Fictional Portrayals That I Strongly Relate to of Abusive Parents, Moms who abandon their kids, etc.

I started writing this post well over a year ago. It’s been in my drafts the entire time. I wanted to finish it and post it today.


Here’s a post that really ties together the two main words in the title of my blog – a post heavy in both discussion of family (namely my own family life) and heavy in discussion of fandom. 😉


 

Content warnings for discussions of personality disorders, bipolar disorder, child abuse, brief mentions of violence and suicide.


Note: I mention a bunch of different TV series throughout this following post, but you should be able to follow along even if you don’t know any of these shows. I try to be clear enough with my explanations of who the characters and what the circumstances are. 

This is a fandom-meta type of thing. It’s hard to explain what exactly meta is, but from what I can tell from a few different Google searches of the definition, it is basically, in the context of fandom, when a person analyzes anything related to fandom. The term also sometimes is used if people are simply breaking the fourth wall in their fanfiction, or if a fanwork is otherwise self-referential i.e. if someone writes a fanfic ABOUT characters reading/writing fanfiction. In this case, it is just writing a non-fiction blog post about works of fiction, and I do feel confident that it qualifies as “meta”, the way people in fandom communities use the term.

Please check out this AO3 series of mine: http://archiveofourown.org/series/132546 if you want to see my single-fandom related metas. Any single-fandom thing that assumes knowledge of the work of fiction will never be posted to this particular WordPress blog of mine – those will only be posted over there on Archive of Our Own – you can subscribe to the series if you want to be notified when I write more of those. I also will cross-post a few things, like this post right now, both there and here.


I’ve already written a post about the step mother in Hansel and Gretel and the siblings’ fairy tale being relatable for me.

I also wrote a three part series on how I figured out my mother was an abuser.

So, needless to say, I grew up under less-than-stellar parenting style. For a fanvideo contest quite a few years ago I decided to participate in a challenge to “Show Your Story”, and pick an aspect of your life’s story so far to highlight, I chose to vid my relationship with my mother. Here’s the video I made: Multi-Fandom – Horrible Mothers & Their Daughters: [“Beautiful” – Christina Aguilera]

And the relevant things that I mention in my video description are:

She is actually a lot worse in some ways than all of these mothers.

And she is a lot different.

But all of these things do apply to things she’s sort of done to me growing up, and ways she’s made me feel. And the overall triumphant message of the song makes me happy. I haven’t lived with my mom since April 2007. I’ve currently cut off all contact with her. I do NOT want to have a relationship of any kind with her until she seeks psychiatric help and admits she has a problem. Right now she refuses to do that so I refuse to forgive her and am avoiding her for my own mental/emotional well-being.

I have a WONDERFUL father which is what I tried to show with Marissa saying “I want to live with Dad” and then all the Veronica/Keith stuff. I think my relationship with my dad is more like Veronica/Keith than any other father/daughter relationship I’ve ever seen on TV. The lack of the mother figure and the closeness/love. XD I also think we’re like Rory&Lorelai, my dad & me lol. So don’t worry about me, I have 1 amazing parent and you really don’t need to feel bad for me.

Still this video was (and is) powerful for me, cathartic, meaningful, emotional, and close to my heart. I hope you all like it.

More recently, I made this fanvideo: Multi-Fandom Selfish Mothers – “Barely Breathing” (Glee Cast version of song)

purposely using entirely different mothers than were vidded in the first video.

I wrote in my video description, and the comments:

This vid is intensely personal for me, as I was inspired by my own feelings toward my mother. 😉 I love these 5 storylines on these shows because I can relate to aspects of them SO strongly. I am basically Lip on Shameless – he’s so done with his mother I couldn’t really find moments to vid with him in this. Lol. I relate so strongly to a lot of how Carter’s been acting toward Lori since season 2, even if all of their history is so different from my relationship with my mom. I probably relate most strongly to Beverly/Scarlett. How they changed Beverly’s character in season 4 frustrated me a bit. In my opinion it would’ve felt pretty in-character if she’d woken up from her coma being mad and blaming doctors, or Rayna, or Deacon – or maybe all of them – for causing her coma, however indirectly. Her redemption felt a bit out-of-the-blue, but I was VERY impressed throughout seasons 2 and 3 with how realistic and consistently, well… selfish and toxic her character was. I also find Deacon’s “Look, Scarlett, your mama’s a handful, we all know that. That’s old news” attitude toward his sister fascinating. There’s so much careful nuance in the writing on that show.

