Saturday, October 15, 2011
The conflicts of Vicki and Sara
Sixty-four-year-old Vicki Stephenson Edwards and her daughter, Sara Edwards, thirty, have always had a challenging relationship. For as far back as she can remember, Sara has felt responsible for her mother's happiness or unhappiness. She's tried to conform to her mother's moods to avoid outbursts and arguments, but even after three decades, Sara feels she's failed to develop the skills to stay out of her mother's cross hairs. About two years before the story of Good Fridays begins, Sara learns that her mother has a mental illness, called borderline personality disorder. The relief Sara feels when she realizes everything is not always all her fault is short-lived when she learns that her mother is incapable of changing. Sara now understands that her mother is a high-functioning sufferer, meaning Vicki can achieve a semblance of normalcy if necessary, but when in the company of those closest to her, like Sara, she shows her true self. Vicki plays the blame game, never taking responsibility for her behavior. She's a bully and a manipulator who twists the truth to suit her needs. As Sara's therapist explained, Sara's in a no-win situation because her mother's goal is, "Heads I win; tails you lose." Dr. Harper has worked closely with Sara to show her the only way to survive being Vicki's daughter is to change herself. Sara is now prepared to confront her mother to set boundaries about the way her mother treats her. The therapist has convinced Sara that she does not have to be the target of her mother's rages; instead she can calmly tell her mother that they won't accomplish anything by talking when her mother is so upset about a situation, but that she will discuss anything with her mother later when Vicki feels calmer. This tactic will definitely not change Vicki's treatment of her daughter, but it will limit some of Sara's exposure to the abuse. Just when Sara makes the commitment to stand up to her mother about this issue, she discovers something much bigger, something so life-changing and heart-breaking which her mother is solely responsible for, that Sara has to summon all the strength she has to confront her mother about this new injustice.