Tag Archives: television

Intervention – Don’t Believe The Hype

There is a very popular show on cable television, I believe it is on A&E, called “Intervention”. The show is an hour long per episode and is broken into two half hour segments. The first half features the addict in the addicted state ruining their lives and the lives of everyone around them. The family talks about how the addict uses around them, forces them to give money to procure their drug of choice, steals the family car, whatever.
Then, the intervention specialist comes in and arranges the intervention. They set up a meeting and bring in the addict, unsuspecting and bombard them with a massive guilt trip. They then force the addict into treatment. Usually at the end they do a follow up right after the addict has left treatment to say how good they are doing now. They don’t show the addict in six months, a year or three years. I am willing to bet that the reason is that they are no longer clean.
Well, I am here to tell you that it doesn’t work that way. First of all, they find the worst of the worst addicts. Most addicts I know do not steal their family’s cars. I know one person who one time took his sister’s car keys to cop and then brought the car back. I do know some people who have used a parent’s or family member’s spare car with permission. Secondly, on these shows (at least all the episodes that I have seen) the family members of the addicts are total enablers. They hand over money whenever the addict asks. They let the addict rule the house. Addicts are not monsters. Yes, the may do some bad shit now and then, but usually they love their family, they do not wish to burn the one bridge that has always been their for them. These people let the addicts rule the entire house, often the extended family as well. They then wonder why their child, spouse, whoever acts this way. It is human nature pure and simple. People bush the limits to see what they can get away with. I’m sorry, but these people are almost as much at fault as the addict.
Anyone who knows almost anything about me knows that I absolutely adore Courtney Love. I have read many interviews where she said that she ultimately felt that she was at fault for Kurt Cobain’s suicide because she participated in and allowed an intervention to take place at their shared home. She said that they took an addicted, incredibly depressed man and made him feel ganged up upon. She explained that it was at this point that he refused treatment and would disappear into the Seattle underworld for days or weeks at a time. When at first he refused treatment she told him that he couldn’t get high in the house. After the intervention back fired, she stated that she told him to ONLY do drugs in the houses he got out of control. She said that the intervention lead to his suicide. She is of course taking the blame for something that is ultimately not her fault, but she is right.
I personally, have never had an intervention pulled on me, but my husband has. It was before we were together, shortly after his family found out about his heroin use. He was able to hide it for a few years, going to work every day, mail ting relationships, having money etc. his girlfriend at the time would steal hiss mom’s ATM card while he was at work, get money, put the card back, go in town, get high, and be back before he got home. She played it off to him that she was going out boosting while he was at work, which since they did this together, would seem legit. One day his parents’ card got declined for a purchase of a hundred dollars or so when they should have been thousands. Now they had been spending a lot, but they knew that they should not be broke. They called the police and the FBI got involved. They brought back pictures of my hubby’s ex, and her friend at the ATM. They could press charges and get the money back or no charges, no money. The problem was that they were going to charge my husband as an accomplice. They didn’t want him with the felony and a federal charge, so they kicked out the girlfriend and let it go. He did, however, have to come clean about why she would be stealing all of this money.
They were shocked to discover that he had been using for years. He came home from work one day to find his whole family waiting. Brothers, sister-in-laws, aunts, etc. I don’t know how it works everywhere, but Maryland has a law that if a certain number of people stage an intervention and say that a person needs treatment, then that person has to go. They don’t have to stay.
So, as the law required, my husband went into in-patient rehab. He stayed for a few days and then left AMA (against medical advice). When he left, his relationship with his family was shot, he move into an apartment in Baltimore where you can stay for $10 a night with a bunch of other addicts. His habit got way, way worse then it was. His relationship with his parents has now recovered, but not with all of his family.
We are both now clean and sober, but he didn’t get clean due to the intervention. That is the kicker, you can not make an addict get clean. You can force them into treatment, but if they don’t want it, really want it, they will relapse. This is why so many addicts on parole or probation that have months or years of back of time, go back to jail after submitting a dirty urine or because they failed to complete treatment. It doesn’t matter how many logical reasons one has to do well or stay clean, they have to want it. They have to “hit rock bottom”. Some addicts are far from the bottom. Some are functioning addicts.
Sadly, thanks to the A&E show and other media portrayals, friends and family of addicts have it in their head that they can stage an intervention and their addicted loved one will change their life forever. It is fiction. It is better to be patient with the addict. Show them love and support. Let them know that you care for them and that you love them regardless, but that you feel that they would be happier sober. Remind them of their life pre-drugs. Do not guilt trip them. At the end of the day, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t teach him to drink.


