Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The View, Distorted

I was watching the television show called "The View" and I saw Ashley Judds mother and older sister on it.  Ashley Judd had written a "Tell all" book about the family and The View was allowing (I love the allowing part) the mother and older sister an opportunity for repeal.  The mother reminded me a lot of my mother and the older sister was just enormously present.  I have never tuned into this show before, so it was complete happenstance that I was even on that station.

The only reason I stopped my channel surfing was I saw Ashley Judds mother with her daughter, the singer.  I could have sworn that the mother was dead or at least was meant to die several years ago.  I thought that the mother  had given up show business due to some terrible ailment that was not able to be treated.  I remember they did some big goodbye show, lots of tears and the such.  I am not sure why I even followed this story but I was fascinated that somebody looked so good and yet had some debilitating disease as they were claiming.  I remember thinking that it was just a publicity stunt, odd.  Anyhow, I had also seen Ashley Judd on the today show promoting her new book about her family and the abuse that she survived as a child.

I was so angry at the time I was watching this stupid show because here these four women were giving, yet again, a voice to the abuser and not to the abused.  And to have her rather large sister there defending the mother just added fuel to the fire.  I turned it off and thought, no wonder we never talk about anything as a child, we still don't have a voice that makes people believe what happened or let alone that it was barely survivable.  In some cases like Casey Anthony's daughter it is not survivable.  It just seems that people are part of the abuse by continuing to allow the abusers to speak.  I know that everybody should be allowed to defend their honor so to speak, but this seemed so lopsided.  I mean it was her mother and her sister against Ashley Judd why was her sister part of the picture? It is like she was being ganged up on. I know in my case, I have four siblings that join my mothers show.  It is annoying to me when they add their two cents in.  It is a repeat performance of when I was a child and they would do the same thing and since they were the golden children and I was the scapegoat child, we all know where that ended up, I got beat.

Do people in general not realize that by showing the abusers attention and sympathy that they deflate the very thing we are trying so hard to defend, our lives?  I know that if I had been Ashley Judd I would have rather not have written the book, than to have seen it backfire the way it seemed to be doing.  I felt  that after Ashley Judds appearance on the Today Show, her mother and sister got more attention than the reality of what Ashley Judd had taken the time to write about.  Her mother and sister got a live T.V. show about how it affected their life. They seemed almost cheerful in acting as if they were destroyed.  In reality did they not make or do they not make a tremendous amount of money off a show like that? I loved it when her mother fainted on the promo commercial stating, "What has Ashley done now?"  I think that is what she said. I have not seen that show so I am quoting off the top of my head right now.  But who cares.  All  people seem to care about is the affect some book had on her mother who I thought was meant to be dead. What a miraculous recovery!  Attention heals the most amazing diseases, I had no idea.  Not really, my mother is instantly well if there is any attention to be derived. My siblings are the same way.  Otherwise they are all the laziest people I have ever met, I wonder if its the same in Ashley Judds family.

Anyway back to my strange story. The other day I was watching, not on purpose, this movie starring Ashley Judd.  It was oddly like the story she had been telling on the today show, sad.   But what was odd was the company I was keeping at the time.  I said to the man in the room, "Isn't she a pretty person?", he said that her mother and her oldest sister used to live in Marin and that his brother knew them before they were famous.  He went on to tell me that his brother and the group of friends told the guy to kick them out because they were screwing up the bachelor thing they had going on. Having a needy Mom and her daughter or daughters was not the image they wanted to portray, so he gave them the boot. I thought to myself, what a small world we live in. So close and yet so far, to the very same type of family dynamic as mine.  So Ashley Judds mother was the needy girlfriend looking for her way to be paid.  Oddly the story I was told made me realize that this woman was real not some strange icon on the television.  There was something personal about that realization. Oddly the stories matched-up which means that she is still acting, looking for attention and doing whatever it takes to keep it all about her. That was the way the it came across to me. The man went on to say that it was all about her and nobody else.  Funny, cause I thought it showed so little growth in her as a person.  Once a leach, always a leach, just a different venue on a different day and a different year. It has been said that as long as the spell your name correctly that it doesn't matter what they are talking about.  It matters to me.  Ashley Judd has a real story and other than the fact that I know she wrote a book, I don't know anything more than she ruined the life of her mother and sister.  And I am pretty sure that the book was not about ruining the lives of two very successful, what ever they are, performers? How apropos.

