Focusing On The Things That Keep Us Watching

AFTERSHOCKS

Certainly if I titled today’s post with “WOW” again, you guys would think I was just getting lazy, but just between us…it would most definitely be warranted. Tuesday’s episode of General Hospital was just RIVETING!

Just when I thought I couldn’t be any more impressed with this storyline and how it would play out, Tuesday came along. If Monday was the quake that shook Port Charles, then Tuesday was a day of aftershocks. And trust me, it left me “shook up.”

What an emotional day in Port Charles! Everyone’s emotions and feelings were on a roller coaster ride, and it was all over a bruised and battered teenager who ties them all together. My own emotions weren’t far behind as I cried all kinds of tears: tears of empathy, tears of understanding, of pity, of sadness, anger, and even a couple tears of solace. When GH finally faded to black, I was literally spent. I cried for a good five minutes afterwards as I tried to absorb everything. Congrats, Susan Wald, for writing an episode worthy of following Michele Val Jean’s Monday masterpiece.

Oh, where to begin?

How about at the epicenter of this unnatural disaster that hit Port Charles and caught them by surprise? Kristina’s room at GH. Ironically, Kristina’s pointing the finger at Ethan has caused the foundation to be rocked once more under her family’s feet, and will cause Ethan’s family’s to be rocked, but it seems that it has also rocked the soap watching world as well. People are upset about Kristina blaming Ethan, who’s innocent, and feel that this sends the message that victims are not to be believed. *sigh*

And I thought everyone watched Lifetime. Friends, this is what happens so many times in situations of abuse. Do people not realize that if victims pointed the finger at their abusers immediately, there wouldn’t be such a need for crisis centers and crisis counselors whose goal it is to convince women to put an end to long-term violent relationships? Take a look at these shocking domestic violence statistics from The Riley Center: (To see more stats and for more info go to www.rileycenter.org)

  • Every 9 seconds, a woman is battered in the U.S.
    Family Violence Prevention Fund, 1994.
  • 95% of all victims of domestic violence are women.
    Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report, U.S. Dept. of Justice.
  • Domestic Violence is the single major cause of injury to women, more than muggings and car accidents combined.
    First Comprehensive National Health Study of American Women, The Commonwealth Fund, 1993.
  • Domestic Violence is the cause of 30% of physical disabilities in women.
    California Department of Social Services, 1994.
  • 50% of all women murdered in the United States are killed by a spouse or an acquaintance.
    Journal of Trauma, 1992
  • Domestic Violence occurs in 60% of marriages and is the most underreported crime.
    National Crime Statistics Report, 1993.
  • 25% to 30% of adolescent relationships are abusive.
    L.A. Commission on Assaults Against Women
  • 1/2 of all rape victims are raped between the ages of 14 and 17.
    L.A. Commission on Assaults Against Women
  • As few as 5% of domestic violence victims are identified as such in Emergency Department records.
    American Journal of Public Health, 1989.
  • Domestic Violence costs an estimated $1.4 billion annually in medical bills, and an additional $900 million in mental health treatment.
    National Public Services Research Institute, 1994.

Which of those statistics tell you that when someone is abused, they immediately sit up and tell the authorities the truth about who, when, and where? None! It is a silent nightmare and a secret pain that goes on too long in too many cases.

I want to thank all my readers who shared with me, either through the comments or through personal emails, their experiences with abuse – either as survivors, or as advocates, social workers, and teachers who’ve seen the other side. For those who were victims and are now survivors, I honestly felt a pang of deep regret for you as I read your stories. I am so sorry for what you’ve been through and SO HAPPY that you survived it, and that now you can share it and feel safe about it. I feel your pain because I too am a survivor of abuse, and like Kristina, I was too young, ashamed, and afraid to tell the truth. Like all of you, and like the millions of women our fictional Sam represents, what didn’t kill us made us stronger; but we had to heal first.

This storyline is so realistic, that it’s haunting. In situations where I’ve dealt with children who are abused by someone, they will often blame an innocent party because in their minds, the innocent party will get themselves out of it. I once had a student whom I knew was blaming an innocent party, tell me: “Everyone knows he’s a good person. That will help him.” It happens more often than we think, and as frustrating as it is, we can’t even blame the victim really. All people can do is create a safe and loving environment, and encourage the truth to be told at all times. I believe that’s what the writers will show her family doing, and I believe that Kristina will eventually tell the truth. Unfortunately, Ethan becomes a victim in the process. Let me say this: Ethan being a victim of a lie does not make Kristina less of a victim of a crime. I’m not sure where that idea came from. Ethan is collateral damage in a turbulent accident of life. Let’s use these opportunities to inform ourselves and be prepared to see the signs and help someone else.