Growing Up as a Girl in a World of Unrealistic Images of Beauty

I recently learned that 47% of girls between grades 5 and 12, want to loose weight because of the women they see in magazines (according to Anorexia nervous a and Associated Disorders website, anad.com). This greatly disturbed me as a mother of a daughter in second grade. A daughter who already has made comments about her weight. Who has already been bullied for her weight. Sadly, she is not alone. 42% of first graders want to be thinner.

The average woman is five foot five and weighs 169 pounds, while the average model is five foot eight and weighs 108 pounds. The body type used in ads relate to 5% of women. Girls growing up today are constantly bombarded, through television, magazines, movies, ads, etch that they need to be ridiculously thin to be beautiful. Is it any wonder that 80% of women with eating disorders develop them by the age of 20? 43% report that the onset of their disorders started between the ages of 16 and 20.

“I wish that I looked like Cindy Crawford” – Cindy Crawford. Celebrities can’t even achieve these perverse, insane images. Unfortunately, young girls going through puberty don’t understand this. 69% of fifth to twelfth grade girls said that magazines influenced their body image.

Photoshopping is a major part of the problem. You take an already pretty, super thin model. You then add makeup – which I can attest to how much different makeup can make you. Then you photoshop the shit out of her. Image

The picture above is a Ralph Lauren ad featuring model Filippa Hamilton-Palmstierna. She was actually fired from Ralph Lauren for being “too fat”. Seriously. I guess the already had the pictures of the “fat” girl, so they figured that they would use them. The solution was to photoshop her into some sort of an alien looking creature. Her waist, legs, and arms have been thinned down almost to the point of being humorous.

It isn’t just fashion ads and models that do this. Kate Winslet has publicly taken issue with magazines that Photoshop her thin. In February 2003, Winslet appeared on the cover of GQ magazine. She complained about the magazine doing “excessive stretching” to her picture to make her look taller and thinner. Winslet is a beautiful, curvy woman who is proud of her figure. She takes offense to magazines that wish for her to be on the cover of their magazine, but don’t think that she is good enough as she is.

Angelina Jolie was worried about how her movie “Tomb Raider”‘s use of computers to enlarge her breasts was going to affect young girls. Here you have a movie with a female protagonist and she has to have extremely large breasts. Jolie didn’t understand why they needed to take her breast, which already large, and make them even bigger.

The most recent victim of photoshopping is Lena Dunham. She was on the February 2014 cover of Vogue. Even though the cover was a close up of her face, it was widely criticized for being photoshopped. Feminist website Jezebel offers $10,000 to anyone who could provided them with the original, un-retouched pictures from the cover shoot. I found this to be very surprising. One would think that a site like Jezebel would be happy that Vogue was even featuring Dunham. She is not a supermodel, and she has normal woman proportions. The photo was just of her face. Instead of congratulating her for busting through the seemingly inpenatrable walls of the fashion industry. The only other non size two woman that has ever been on the cover of Vogue was Oprah. And she’s Oprah. What Jezebel actually succeeded in doing was body bullying Dunham. Basically saying that she is not good enough, pretty enough to be on the cover of a fashion magazine. There must have been photoshopping. Thing is, you don’t see her body. What you see could easily be achieved with makeup and lighting. Possibly the use of filters. What message is it sending young girls, when you attack Lena Dunham for being on a fashion magazine? It farther tells girls that if they look normal, like Dunham, then they do not belong in the fashion industry. I think we should be congratulating Dunham for trying to bust down walls.

Dunham is not unfamiliar with body bullying and fat shaming. There is constantly controversy about the “excessive” nudity on her HBO “Girls”. Yes, the show has nudity, but far less than shows like “Game of Thrones” or “True Blood”. Also, rarely is the nudity obscene or vulgar. The only real instance of obscene nudity that one could really point out was the episode that featured Dunham and a boyfriend playing topless ping-pong. But that was sort of the point of it. The guy was allegedly to have been the first and only man who ever made Dunham’s character feel beautiful and sexy. He made her feel pretty after a lifetime of body bullying. Saying that “Girls” has too much nudity when it has less than other shows is really saying that nudity is fine as long as it tintilating to men, if it isn’t then it is vulgar and obscene.

What are we telling our girls? Nudity is ok if they have perfect bodies? Until we regularly use normal women in advertisements. I’m not talking Rick Owens using “normal” models on the runway and the press making a huge deal of it, staring at them like they are some sort of spectacle. This serves no one. It is counterproductive. Using “normal” women and then pointing out how different they are only makes women feel less secure about themselves.

We, as a society, as mothers and fathers, need to start making our daughters feel beautiful as they are. With 50% of teenage girls using unhealthy weight control methods to maintain a weight that feel is acceptable, and anorexia having the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, we are literally killing our daughters.