs to still work on those tools to better herself. Candy isn’t quite there yet, not letting go of that tremendous burden she carries around with her. Denise must be close to graduating, but I was always hoping she would get closer to Candy before that. There’s still time hopefully.

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

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