Okay, my PSA is over. Moving on…

Maurice Benard’s portrayal of a tormented father reliving the one thing he became a mobster to avoid: someone hurting the one you love and not being able to prevent it. Sonny is just like anyone who’s ever sworn that the violence they survived will NEVER touch one of their own, except he became a mob boss. Even so, he and I aren’t that different. 90% of the clothes in my closet  are black too (because of its slimming effects) and because of my deep-seeded need to protect those I love, I have been known to put the fear of God into many an adult, even if all they were abusing was their power. When Sonny left the room while Kristina was explaining what had happened to her, I knew exactly what he was feeling. I knew he could hear the blood rushing through his head, his heart was pounding, and all he could see was the face of the person who (in this case-allegedly) hurt his baby girl. Even so, when Sonny’s hand shot out, gun in shaking hand pointed at Ethan and yelled, “Turn around!” I jumped so high, I spilled cream soda all over myself! Poor Ethan. Nothing is as it seems, but he really can’t prove it, and if Sonny ever had a reason to be a mobster who can have people “whacked”, this is it. Luckily, Ethan’s ass was saved by Dante and Lucky, and he now sits in (protective) custody because it won’t be that easy for Sonny to kill him down at the PCPD. Sonny went from raging lunatic, to cold-blooded hit- ordering mob boss to tender loving Daddy to lost little boy all in the span of one episode. Amazing. The journey Maurice took his character on was incredibly believable at each turn, and he deserves to be applauded. The aftershocks Sonny experienced mae us all experience one emotion or another. Sonny was responsible for most of my tears yesterday.

Alexis was reminded once again that as a mom she can control what her girls eat, watch, do, and say while they are right in front of her, but she can’t control much of anything when they’re not. Kristina was beaten nearly to death in her own home and Alexis didn’t know about anything what Kristina had been up to that night. Scary. For Alexis – mind-blowing. Alexis was hurting for her daughter and angry as hell, but she knew that if Sonny killed Ethan, Kristina would be scarred for life (and again – Alexis doesn’t know the half of it). Alexis telling Tracy that she might actually enjoy Sonny killing Ethan was real and raw and even delicious coming from Ms. Law-Abiding Citizen. Alexis had her whole world shaken to its core and core values by these aftershocks, and sometimes, that’s what it takes to get us to wake up and see things realistically. The tears I cried for Alexis were tears of empathy.

Sonny thought Dante needed to go back to the hospital and take a look at Kristina and “think like a brother instead of a cop.” There aren’t many things that Dante would do based on Sonny’s asking these days, but this was one. I had a moment of reprieve as Dante sat by his sister’s bedside and assured her that she was still beautiful where it counted. Dante and Kristina had the opportunity to connect as brother and sister, which is good, as Kristina’s support system continues to grow. Dante was relieved of his duties by Sonny, and Dante witnessed not only Sonny’s love and devotion for another one of his children, but he got a close-up look at his father’s many vulnerabilities and old scars that still haven’t healed completely. Nothing makes you understand a person better than knowing what they’ve been through, and I hope that this aftershock shook loose some of the judgments and presumptions Dante had made. The tears I cried were tears of solace, because finally there was one positive in all of this chaos.

Sam broke my heart over and over again. I knew that Sam would blame herself, but she surprised even me by blaming herself even before she knew about the beating. I felt so badly for her when she was telling Jason that she was partly to blame for Kristina’s situation with Ethan. And I actually did cry tears of frustration when Jason let her leave alone…but since I am PMSing, I decide to forgive him and chalk it up to Temporary Male Cluelessness. I thought Sam’s scenes with Kristina in the hospital were sweet and sad and sisterly all at once, and I loved when Sam told Kristina that they’d get through it together. When Sam apologized to Alexis and said, “I never wanted her to end up like me,” I lost it! This is the real tragedy of abuse and violence. Even after Sam has turned her life around, changed for the better, become a good and loving person, she still doesn’t think she’s good enough. A co-worker, who served as the school social worker, once said to me that losing your sense of self-worth was like driving a new car off the lot of the dealership. The second it’s taken, it will never have its full value again, no matter how new and shiny it still appears. Sam’s self-worth was taken from her when she was forced into a life of crime by her stepfather. It was lost even to her when she went from one dysfunctional relationship to the next. She’s worked really hard to build it up and get some of it back, and has come a long way. But it will never be what it could have been. The aftershocks Sam experienced showed us proof. For that, I cried tears of sad and deep understanding.

