How TV has helped me...

This show started in 1999, about 2 years after I was abused by my dad's friend. In my home things were dealt with by sweeping them under the rug and not talking about anything, so I never learned how to deal with all the stuff that goes along with being sexually abused when you are 13 years old. So when SVU debuted, I stayed away from that show at all costs. I mean, who needs a weekly reminder of the evil in today's world? No thank you.

But at some point, I saw an episode and found something that I wished I had for a very long time: sympathy. It never even occured to me that abuse could be handled in any other way other than silence. I don't remember which episode I first saw, but it was one where Mariska Hargitay had the main job of tracking down a child molestor and getting justice for the victim, a girl not much older than I was. The words she said, the sympathy her character portrayed, the emotions she acted on had a lasting impact on me til this day. She was everything I wanted my mom to be. For an hour a week, I was able to see what it should have been like, and take comfort in the fact that even if it was fiction and acted out on a set that I felt validated and healed in that time.

As well as the character she plays, Mariska Hargitay seems like a wonderful person. Not taking into account the mental and emotional toll it must take on her to act on such high emotion and depressing subject matter, she is the founder of a group that offers wonderful opportunities for rape victims. I have seen a few interviews with her, and she just seems like an amazing person. I don't know if she realizes the effect she has on her fans. I am forever grateful for the show, the character of Olivia Benson and the job she has done portraying her.


Dr. Deb said...
January 5, 2009 at 9:31 PM

I used to do technical consultant work for this show. Mariska was so moved by the emails and letters she received from survivors and crime victims that she started a foundation to help with outreach and education. She is the real deal!

I hope that you will soon find the empathy, compassion and validation you need to continue your healing.

Basir Seerat said...
January 14, 2009 at 2:51 AM

wonderful blog , very nice and intrasting.