So… finding what term to use for the mothers was tricky, and I’m not sure selfish is fair or the right term, but it was the most consistent thread I found between all 5 of these moms. The kids could be saying the words of the lyrics to each one of them because they all fit aspects of this song, which I interpret to have an overall meaning of “I care about you but I shouldn’t because you don’t care about about me back”. Mothers should care about their children, and care enough to try harder to beat their addictions/not abandon their children, or try to get a handle on their mental illness.

They are varying degrees of what is often called “toxic” parents/mothers, neglectful, abusive, etc. But “Selfish” was the best catch-all term I could think of.

I would like to clarify that although Monica’s suicide attempt did psychologically traumatize her children, in and of itself I reject the notion that calling suicidal people “selfish” is fair. Similarly, addiction and mental illnesses are an inherently difficult thing to deal with and simply having an addiction or struggling with mental illness, including bipolar disorder or otherwise severe depression, does not automatically make you an abusive or neglectful type of selfish parent, but when you go to the extremes of what Monica, Beverly, Ana and Lori did, regardless of the mental illnesses & addictions involved, yeah they were selfish and abusive mothers who did their daughters (and in Monica’s case, other children too) harm. Lianne is the least problematic of all of the mothers in this vid, in my opinion. Veronica’s attitude toward her still fit the song well enough, though, and I wanted to vid that dynamic.

 


Before making that “Barely Breathing” fanvideo, I’d analyzed some of these things carefully, below, in what at the time was a draft of a blog post. It helps me understand myself, my feelings toward my mother, etc, when I introspect by writing fandom meta. It can be amazingly cathartic and illuminating.

In reference to her mother in episode 2×19 “Crazy” of Nashville, Scarlett says:

I hate the way she acts like everything’s fine.

Yes, Scarlett, I know how you feel. In fact, this relationship on Nashville was one of the few portrayals of scary mothering on a TV show that I related to on a deep level. SO much about what goes on between Scarlett and her mother on that show rings true for me and my life. I personally hate how my own mother refuses, even now, to admit that she actually has treated me poorly in any way, ever.

I also hate how the average acquaintance would not realize my mother was an abusive person, and so I appreciate how certain people on Nashville seem to miss that memo as well, regardless of Scarlett’s obvious feelings on the matter.

As this review of the episode of Nashville explains, “Her mom charms the strangers around her, revealing her dark side only to Scarlett.” And that is realistic of how so many abusers are. And I loved that in this episode.

Avery: What do you want her to do?

Avery’s reply is spoken in a somewhat critical tone, a tone that implies her mother is being quite reasonable to act, when they’re in front of people, like she and her daughter “are best friends”. So Scarlett tells Avery what she wants her to do.

Scarlett: Acknowledge something? Apologize? I don’t know. It’s so stupid, I’m grown, I should just get over it, but… I can’t help it.

I relate to every single word of what Scarlett says. I am Scarlett. I’ve lived that life. I’m somewhat living it now.

But then the conversation shifts.

It shifts into a conversation that bothers me a bit. A conversation it was inevitably going to shift into, because pretty much every abusive parenting storyline I’ve ever witnessed on TV shows includes this. It’s a tale of “but of course I love them anyway.” As if the statement “she’s my mom” literally means “there is no possible world where I am a kind, likable human being and I don’t love my own mother, regardless of any abuse she may have inflicted upon me.”

Take Isaac on Teen Wolf. In episode 2×09 “Party Guessed”.

Derek expresses shock at learning that his abusive father is his anchor (a term that makes sense in the mythology of the show, where a werewolf’s anchor is what they can concentrate on to keep themselves human) because “your father locked you in a freezer to punish you”.

Isaac seems to smile slightly and reveal “he didn’t use to.” This is subtle, but I see this as evidence that despite Mr. Lahey being a scary-as-hell abusive father to Isaac, Isaac still loved the man. People in Teen Wolf fanfiction seem to always support that sentiment. Isaac has confusing emotions, including love, for his dear old abusive dad.

Regina on Once Upon a Time is potentially an abusive mother herself, depending on how you view her relationship with her adoptive son Henry. I haven’t seen the show after season 3, by the way, so my analysis is based on seasons 1-3 only. I appreciate blogs like this tumblr existing. How Henry feels toward Regina is a really complicated matter though, and I don’t really wish to try to weed out when Henry went from feeling no love for her to a lot of love for her, or if he loved her all along, or if Regina changed and actually stopped being abusive to Henry, or all sorts of complicated matters like that.