Thankfully, not every character reduced me to tears, or I may not have been able to open my eyes today.

Another positive that may come from this tragic tale is that Ethan may finally understand how dangerous Sonny really can be. Just last week, Ethan was dabbling in perilous games with the mobster’s property. Stealing cigars and the babe who sits in Bernie’s office are some deadly dealings when you know who Sonny is. Obviously, Ethan did not. I’m thinking now he does. Clearly. The aftershock Ethan experienced with Sonny’s gun aimed at his heart may have cleared the doubts out of Ethan’s silly little head…once and for all.

Also affected was Johnny…who doesn’t want Ethan to get hurt. Johnny went to Jason and asked him to consider Ethan’s innocence. He made some good points, as Kristina did lie once before when she ran Claudia off the road and caused the death of her unborn baby. And we all know that Kiefer was behind Kristina being so distraught. Perhaps Johnny’s cavalier attitude about involving Ethan was turned around by the aftershock of seeing Ethan being arrested for Kristina’s beating.

Lucky was completely thrown by the aftershock of having to arrest his new brother for such a heinous crime, while he’s still riding the wave of the aftershock brought on by his other brother’s affair with his fiance. Lucky knows that people shock you all the time, and after all, Ethan is Luke’s son, and…well, we all know what crossed Lucky’s mind.

At the hospital, Helena unveiled her dastardly plan: To have Lucky believe that Nikolas is the father when he’s not, just so that the baby will be raised as a Cassadine, and reared to hate his family. Thankfully, Nikolas had two other paternity tests performed, so the truth will come out…eventually. Right? ? ? ?

Finally, we all had to lay eyes on that disgusting Kiefer. I felt the aftershocks of anger and rage, as I wished I could beat his ass myself. The brief moment where he showed self-disgust at hearing Kristina was in the hospital only made me angrier, because it was quickly replaced by the familiar look of calculating his next move on his smug mug. I cannot wait until the truth is finally out. I want a ring-side seat to Kiefer’s day of reckoning!

Well, friends, I feel as though every post lately is a therapy session for me. From some of your emails, you’ve let me know it is for you as well. You’ll never know what a sense of purpose that gives me!

Thanks, guys!

😉

Much love,

Angelique

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11 responses

  1. Just want you to know that in addition to our sharing many of the same thoughts of GH and its fabulous characters…we also share our fondness for CREAM SODA. Are you kidding me? I always keep cream soda in the fridge and consider it to be my favorite.

    OK…now the important stuff. Sonny broke my heart. Alexis was absolutely wonderful. Ethan was terrific. Krissy was great…but, SAM! OMG…my heart was filled with empathy and pain for the way she felt about her sister’s abuse. It was her worst nightmare coming true. NO ONE on gh can bring me to tears like Kelly Monaco. There is a very relatable quality about her acting. She’s so real!!! If Sam has a single tear in her eye…I’m gone. Always! She has the ability to touch me EVERY SINGLE TIME. I could watch others cry and feel something..but, Kelly brings me to actual tears. Sonny did a number on me yesterday also. I cried with the last scene with him and Krissy and how much she looked like his mother. Awesome scene.

    As for Keifer…they’ll be some reason for his anger issues. He’s coming off as a real so and so now…and, of course, we all want to beat his butt…however, I think they’ll show a reason for his behavior…and he’ll be an important part of this s/l down the road. It can’t all be that he’s a BAD person…it’ll be his family background…something! I’m certainly NOT defending him…and there’s NEVER, EVER a reason for abuse…but, there could be a reason for his behavior. He’s a sick kid…imo.

    I haven’t looked this forward to gh in a long time…well, since Jasam in Mexico…IMO, that also was riveting..The scenes when Jason was so sick and Sam nursed him back to health with a wet cloth, and basin of water and talking to him. I thought they were BOTH amazing during those scenes.

    OK…that’s it…Thank you for the STATS on abuse. I found that to be EXTREMELY important and informative. You’re the greatest!

