One of my new friends suggested that I watch Ordinary People because when they watched it, they saw me in Connor's place and my various female figures of power in Beth. Fortunately I was able to easily liberate the film and watched it on Friday night.

Oh my fucking god. Beth, played by Mary Tyler Moore, was my biological mother. Connor, played by Timothy Hutton, had aspects of me. Enough aspects to make Hutton's performance more affecting for me. Donald Sutherland's Calvin? I couldn't place him since Calvin wasn't conniving and manipulative people person who felt he could get away with murder with enough money. Judd Hirsch as Connor's therapist Doctor Berger portrayed a good therapist. My therapist is good and I have a renewed appreciation for her and what she offers, but Doctor Berger was a step above.

The story is about a family which experienced the death of their eldest child. The second oldest child blames himself for his brother's death and attempted suicide out of guilt. The mother is not warm and the father listens, but isn't equipped to handle the whole situation.

The depictions of Beth keeping herself separate from Connor were exceptional, especiallly a scene where Connor came in and hugged Beth leaving her with a deer-in-the-headlights look and how she didn't hug back. Reminded me a whole lot of a time when I was around five years old, I couldn't sleep, my biological father tried to help but passed me off to my biological mother who merely sat next to me. I leaned to her to give her a hug for comfort but it was akin to hugging a telephone pole. No reciprocation. Just hard and unyielding. Ouch.
To a lesser extent there was the scene in the garage where Calvin came back from seeing Doctor Berger, he told Beth how he wanted to talk about the funeral of their son Buck and find out why it was so important that he wear one shirt over another, in addition to changing the choice of shoes for the funeral. Beth listens, doesn't know what to say, but comes to Calvin and give him a hug. A loud voice in my head, akin to the horrific necktie in Disco Elysium, shouted out that's what Leah would do to attempt at soothing my feelings without getting her hands dirty. Not to mention how Beth was so secretive, "How dare you talk about private family affairs in public?" among others underscore her anxiety, as if just talking to others was a passive-aggressive way of bashing her as a mother.
Or a wife.

Unfortunately I was cooking chicken breasts while watching Ordinary People and I got up a few times, pausing the film, to check how they were coming along. I need to watch the film uninterrupted again sometime soon. Despite those minor interruptions, Ordinary People was a rough ride for me and I came out the other side realizing I need to let myself "off the hook" and I'm not talking about that phrase in this context, my disadvantaged urban youths.

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