“Couples Therapy” recap (4.8): Not Your Hero

 
 

Last week on Couples Therapy: Jon Gosselin‘s girlfriend Liz put him down, Kelsey ditched Ghost, and Whitney’s hair looked FANTASTIC.  This episode opens where last week’s left off, with Sada grilling Liz about her lack of support. Would you want Sada’s aggressive relationship advice? I would not. Taylor is still schwasty and shrill as Taylor is every evening. Liz alternates between defensiveness and encouraging honesty from housemates. Eventually the kiddos roll into bed and Liz reluctantly accepts the input of others.

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Dr. Jenn and everyone else think Jon is recreating the unhappy, submissive dynamic from his first marriage with the infamous Kate. Dr. Jenn pulls Jon into a private one-on-one session. Dr. Jenn encourages Jon to stand up to Liz. Personally I think Liz is fine. Yeah she’s kinda rude to Jon, but Jon’s a moron, so who cares? OK, that makes me sound like a dick. Maybe I like Liz because she reminds me of me when I dated men and I was ghastly to them. Maybe I see a little of my old, unhappy, mean self in Liz—stuck with guys who love us but who we don’t respect, hating ourselves for being terrible, hating my boyfriend for triggering such guilt. I should probably stop projecting. The next morning, Liz and Jon share a cig in their matching hoodies and talk about how mean Liz is. Liz seems genuinely remorseful and eager to change. So maybe she is straight.

It’s Day 16 and “the couples have made remarkable progress.” Group session begins and Dr. Jenn is ready to fuck with her sullen wards. Today’s session is about childhood trauma, which Dr. Jenn says hard wires how people love. First up is Taylor, who immediately begins tearing up and describing her outfit at the time of childhood trauma. Taylor’s father would brutally beat Taylor’s mother in front of her. That memory was the last memory Taylor held of her father’s abuse. Taylor’s mother took her and left. God. Two years old in footie pajamas, pulling her father’s hair to get him to stop beating her mother. Domestic abuse is one horror that will forever rob me of words. I have a sinking feeling that this episode of Couples Therapy might get to me.

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Next is Ghost, whose father left when he was six. Ghost wanted to become a man early, and got into a life of crime. Then rap, which worked out pretty well. Ghost thinks that the lack of love in his childhood transferred to his lack of empathy in romance. Here comes Farrah, who, by the way, just released her second pornographic film. Farrah goes back to two (apparently a very impressionable age) and being left by her mother in bad company. Farrah’s words are partially bleeped out. I think she’s talking about her mother leaving her with an abusive father, them ignoring Farrah’s pleas for help. Farrah’s childhood trauma comes from parents who harmed and ignored her. Like the men in Farrah’s life now.

To Sada. Sada gets emotional immediately, murmuring, “I feel physically sick.” For the first time, Sada will discuss her father’s abuse. It always shocks me how many men neglect or abuse their children. Mothers do too, but fathers do it more. If America wants to look at the breakdown of families, they should looks at dads–not gays or single mothers. Sada’s parents were constantly fighting. Her father would switch between a kindly, amazing figure to an abusive monster. He would beat Sada in front of her friends. Sada’s mother would pack her bags, drive around the neighborhood, then go back to her father.

Whitney is incredibly, touchingly supportive, wrapping Sada in her tattooed arms and kissing Sada’s shoulder while she cries. They really love each other. You’d have to be blind not to see the deep, sometimes irrational, but often very sweet love between these two walled off people. Whitney is proud of Sada for finally opening up about her father. Afterwards Sada is exhausted but also relieved.

Kelsey is touched by Ghost’s candor and encourages Ghost to find love and be open in the future. I wish Ghost would stop referring to himself in the third person as “the kid.” You’re approaching middle age, bro.

Night falls on Day 16. Farrah tells Whitney and Sada about her personal strength in the kitchen. Farrah is only 22, so her teen and childhood parental shittiness is still very recent. Dr. Jenn brings Farrah’s mom in for therapy. They chirp hello awkwardly. When Farrah got pregnant at 16, she wanted to have an abortion. Farrah’s mother, who is deeply Christian, refused to let Farrah choose whether or not to bear a child. That’s fucking disgusting. Farrah’s mother is a cold woman whose eyes never smile.

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They fight about who hit whom. They’ve both hit each other. These people are messed up. Farrah’s mother admits no wrong and cries. Dr. Jenn tells Farrah that she must accept her mother’s limitations and that her mother will never be the mother Farrah wanted or needed. That’s actually super solid advice. Dr. Jenn is on point today.

Time to check in with the lesbians. Dr. Jenn takes Sada aside to talk about her breakthrough. Sada feels guilty for talking about her father’s abuse. Dr. Jenn asks Sada to bring her dad out to Couples Therapy. Sada’s father agrees to visit for therapy. Afterwards, Sada has a panic attack.. Telling your dad you just talked about him abusing you and your mother on national television must be extremely difficult. Especially since Sada and her father now seem close and loving. Sada gets mad at Whitney for not immediately offering to take a bath with Sada. Whitney feels rejected and mad.

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Sada feels neglected and mad. It’s anger time! Whitney and Sada sit across from each other in grey chairs and yell about mixed signals. These people have the stupidest fights EVER. I swear they’re just bored. It’s variations of the same dumb argument over and over and, like, I’m super bored by it. And you two are probably bored of it, so just STOP IT. Yelling. Face palm. Sada’s white tipped talons. End scene.

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