Regina’s relationship with her own less-than-stellar mother, Cora, feels like more clearly another case of a child loving an abusive parent. Regina never seems to express hate for the woman… she expresses a wish to be loved, a sadness at Cora’s lack of love for her, and a deep caring for Cora.

I love that on Gilmore Girls, Jess never once expresses real love for Liz. I’ll always love the writing and acting on Gilmore Girls. The subtle moments with Liz not even appearing on screen yet build up how much she is a failure as a mother. In Jess’ very first episode, 2×05 “Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy”, we see during a scene where it’s already dark outside that his uncle Luke answers the phone “Yeah, he got here just fine,” and Jess complains vocally that he “got here at ten this morning”. Jess refuses to speak to his mother on the phone. At first, you might think Jess is being unnecessarily dismissive of a fairly caring mother. But in 2×10 “The Bracebridge Dinner”, Rory asks him why he’s still in Stars Hallow. It is Winter Break after all, school’s out, and if he doesn’t like it he could just go back to New York. But Jess explains that he is well aware, despite Luke’s best attempts at some white lies, that the truth is his mother didn’t want him to return home. Still, Jess is adamant in 4×20 “Luke Can See Her Face” that he doesn’t hate his mother.

In Glee episode 1×10 “Ballad”, when Finn begs, “Please, Mrs. Fabray, do something,” Quinn tells him not to bother and…

Quinn: If she wanted to do something, she would’ve when she found out that I was pregnant.

Her father, speaking to her mother: You knew?

Mrs. Fabray: I… No, she didn’t tell me anything.

Quinn (through tears): But you knew. And I needed you! I needed my mom!

Quinn ends up kicked out of her house within the next minute of the show because her mother won’t stand up to her father, and remains homeless and lives, temporarily, with 3 different people over the rest of season 1… and yet in season 1 episode 22 “Journey” when Judy surprises Quinn by turning up a convenient few minutes before her water breaks… Quinn appears comforted by her mother being there with her as she goes through labor and childbirth, with her mother stroking her sweaty strands of hair out of her eyes, with her mother… being motherly. There is not even a hint of Quinn being hesitant to let this woman back into a intimate motherly role in her life.

I think shows like Nashville or even Gilmore Girls handle the situation more realistically, and ER is another example I should bring up now. You could see that I vidded Abby Lockhart, a main character and her bipolar mother Maggie Wyczenski (played by Sally Field, who actually won an Emmy for this role), in that “Beautiful” fanvideo of mine that I first linked to above. I also recently hosted and participated in this collaboration fanvideo (collab) tribute to their relationship: Abby & Maggie – [“What If” by SafetySuit] (mother/daughter relationship tribute).  I relate to that relationship even if my mother wasn’t bipolar because my mother was mentally ill. My mother would have intense rages and also experienced dysthymia. Many of bipolar disorder’s symptoms were somewhat prevalent in my own mother’s case, even if ultimately her diagnosis was different.

Abby seems to be confused about her feelings for her mother throughout the show. She recounts having a childhood that is more horrific than the one I had to endure – her mother was so out of her mind that she was running around the house with a knife? Her mother was so depressed in bed for days that Abby and her mother had to find ways to trick their neighbors into feeding them meals? I never had to go through that. Abby had no father. At least Scarlett on Nashville has her Uncle Deacon and Jess on Gilmore Girls has his Uncle Luke. These uncles clearly have not done enough to shield their niece/nephew from the horrible behavior of their sisters, but at least they care…

It seems like Abby (and her brother Eric) truly had no one. They had a mother that wasn’t safe to live with growing up – a mother who continued to disrupt Abby’s adult life and cause Abby extreme distress. I liked that Maggie seemed to have managed her mental health condition and was no longer an abusive presence in Abby’s life by the end of her role on the series. Of all of the happy endings possible, I like that this was a case of a parent being abusive/neglectful only because of serious mental health issues, and therefore the solution being finally, consistently taking her meds being actually a solution that leads to a potential healthy relationship between mother & child worked for me. Far too often, happy endings after a mother behaved horrifically just don’t work for me.


On a very different note….

We have shows like Castle, Veronica Mars, and Gossip Girl where we see Alexis, Veronica, and Dan, respectively, living full time with their dads, their mother seemingly having abandoned the entire family? Without a care?

In Castle 5×03 “Secret’s Safe With Me”, Alexis explains her unhappiness throughout the episode. And how it had nothing to do with Beckett, Castle’s new romantic partner. She’s finally moving into her freshman college dorm.