    March 17, 2010 at 10:56 am

  2. Alisha

    The show had my full attention and your post even more so. I too was riveted by the revelations of Sam when she expressed to Jason that just by sharing her past with her sister in hopes of trying to help her steer clear of that life and her mistakes, she feels she may have been responsible for leading her there. WOW a character that takes responsibility even when she is NOT to blame! I loved her concern, her anger and even her irrational thinking because it was REAL, that is what we do when someone we love is hurt or been abused, (or me anyway) and thus why I was able to relate so well. I dont sit down and say, lets think this through and be logical. If my sister had bruises on her arm and said someone did it and I approached that person and they said they did it….well why wouldnt you believe it? No where in any of this has Keifer even been mentioned so why would his past behaviour be brought to light.
    I was a little dissappointed in the fact that Jason didnt go with Sam or even to the hospital. Had it been Michael or Morgan he would have been there and out of loyalty to both Sonny and Sam I would have thought he would be there for support. the only flaw in the show for me.
    The acting of Sam, Sonny, Alexis and Ethans reponse to it all was mesmerizing and I truly hope this whole story is remembered when it comes to the Daytime Emmy’s. Been a long time since I saw one that ran this close to the truth and touched on a subject that not everyone is doing. KUDOS GH! and KUDOS to this page that puts it all in the best perspective!

    March 17, 2010 at 11:28 am

  3. Alex

    I always enjoy your blog. I am always sooo happy with your pov and today was great also. I saw that some people out there are saying that Kristina is horrid, etc. because she blames Ethan (thou I don’t like that ascept of the storyline), I know that is what happens in some cases.
    It is so typical for people to blame the victim and why some women/men do not come out and tell their story. My aunt was in an abusive marriage, even after my mother pulled her from attack that started right infront of her, she still denied that he ever hit her. Of course, we all knew the truth. So sad! Fortunatley, she was able to leave after she had her son. (This happened more than 18 years ago and its still in my mind after all this time. I was about 14.) Let’s not forget that everyone deals with a traumatic event differently and she does probably think that Ethan will get out of it. She is only 16 and she has been manipulated by Keifer for a while. I could also see that her family would want to be “violent” towards Ethan. I have a 5-yr old daughter and to say that I would not want to kill some if I saw my daughter like that I would be lying.
    I just hope that in the end GH also shows that she really needs help and they show her going to therapy. Also, that Keifer is not just “killed off” or swept under the rug. That would be a great disservice for all the young girls and parents that watch the show, imo. Anyways, thanks again for your wonderful blog. I LOVE IT!!!

    March 17, 2010 at 11:48 am

  4. samfan91

    Finally I am back in the cyber world with a very reliable internet source. It seems I have a lot of reading to catch up on.

    First, of all how is your recovery going I hoping very well.
    Second, I haven’t even finished reading yesterday’s blog because I keep tearing up. Your writing has taken me from mere goosebumps to tears.

    I understand where Sonny and Alexis are coming from though. Just the thought of someone hurting my children or even speaking harshly to them makes my blood boil. You loose all sense of ethics when it comes to your children.

    Well I have a lot of reading to catch up on. Thanks for wowing us even with your injury

    March 17, 2010 at 1:24 pm

  5. Trini

    I was looking forward to your blog on yesterday’s eppy. You say things in such wonderful ways. Thank you. And it’s such a support to not read all the negative attacks on Kristina. You had divine inspiration when you said that Ethan being the victim of a lie does not make Kristina less a victim of a crime. I think what is brillant about GH in having Kristina blame Ethan because he is a likeable guy. Most of the viewers like Ethan and and if we did not know he was innocent what proof would we have that he was not the perpertrator – because it would become she said, he said. So we get to see the impact on such a person. This reminds me of when a celebrity gets accused of a crime of rape and /or assault. The public will villify the victim, especially if they believe the guy is a ‘good guy.’ They will bring out all kinds of things about her behavior as if that should justify not taking her accusations seriously. But the public is only responding to the public face, they really don’t know that person. People were angry at Lucky for saying what he said, but he really doesn’t know Ethan, maybe just one year. That is why it’s important to have trained investigators in these cases-who understand the dynamics of both victims and perpertrators. KUDOS to GH and the actors, each is portraying their role and position with excellence.

    Kiefer-he is such an abuser….returning to the scene of the crime to cover things up. I don’t know if GH would have the time but I would love to see some nod to real healing and change for boys/men who have learned to use violence to control their intimate partners and how they can grow beyond societal traning to have healthy and respectful relationships.

    Okay off to call the GH hotline!

