Three Reasons why I am upset with "Randall Pearson" right now
Have you heard of a show called “This is Us”? Unless you live in isolation, I am pretty sure you have. It is about three years old and the premise has captured many of our hearts. A White family has three children, the mother goes to the hospital to have her triplets, one dies at the same time an African American baby is bought in after being abandoned at a fire house, the father convinces the more to adopt him and thus they are ONE, TWO, and THREE. The father dies when they are in the late teens close to H.S. graduation and going off to college.
The death of the father sends them all into individual spirals and the show switches from past to present and allows us to join them on the journey of their lives as they cope or maybe don’t cope with the impact of the loss.
I jumped in on its second season and binge watched over a weekend thanks to Hulu. I cried so much I wondered who the heck would want to put themselves through this, but I get it because the more we are different the more more we are alike. Each “Pearson” can be someone we know, regardless of the skin color. We all know someone who struggles with their appearance, who strives for perfection, who is a bit narcissistic, who speaks their mind, who has quiet strength, This is Us can be you or me, the traits are endless.
So now here I am finally caught up to Season Three and I am upset at Randall Pearson, why? Here are my Three Reasons:
-The “Hero” complex - whenever a “problem” arises he designates himself the only one that can solve it and his actions at times though “well intended” can become annoying and standoffish. My perspective on people like this is, if you are going to do anything just do it, don’t give off the vibe of “I told you so” or “see how much You Need Me”. “Randall” always wants to to come in and save the day. He never truly thinks that perhaps the person doesn’t require saving but instead just support by way of conversations which explore options. He can never just be low key in the background, which brings me to…
-Everything must be Perfect - It must be difficult to grow up in a space where even with all the love surrounding you, you feel like you don’t belong. That baggage must get pretty heavy at times. We are supposed to look around our families and see a reflection of ourselves, he didn’t have that so he felt for whatever reason he had to go above and beyond to “compensate”. Here’s my thing, now you’ve done but it doesn’t just affect you it affects all those around you. Your issues now become other peoples issues, especially your loved ones. Perfection is a heavy burden. Wanting to control everything at every moment is mentally and physically draining. I use to suffer from this “control” thing a lot more than I do today. I had to unteach myself old habits as I began to peel away the layers of who I was and why I was and they all stemmed from my childhood. Once I accepted the roots and began to create a new narrative “control” was something I required less of.
-The Manipulator - This season he has decided to run for some political office, which his wife from the jump start was totally against and knew that if he followed that course it would change their lives drastically. Of course he “paints” a different picture, she being his partner, his ride or die reluctantly still but lovingly so stands by him and tries to help as best she can and he forges on and wins. This one is personal for me because it triggered many memories of my relationship with my daughter’s father. Though he never flat out “told” me to sacrifice anything his “charm” always got him his way. Just like “Randall” he would twist my words around or be so insistent on a subject matter that I would just loose my energy and go along. He would “assure” me that if I did things “his way” my way would quickly come around as well and it would be a win win situation but rarely was that the case. For me, he was always the winner, I was always the loser.
“Randall” doesn’t see anything wrong with his actions, it is all “Beth’s” doing but with manipulators they never do. It is always someone else’s fault. To them its like “what, I am DOING this for YOU for US how can you have a problem?” Well my PROBLEM, duh is that I didn’t ASK for what you are doing, you are pushing it on me and that is what I felt like shouting out for many many years.
This is how people lose themselves in their relationships. One person begins to give up a piece of themselves daily and before you know it they as a whole no longer exists. It presents itself in many ways, unless you are mindful you will never see it, with “Randall” it went all the way back to their first date, then seven years later his persistence in marriage for my relationship it was us both coming from controlling mothers and us trying to assert our independence. For him it meant now that he no longer had to “answer” to his mother he could come and go as he pleased. Having a partner was great but he didn’t have to be accountable for his actions. Adults, get to do what they want period, that was his view.
Some of the final lines in the episode go a little in the direction of placing blame. Once again the classic go to one person says “I never stopped you” while the other says “yes you did when you xyz and I had to abc” and that “hurts” the manipulator’s feelings you apologize but of course the manipulator storms out and leaves you hanging. They are the “victim”, not you, not US, they.
I don’t know how their story will end but for me after eighteen years of lots of sacrifices, juggling a family, holding on to my sanity, working full time and still managing to smile and be a loving human being I choose to walk away. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and have never looked back and we are all the greater for it. Almost twelve years later I am grateful I walked away with no bitterness and the acquired skill to spot a Manipulator a mile away and when I do, I cross the street. Thanks but no thanks I want no part of that.
Any venue that serves as a conversation starter I will encourage. This program, this family, I feel can give all of us an opportunity to dig into our own families and our own selves and begin to work on better mental health practices. Communication is key to growth and development. If these stop Love can not flourish.
What are you currently watching that you feel is or can be a tool for daily life practices? How about a movie? Share your experience or journey here with me :)
Always stress-free xo,