Alexis: This is no more about Beckett than it’s about the fact my mother isn’t here.

Castle (her dad): Sorry, honey, but your mom, she’s in-

Alexis: No. No, it’s fine. It’s always been fine. Because no matter what, I’d wake up and you’d be there. And I’d know that everything’s fine.

Castle: Oh, and when you’re here

Alexis: …and I’m here. And you’re there.

I love this scene so much, because it helps to explain why I always related to Alexis on a pretty deep level too. I feel the same way. It’s fine that my mother wasn’t there to move me into college. Actually, it was a freaking relief. It was wonderful to just say goodbye to my dad, who I actually love, rather than having to deal with my mom instead or in addition, who would’ve made the process torture. But Alexis… Alexis, if you remember episode 1×06 “Always Buy Retail” with the first appearance of Alexis’ mother…

Alexis: Dad?

Castle: Yeah, sweetie?

Alexis: Hypothetically, is it okay to love someone but not want them around all the time?

Castle: You mean Mom?

Alexis: I love her; I do!

Castle: I know you do, and I’m glad you do.

And here’s… again… where I can’t relate to this at all.

She says she doesn’t want her mother around. That I relate to. But loving them. No. I just… don’t. I don’t love my mother.

I can relate much more closely to Jess’s, “I don’t hate her” than Scarlett’s shrug with an:

Of course I love her, she’s my mama.

I can relate more to (episode 1×03 “Meet John Smith” of Veronica Mars):

Justin Smith: So… I showed my mom the letter. She got all mad. Made me promise not to try and find my dad.

Veronica: So he really is alive!

Justin: My mom actually said I was better off this way. Thinking he was dead!

Veronica: Maybe you were!

[Veronica’s dad, Keith, is shown overhearing this.]

and then, once Justin has left…

Keith: I couldn’t help but overhear.

Veronica: Yeah, sorry.

Keith: No, it’s not that. It’s just that I never want you to think your mom’s the villain in all of this.

Veronica: Isn’t she?

Keith: No, it’s not that simple.

Veronica: Yeah it is. The hero is the one that stays, and the villain is the one that splits.

Keith: I don’t think that’s a healthy perspective.

Veronica: It’s healthier than me pining away every day, praying she’ll come home.

The context is that Veronica thinks maybe Justin is better off thinking his dad died rather than simply abandoned him, because Veronica’s mother abandoned her and she thinks it might be easier if her mother was just dead.

The thing is… my mom didn’t leave and my dad didn’t stay. Actually my dad left. He left me and my brother alone in an abusive household to be raised by a single mother. He just didn’t completely abandon us. He visited relatively often, frequently, or when we were older, he visited us. So I never felt like he left me. But the truth is, he kind of did.

I’ll come back to this topic of parents and… abandonment… but first…

Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds is an interesting example to bring up. We see, during flashback scenes in episode 2×15 “Revelations”, that Reid’s schizophrenic mother (who strikes me as more severely clinically depressed than anything in these flashbacks) is having trouble taking care of herself, let alone her child. She is not abusive, but rather a neglectful parent. But so is his father. His father is extremely neglectful as well. Look at this conversation:

Reid’s Mother: I’m not crazy.
Reid’s Father: If you refuse to take care of yourself, I can’t help you.
Mother: I do take care of myself.
Father: What day is it?
Mother: … That’s not fair.
Father: I’m out of ideas, Diana.
Mother: Well, you could take Spencer with you, just for a little while.

But what does Reid’s father do? Does he take Spencer, his son, with him? No, he leaves not just his wife whose mental illness he cannot handle – he leaves his child alone with her, knowing she can’t even take care of herself. This man ignored the fact that she actually said to him “I want you to take our son with you when you go”. I think… I think in this case, although Reid’s mother was a failure as a parent due to mental illness, for once I can’t relate very much to his story. His parents both acted quite differently than either of mine. My dad, while he temporarily left me alone with a mother that he shouldn’t have, didn’t completely leave me alone with her. He was still in my life. When my mom was at the height of her abusiveness, I saw my dad every single weekend, which is a lot different than the way this dad completely abandoned his son.

In Gossip Girl, episode 1×04 “Bad News Blair”…

Dan: My, uh… my mom… kind of left us a couple months ago, only my… my dad and my sister don’t really see that, because she told us she had to go away for the summer to um… to follow her dream of being an artist. But it’s… it’s not summer anymore, and she’s still up there, and it’s all she seems to care about right now. Every time I go to see her, I tell myself this time, I’m gonna tell her what I think. This time, I’m gonna look her in the eye, and say, “Either come home, or leave for good.” And so there I was, just the other day, I was sitting across the table from her, looking her straight in the eye, and I didn’t say anything.