    March 17, 2010 at 2:15 pm

  6. Traveler

    Had a hectic day… And didnt get to your Blog until tonight!! But of course I couldnt go to bed without reading it.. Once again a GREAT read!! I feel like Im in school and learning so much about Abuse!! Love having your insite…..

    Thanks!!!! ❤

    March 17, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    • I have watched this show all week. I have been reduced to tears all week which is bad since I have a cold. Lol. On a personal note Sonny scene with Kristina brought me to tears the most. I watched my mom get beaten by my father for years. She hid all of it. I can remember one time my dad gave her a black eye and she told family that one of the kids hit her with a toy, I was about 7 i think. I watched my dad hit her over and over again. Finally she leave him and a couple of years later she finds a guy that beat her worst and this time he beat us to. I can remember being so scared. He was worst than my dad mom ended up in the hospital and thank god for my grandparents. They would come and get us every time. I lost my mom back in 86 to that man. he finally ended up taking her life. So this story has been real close to my heart because of that. Now I am adult and the hurt is still there. I miss my mom every day.
      I love your blogs every day but this one hear is truly my favorite. I felt so bad for Sonny having to watch his daughter go through what his mom did. I have three girl as you know. I would never want them to go through what I did. Abuse happen every minute some where in the USA. I so totally agree with victim lying. You get scared and frighten. I know for myself I never told anyone but my grandparents and dad. My sister till this day have not dealt with there issues. My twin is the same age of me 34 she never has talked to anyone about what we went through. My baby sister is 30 and she hardly talks about it. I was 25 when I first started dealing with it. I only shared because I wanted everyone to understand why this sl means so much to me. I think it is being told perfectly. Sam is awesome. I too can identify with her also. I was worried that they could botch this story the writers but they are doing a darn good job at telling it. I do feel sorry for Ethan. He is innocent in all this. i to believe that does not make Kristina less of a victim. I truly believe that people can never really understand until they to have witness it themselves. When i heard my mom and all her lies she would tell people it made me angry. When I was 25 and it all caught up with me I now understand how scared she was. I was 11 when she died. I still today blame myself for her death. I got me and my sisters out of the situation by refusing to live with her. She was afraid to leave him. i blamed myself thinking if we stayed she would be alive today. I am getting better at the blame it has taken allot of therapy for sure. As always I love your blogs. Thank you so much for your thoughts.

      March 18, 2010 at 12:18 am

      • Trini

        Thanks for sharing and sharing from the victim’s perspective. The victim perspective needs to be told over and over again.

        March 18, 2010 at 12:40 pm

      • It has taken allot years to learn to speak up about it for sure. You are right the victims need to speak out over and over. I have learned the abuse mom went through affected the kids also. Now of course it happen only once or twice for me and my sisters. Mom it was over and over again.

        March 18, 2010 at 11:23 pm

  7. mariam

    This story is outstanding. I can totally see where sam is coming from. I have sisters and cousins, and I would exact same way. You always feel like you could have done something to prevent it or protect them. Especially when things happen to you, then you want to protect those you love from it. This is why sonny and sam took i the hardest, of course next to alexis.

    I think what makes it more shocking is that Krissy is the pambered, good child. Alexis had no idea what her daughter has been up to, she knows her as the child with the straight A’s and great boyfriend. Sam did see her sister acting out, but she felt like she didn’t deserve it. Of course she didn’t. But apart of me wonders if Sam felt like she deserved her own abuse, because she wasn’t good, and Krissy didn’t because she is good.

    I think Sam said exactly what krissy needed to hear, “we are going to get through this.” This is for every woman that is abused needs; just someone to hold her hand and say that exactly.

    Loved Dante/Krissy relationship, tentative, but sweet.

    March 18, 2010 at 11:34 am

  8. Tammy

    You see that’s what I have been upset with on the boards. I don’t understand the anger. I feel it’s realistic and Krissy is experiencing what most victims have experienced. She’s scared for one thing? She doesn’t trust that the truth will save her, just yet. Not only that, there’s a sense of loyalty to her abuser. He’s manipulated her into believing most of these things are her fault. From him being unhappy with what she’s wearing, to not having sex, not supporting him, ignoring his calls, not being their when he needs her, moving on to Ethan. Those are all ways he’s manipulated her into believe she is part responsible for his actions. Because he’s played so much on her vulnerabilities, she doesn’t want him punished. Her guilt overrides his abuse. She doesn’t see what she’s doing to Ethan because she’s too caught up in protecting Keifer.

    March 18, 2010 at 1:57 pm

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