TV shows have been my escape from reality for as long as I can remember. But the TV shows I watch are total fantasy. Nothing about them is realistic, and that’s the way I like it.
Shows like the Brady Bunch, The Cosby Show, and now Black-ish have been some of my favorites because they present the perfect family life. When I was young I didn’t know that families like these didn’t really exist, and, if they did they were very, very rare. And that’s why I Ioved those shows. I could imagine with these TV families that life was, or, could be fantastic.
My Mom and Dad managed to stay together in spite of the difficulties they faced. And I know that at times they were miserable, especially my Mom. My dad was no picnic. Many of the older generations always seemed to be able to manage their married lives much better than the generations of today. And I know that sometimes it seems that ending a relationship such as a marriage can seem like the right thing to do. Life is not always easy.
My own marriage was over in only 6 years. Legally we were married for 10, but it was over in 6. My experience was very rarely like my favorite TV families. And I watched them as sort of an escape from the reality of my own failures, I guess.
I liked watching families succeed, and look perfect, and always successfully resolve their issues. So, I really don’t like it when the TV writers write something real. In this day and time divorce and broken, shame riddled reality, constantly invade my fantasy world on the boob tube. It brings me kicking and screaming back to reality.
So what got me thinking about all of this is my current favorite TV family on, Black-ish. Rainbow (played by Tracee Ellis Ross) and Andre (played by Anthony Anderson) hit a real rough patch in their marriage that covered about 4 episodes. The writers stretched the relationship between them so far I… I won’t tell you whether or not they resolved it in case you are a fan of the show and haven’t seen it yet.
The episodes caused me to crash into the reality that I’m always trying not to remember or face. It brought up the pain and turmoil that I felt when my own marriage was in trouble before it finally ended.
Since my marriage ended I have avoided relationships of a romantic nature and even friendships. Perhaps I haven’t really dealt with some of my relationship issues because I (at this moment) have no intention of ever opening myself up to the possibility of feeling that kind of pain ever again.
Part of “being” in love is to “be” vulnerable to someone, which means being willing to trust. One of the descriptions of love from scripture is that it, “believes all things (1 Cor 13:7). In fact, the last 4 characteristics of love are mind-blowing to me. They are surely beyond my reach most of the time. “It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Cor 13:7).
That last one, especially, is the one I feel I’m too weak to do. Endure all things? Most of the time I just want to quit life. I am almost always in a frame of mind to just give up or lash out. I want to do the opposite of enduring. I want to retaliate, control or escape. And that tells me I am still in need of God’s touch and healing. I am undone.
I have by virtue of my inability to trust or be vulnerable chosen a life of mostly solitude. Being alone is okay sometimes. But it is a very lonely existence. I don’t know how or when but I so want to be beyond this. I’m tired of being alone but too afraid to open myself which is preventing me from moving forward.
I guess I started writing this post because I realize that I am not satisfied with my life. I have to change, or at least be willing to change. I know that the Lord is with me forever. That’s my foundation. I guess it’s what keeps me sane. I’d be lost without that bit of knowledge.
So, I will always love my fantasy TV world and families. It tells me that the world, and even Hollywood to some extent, knows what a family should or could be. We as a people on this earth want and know what life should and could be. We are basically at war with ourselves though. And the Holy Spirit is hard at work helping in any way we will allow to get us to the real-life version of what we know we could be. I believe success is within our grasp because of the Lord.
What do you think?