Blair: Why not?

Dan: Uh… I don’t know. But I wish I had. Because even if it didn’t change anything, she’d know how I felt.

These are examples of mothers abandoning a family, which is quite a bit different than a mother abusing a child… it’s more simply “not loving the child enough”… but because of how I ended up in a situation where I love my dad completely and ended up, eventually, living solely with him (or my grandmother, but either way, AWAY FROM MY MOM)… I relate in many ways to these attitudes.

I don’t love my mom. She’s not in my life. And so as much as abusive parent stuff is relatable to me, just as much so are stories of a lack of a parent, especially a lack of a mother, in a child’s life. For the end of high school this was my life, and it continues to be now, 8-and-a-half years later. Even when I was still living with my mother, I didn’t love her, and I felt so close to my dad that these kinds of stories would’ve been relatable.

I wish my mother could be happy, sure, but in a detached way, the same way I wish everyone in the world could be happy. I don’t feel I owe her unearned love. I don’t think an abusive parent deserves unconditional love from their child, or even a simply neglectful one. And I don’t believe what far too many TV shows would like to make you believe, which is that regardless of if the particular parent deserves it, children universally do love their parents. No. I disagree. I am a counterexample, okay?

On Nashville, I loved the writing choice to include Scarlett’s mother pinching her, as it’s violent in a subtle way that feels realistic to me, “just right”, even. It’s the kind of physical violence that women like my mother exert, even if my mother never pinched me exactly – and so is Beverly’s grabbing of Scarlett’s arms and holding her/pushing her, controlling her in a way that is powerful but not enough to actually leave a mark. My mom never grabbed me quite like that, never pinched me exactly like that, but the acting and directing and writing and all of it felt exactly like my experiences. The crazed betrayal on Beverly’s face, the anger, and all of Scarlett’s… fear. It is remarkably rare to find that kind of relationship featured on any TV show ever.

Nashville also featured Juliette’s relationship with her own mother, which was similarly extreme, intense, and toxic… it was everything at once. Juliette’s mother was more neglectful than abusive in the end. So I had less to latch onto there. Even if I did relate to aspects of it. I didn’t relate to that particular storyline in the same way. Plus, probably the least relatable aspect of all of it was that Juliette had too much deep love for her mother, buried underneath all that hurt.

Conversely, I never actually believed Scarlett as a character, though, when she said she loved her mother, and that’s part of why I loved it. She may say “I love my mom” but she didn’t act like she meant it. It was more of a habit, a way of conforming to society’s rules for her. She added “because she’s my mother” so “of course” she felt that love, like… like she knew she had no other options. She didn’t seem to feel it.

When minor recurring character Sharee on Switched at Birth suddenly had a mother (who was never named), I was caught off guard by how wonderfully the show paralleled my experiences as well. Sharee’s mom started acting scary-as-hell, and it was clear mental illness was a part of it.

In 3×05 “Have You Really the Courage?”, we see Sharee’s mother’s kicking her boyfriend out of the house while she’s shouting after him, very upset. He replies “You need help!” and then the mother tries to talk to her daughter and grabs her arm, but Sharee quickly yells “Stop!” in response to her mother’s touch and wriggles out of her grasp. Daphne, the main character who has a car and is picking up Sharee for school, notices a bruise on Sharee’s arm when Sharee gets into the car, and then Sharee realizes she’s left her lunch inside. She doesn’t want to go back inside to get it. She seems desperate for the escape of just leaving her home and going to school.

I can relate to that. School is safe. Home is not. It’s worth it to sacrifice something like your already-made-lunch for the sake of escaping while you have the chance.

Then, two episodes later in 3×07 “Memory is Your Image of Perfection”, Sharee’s mother shows up unexpectedly at school during lunch where Sharee is eating with her peers outside.

Sharee: Mom, what are you doing here?
Mother: You know damn well why I’m here.
Sharee: No, I don’t.
Mother: You didn’t make your bed this morning! (Excessively loud.)
Sharee (looking around at the other kids, embarassed before replying): I’m sorry. Okay, I forgot.
Mother: Oh, that’s your excuse? You are such a slob. It’s disgusting.
Sharee: Mom, please. Not here.
Mother: Oh, why? (starts looking around Sharee toward the crowd and getting louder for their benefit:) Because of your friends? You don’t want them knowing what a pig you are?!
Sharee (sounding a bit panicked now): Okay, I’ll clean up tonight. I promise.
Mother: No, you’re gonna do it right now.
Sharee: I can’t just leave school.
Mother: What if those guys from the state come back? You think I’m gonna let them take you away from me ’cause our house is a mess? (Sharee’s mother grabs her arm violently and Sharee resists.) Get in the car now!
Sharee: Okay! Let me get my bag.