 Maybe we just ruin their lives by trying to live our own life.  Part of living is telling our story.  How did we get to where we are today. Its interesting as long as we don't offend anyone along the way.  So to the people that are on The View, try giving the voice back to the ones that have been destroyed, instead of giving the attention to the destroyers.  I am a survivor and sadly like Ashley Judds story, people are more interested in my mothers appeal of how she is being destroyed by me than in the truth of what the destruction may have actually been. I wish that I had been luckier but I am not alone.  However in some strange twist we are both alone and fighting for a voice, a venue, an opportunity to tell you that monsters are real and they are everywhere. Theses monsters are still telling their lies and you are still listening intently to each and every word as they spill their guts all over you. Do you even stop to think that maybe they are great actresses and that they are lying to you? It is unbelievable that you are so enveloped in their story but our story must be proved and is never taken at face value like you take the story of our mothers.

We are afforded a wonderful opportunity with this event that took place on The View.  We can press rewind and watch it again.  One day maybe if I ever get to be a bigger voice than I am, I would like to re-play Ashley Judds appearance on the Today Show and then re-play her mother and her sister on The View. We will invite some film critic and ask who's performance seems rehearsed and who's seems genuine. I love the fact that her mother was stupid enough to go on national television to plead the case for her older daughter and herself.  It just enhances my opportunity to point out to the interested audience that I do not have, how fake my mother can be on command.  Put her in front of an audience and she would rival Ashley Judds mother, my mother would win hands down.  She is just that much better.

So, don't feel bad Ashley, your mother and your sister were as easy to read as the morning paper and we all know what to do with old newspaper. We put it down and use it to potty train our new puppy or just burn it up in the fireplace as it helps to catch those logs on fire.  I happen to live in a forest fire too.  It is written all over your mothers and sisters face. The abuse and the neglect that you suffered at the hands of both of them is palpable to me.  If I can see it and know that they are lying, then other people can see it too. Those people are just denying the truth which makes them guilty by proxy in my mind. They will not like that review.

I wrote a piece yesterday called Wounded Mind, Fractured Brain. It tells the story of why its so difficult to get well.  Our plight is not heard because we cause people to feel the pain and the hurt of our journey just by showing up in the room. Sadly they turn their backs on the wrong ones.  The attention is always given to the Casey Anthony's of the world.  Your pain I see on the big screen (Ashley Judd).

You have helped me in the past few days understand what the public at large sees when they look at me.  I watched your movie and saw the girl on the today show.  No matter how much make-up you put on yourself it doesn't matter the pain, the agony of the neglect and the abuse shows through.  Now I know what I look like too. I have been told that as a teenager I looked a very certain way, now I understand what they meant.  They said it looked like I kept secrets.  You look like you are in so much pain, I'm sorry that I can't give you a hug and say to you, "I understand," and then we could go out and have blast, flirting with gorgeous men, water skiing, traveling and just down right living our lives free from those monsters called "Our Family Members."  I didn't know that it was so obvious to others, I didn't know that we showed so clearly our journey and we show the raw and brutal truth we suffered while under our mothers watch. Its on our faces, it cannot be hidden.

Thank you for being brave enough to write your book and to promote your book on national t.v.  I am in the game too, as are others that blog similar stories on google.  I am telling my story and I hope that one day stories like ours will be heard and not just shelved so that they can film the dramatics of our mothers.  But until then, take solace that your mother is on film, right beside your sister. Siskel and Ebert do great reviews and I believe that your mother and your sister would have received two thumbs down for their performance on that day.

Holding the vigil, a friend, a warrior, a fighter, a survivor, a human being, me.