THE BLIND SIDE
We all have a blind side…it may be temporary, or it may be something that we live with forever, but we all have a blind side. As I watched Thursday’s compelling episode, I realized that everyone is dealing with a blind side. Just like driving in a car, a blind side prevents us from seeing everything, and many times, someone can get hurt because of what we couldn’t see.
Sonny and Alexis have a common blind side: Their daughter, Kristina. Before anyone judges them for it, consider that as parents, we all have situations where we experience a blind side when it comes to our kids. Even the most balanced, open-minded, and realistic of us come into an occasional situation where we cannot fathom that our child is capable of lying about something more serious than whether or not they vacuumed under their beds. But it happens…even to the best of us.
Alexis is usually a practical, sometimes neurotic, and occasionally hysterical mother to three girls at different stages of their lives. Alexis is far from perfect, but she is someone her girls can be proud of most of the time, (affairs with married mayors and RICO-violating mobsters notwithstanding) and certainly she tries to model attributes such as independence and self-reliance, which are all important to young women and their development. However, Alexis cannot see that Kristina could possibly be hiding the fact that she’s been getting slapped around for months. In Alexis’ eyes, she’s raising two strong young women who are going to make smart choices about everything: what AP classes to take, which Ivy League school for college, and sadly, which Harvard-bound boys to date. In her pragmatic mind, if you can make it into Harvard, then you MUST be just as wonderful as your grades, and it would be impossible for you to behave like an ANIMAL. So while we’re all screaming at the TV when Alexis is asking Kristina what she lied about, or not getting it when Kristina doesn’t want anything at all to happen to Ethan, we need to understand that Alexis is dealing with the facts. The things she can see right in front of her face. Her blind side prevents her from seeing all the clues that we see from our perfect views from the couch.
Sonny also has a blind side, as most fathers do when it comes to their baby girls. To add to that weakness, Sonny also sees Kristina as a precious, fragile, second chance to protect his mother; something he could never do when he was a helpless little boy watching from the closet as his mother was beaten over and over. Now his daughter has been beaten, and Sonny’s no longer small and powerless, now he’s the big, bad-ass mob boss who can make the bully pay. I totally relate to Sonny. God help me if I ever wielded that kind of power for even a day 10-15 years ago before I learned to deal with my own bullies of the past. I know that it hurt to watch Kristina begging her father not to kill someone and then throwing Claudia in his face (especially since she knows Michael killed her), and Alexis absolutely was right in ripping him a new one for not getting that killing Ethan would destroy Kristina, but listen, folks, this is what Sonny knows. The Mob is Sonny’s coping mechanism. Dealing with bullies by ordering hits has been his therapy, and protecting those he loves has made him believe he’s righting the wrongs of his childhood. When Sonny couldn’t just promise Kristina that he wouldn’t kill Ethan, we have to understand that he’s still dealing with his past. His blind side prevents him from seeing anything except the bruises and the pain that has haunted him his whole life.
Sam is a great big sister. She’s supportive, a good listener, she wants better for Kristina and Molly than she ever had for herself, and she’s fierce when it comes to protecting her two little sisters. But Sam also has a blind side. You see, when Sam was being abused and kicked around, she had no one to tell that would care or do anything to stop it. When that happens to you, like Sam and like Sonny, you spend the entire time you’re being abused dreaming of and planning for the day you’ll be able to kick someone’s ass of they ever touch you, and you imagine yourself as the protector you never had. I know this because I did both. When I got to High School, I was so ready to stop being anyone’s victim that I was ready to fight anyone who even looked at me the wrong way. My VP called me Rocky and I was angry all the time. (I’m not proud of that time) At some point I settled down, but when I became a mom, an aunt, a person who worked with children say in and day out, I became nearly obsessed with protecting those who cannot protect themselves. My best friend Sue will laugh when she remembers the time a coworker was plotting to kill me after I came between him and a student he was unnaturally territorial over. And sometimes my kids come home and tell me about a friend who needs “my help” because they are being treated unfairly or unjustly, and just about every kid in their school has seen me take on a teacher who should have never entered the field of teaching, therefore they think it’s my full-time job. That is where Sam is now. When we first met Sam, she was in fighter mode. She fought for everything and she fought anyone, and when she was hurt she lashed out like a wounded lioness. Until she fell in love with Jason, and he tended to so many of her wounds and made her feel protected enough that she put down the gloves…at least most of the time. Now Sam has her sisters to look after, and while she’s not looking for a fight all the time anymore, she’s ready to kick ass to protect them. And kick ass she did. People are all over Sam for beating up on the wrong guy, but come on – Sam is up to her ears in a situation that brings back memories so ugly that I bet her ears ring and her heart races every time she looks at Kristina. Sam is dealing with this emotionally. Emotions don’t allow us to be level-headed or cool and reflective. Sam is very good at looking at all sides of something and making informed decisions when it isn’t something that’s ripping her heart out and dragging her kicking and screaming through her violent past. Ethan wasn’t murdered or hospitalized, he was “roughed up”. Chalk it up to payback for all the women he’s swindled and lied to over the years. If we knew who they were, we could send them a postcard and make their day! What concerns me most about this is that it’s causing some tension between our beloved Jason and Sam. Jason can be more objective in this situation and hear something other than “Ethan did it” coming out of Kristina’s mouth, whereas her family cannot. Sam just cannot sit by and do nothing because that’s what her stepdad and every other man in her life did when she needed protecting. Except for Jason. When Jason came in and warned Ethan, “If you hit her, it’s over!” I felt the tears burning in my eyes. Sam may have waited ten years too many to hear those words said about her when she was facing danger at the hands of a man, but she finally heard them and believed them coming from Jason, and it healed another piece of her. I know that Sam will fight just as fiercely as she did for Kristina for her love story with Jason when she eventually sees that it’s coming between them. But for now Sam’s blind side will only allow her to see how things have to be different for her little sister.
