Paging Dr. Judith Herman

"Restoration of the breach between the traumatized person and the community depends, first, upon public acknowledgement of the traumatic event and, second, upon some form of community action. Once it is publicly recognized that a person has been harmed, the community must take action to assign responsibility for the harm and to repair the injury. These two responses—recognition and restitution—are necessary to rebuild the survivor’s sense of order and justice." – Herman, Judith, M.D. Trauma and Recovery. New York: Basic, 1992, 1997: 69, 70

I couldn’t watch this show last night. It was way too triggering. I still feel sick from the few minutes I saw via channel surfing.  I have thoughts but they are malformed and raw.

One thing that really perplexes me:

Why was unplanned pregnancy and adoption on a show titled FAMILY SECRETS? What’s the secret? The pregnancy? Or the adoption?

What kind of subliminal message does that send? That adoption and single motherhood  are things that should be shrouded in secrecy? Or that you should be ashamed of?

Bleck.

Yes, I have more opinions but I am still recovering from seeing that poor mother crying her heart out and everyone around her was telling her the trauma she was experiencing was a good thing. I wanted to stab that caseworker in the eyeballs as she was trying to pull the mom back to her PREBIRTH plan.  She seemed to be steering her away from feeling things that may have lead her to change her mind. Very real, deep, motherly feelings that she should have been feeling.

I wonder what they would have done if she was bleeding to death in front of them? Would that be a good thing? Why is emotional trauma so easily disregarded?

9 Thoughts.

  1. I’m so glad I didn’t know this was on. I’m reading The Open ADoption Book (Rappaport — billed as “the founder of the open adoption movement) and it’s heinous.

  2. I have only gotten about half way through it myself…so I don’t know how it “ends”.
    I do wish instead of it always being an adoptee (Cynthia McFaddon, or adoptive parent (the show a couple of years ago with Barbara Walters) hosting the show and doing the interviews they brought in a first mom, or atleast interviewed one a few years later.
    It would be an interesting third perspective.
    Also, Suz did you see how they referred to Gladney in Texas as a “kind of sorority for pregnant girls”, that seemed familiar!

  3. I’ve been watching the series all along and all of the shows have highlighted the negative effects of keeping secrets and the positive effects of releasing them. As for my thoughts on this particular episode, I’m saving them for later.

  4. Poor_Statue – Ah, good to know. As noted, I did not want it in its entirety (just couldnt) so clearly I missed something. Thanks for clarifying.

  5. I watched one show last night. I didn’t realize it was a series. I kept praying these girls would keep their babies (are we talking about the same show?) But alas, both surrendered. I was in tears.

  6. Suz, You’re right though about the negative message the title sends. I don’t know how many of the folks who tuned in know that it’s a series.

  7. Suz, You’re right though about the negative message the title sends. I don’t know how many of the folks who tuned in know that it’s a series.

  8. Suz, You’re right though about the negative message the title sends. I don’t know how many of the folks who tuned in know that it’s a series.

  9. I too saw that show. The portrayal of those girls and all the steps that were taken to strip them of everything and in the end their children. That SW with those final papers and asking “Do you understand” The girl was so heartsick how could she even focus. Sure! they were all sympathetic and the end justified what they all wanted from her. Why dont they show a positive approach in helping the young lady to find a way to keep her baby? Made me sick!!!!!

Comments are closed.