Sharee is on the verge of tears. She walks back over to her bag and her friend, Daphne, speaks up.

Daphne: I don’t think you should go.
Sharee: Trust me: when she’s acting like this, the best thing to do is go along.
Daphne: Sharee, she needs help. And so do you.

Sharee nods tearfully and is barely able to manage a whispered response of:

Sharee: I know.

before running off to join her mom in the car.

My mom did this kind of public display of abusiveness near the end of me living with her, in the Physical Therapist’s office, and even after we stopped living with her at my brother’s school when she showed up to see his musical performance. I related very strongly to Sharee throughout this storyline.

Later in the episode, Daphne is speaking about her friend’s mother to a doctor she works with at the medical clinic she volunteers at.

Daphne: From what I’ve read, I think she might be bipolar.
Doctor: If her mood swings come and go that quickly, it could be borderline personality disorder.
Daphne: Is there any treatment for that?
Doctor: Therapy, maybe medication to control the depression. But she’s going to need a psych assessment.
Daphne: That’s the problem. I don’t think we’ll be able to get her to see a psychiatrist.

A social worker my family met with right after I stopped living with my mother, when decisions about parental custody of me and my brother were up in the air, and immediately suggested that my mother might have Borderline Personality Disorder. It made me very happy to hear that possibility mentioned here.

According to this article on Personality Disorders: http://www.healthline.com/health/personality-disorders#Overview1

People who suffer from a personality disorder rarely seek treatment on their own. That is because they commonly blame other people and outside circumstances for problems they create.

This idea is echoed on the Raised by Narcissists subreddit, which has to have the disclaimer:

Because narcissists rarely seek care, few of our parents have a formal diagnosis. So in this space, “narcissist” is a term used loosely to refer to a variety of conditions, and is not used in a clinical sense.

The truth is, people like Sharee’s mom and my mom won’t end up in psychiatric care unless they go too far with violence (as the show Switched at Birth ended up doing with Sharee’s mother), or a suicide attempt (as depression and other mental disorders are often present alongside a personality disorder).

Abusive people often want to blame their abusive actions on the abused, rather than confront the possibility that they are actually acting irrational, that maybe their emotions are irrational too, and maybe reacting at your children with rage over minor things is not fair.

But anyway, overall, I really liked Switched at Birth’s portrayal there. It was one of the most relatable mother/daughter relationships I’ve seen on TV. I didn’t like that they wrapped it up so neatly, but it’s TV, and what can you expect? Permanently messy and without closure abusive relationships? That isn’t satisfying enough to viewers….

Recently, I’ve been getting back into Veronica Mars, one of my favorite shows of all time, and  I realized it’s not just Veronica I relate to when it comes to parent/child relationships…

there is a child who has a father who is literally a murderer and well… it is cathartic to find a character who really doesn’t love their abusive parent, because the fandom gave the abused child enough of an excuse — said parent is evil enough by society’s standards that no one should feel obligated to love him. I’m talking in circles here to try to avoid major spoilers for the series for anyone who hasn’t seen the lovely show yet. Lol.

I will continue to pay attention to these kinds of relationships as they come up in the TV shows I watch. For now, here were my scattered thoughts. I hope you enjoyed reading them.

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2 thoughts on “Fictional Portrayals That I Strongly Relate to of Abusive Parents, Moms who abandon their kids, etc.

  1. Regarding Quinn and her mother – I read that as a mildly suboptimal but mostly good relationship, before Quinn got pregnant. And so the scene where Quinn is comforted by her mother coming back rang true, because this is the first time her mother seriously failed her, and Quinn hopes and believes it’ll be the last time.

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    1. I kind of find it hard to believe that a pregnant 16-ish-year old girl being kicked out of her house would consider her relationship with either parent in that house only “mildly suboptimal”, at least at that point, regardless of how it had been before, so… yeah while I kind of get your point… idk. I could see it going a lot of different ways because we just don’t know enough about Quinn’s feelings toward her family at any point. I could see her accepting comfort from anywhere it was offered while she was terrified and in labor, regardless.

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