Dante has a blind side when it comes to seeing past his father’s mobster persona. Though he’s been tempted to peek around and see a kinder, gentler man than the one he swore to take down since that day long ago in Brooklyn when Mr. Peretti was gunned down. Dante cannot see the possibility that Sonny is actually lying to protect his son Michael because he’s blinded by the assurance that Sonny’s forcing Michael to hide the truth in order to protect himself. When Dante was living as Dominic, he saw moments of Sonny’s love for his kids. He witnessed love and tenderness under the cold and hard facade, but Dante seems to have lost sight of those. Dante’s blind side is keeping him from seeing the one piece that’s missing from the puzzle which is Claudia’s murder.
Elizabeth has a blind side…when it comes to seeing herself as she really is. I mean, does she really believe any of that crap that came out of her mouth about focusing on her kids? And what was she talking about after the truth about Jake came out she thought things were over romantically? Things had been over romantically since she was running to Jason about anything and everything even after he and Sam got back together. After the truth about Jake came out to Lucky MONTHS after she told Jason the truth, she was stalking Jason constantly and her only focus was sleeping with him! I have never seen Liz focus on being a single mother! I barely see her focusing on her kids at all. For those kids’ sakes, Audrey better live a long and healthy life or the time is going to come when Cam and Jake are asking the same question as Spencer. “Will I get a mommy?” Liz’s blind side prevents her from seeing that once again, she only wants Lucky because she can’t have him. Pfft!
Helena Cassadine has a blind side when it comes to her hatred for the Spencers. She cannot see how a lie like this might destroy the life of an innocent baby or how it would destroy Nikolas to think he has a son, but really doesn’t. All she can see is how she can hurt the Spencers. As she slithered around Nicholas and Spencer yesterday, I marveled at just how perfect her snakeskin suit was for her, as she really is reptilian in her affection for family. Helena can only see the prize in front of her, and her blind side will block out how she might hurt children unfortunate to be born into this family feud.
You know, I will admit to having a blind side when it comes to General Hospital lately. I just cannot see the negativity that people want to spread while still claiming to love the soap. All I see are compelling and well-written storylines, improved relationships of all kinds throughout the fictional town of Port Charles, and really good opportunities to spark conversation about real and relevant social issues.
I also have a blind side when it comes to Jason and Sam. All I can see is the way their relationship has grown and changed and still managed to stay the same where it counts. I know there are rumors and a lot of crap going around, and I even know there are legit spoilers that there will be angst over being on opposite sides of Kristina. I say, “Bring it!” As with the Franco storyline, I don’t mind angst as long as it doesn’t have them lying and cheating and going against everything we know them to be, and everything they know themselves to be. I think that as in life, what doesn’t kill your relationship makes it stronger. I see positive clues about where Jason and Sam’s relationship is going, and positive clues about where it’s not going, in spite of the assurances from other fanbases. I want our fanbase to be proactive instead of reactive. Instead of calling and bashing and threatening, let’s keep making those positive calls telling TPTB that we want more of Jason and Sam. I think they also need to hear how amazing the Writing Team has been, and how sperb the acting has been! Lexi Ainsworth is officially a STAR! Nancy Lee Grahn and Maurice Benard were OUTSTANDING. Kelly Monaco has ROCKED her scenes, as has Steve Burton. It’s just really good stuff all around, and they need to know it’s working for us!
Widen YOUR blind side when it comes to blocking out the negativity and the B.S.! You’ll enjoy the view better!