PART 3 Stress and Attachment Issues during grief and loss
Rebuilding after the aftermath
Attachment meets Stress
5. Write about the attachment issues you see in the movie. Include, but do not limit your discussion to the issue of attachment of Jennifer, the relationship of Madea and Jennifer as it relates to attachment, and the relationship between April and her niece and nephews.
Madea takes the time to allow them to work off the debt the children incurred when they attempted to rob her of her VCR and when they broke her window. She also uses tough love to help show them kindness feeding them. She also shows her care and concern by asking if they ate before they begin to work. She also tells Jennifer she as the nastiest attitude she has seen and asks her, why is she so mean? That shows her observation and concern for Jennifer’s well-being. She tells her with a tempered attitude, as if she didn’t want to be around her.
Jennifer says that maybe she doesn’t want anyone around her which is related to her loss. She tells her you get out of life what you put in and teaches her important life lessons. She teaches Jennifer respect. She tells Jennifer that if she doesn’t figure out what’s
going on with her she will become a bitter adult. Jennifer tells made she does not have a lot to smile about and Madea points to what Jennifer cannot see, because she is focused on her loss. That she is alive and beautiful and uses humor with Joe to show how similar she and Jennifer are. She also tells her children her age are strung out on drugs and have HIV that she has plenty to smile about.
Jennifer says that she is not pretty she doesn’t have nice things. Madea says to her clothes are not what makes a person pretty, they make you broke. She instructs Jennifer that once she cleans the mirror to look through it and show how pretty she really is. Jennifer feels an attachment to Madea and when she finds out about her grandmother’s death it is Madea who she asks to take them in.
She says foster care is going to separate them (her fear of separation) she says she is all her brother’s have and she don’t know what she’s going to do. She shows just how much she is dependent on the dynamics of the relationship with her brothers. (Co-dependency) She asks Madea if they can live with her. Madea is taken aback and looks dumbfounded as a reaction. Jennifer then begins to cry and says that no one wants them. She says that is not true somebody wants you.
She says, “I’m only sixteen, I don’t even know how to handle all this?” (She is able to be honest with her emotions and feelings, because Madea is honest with her always.) She says she is tired. She says she doesn’t feel like she is going to make it. Madea tells her to take it one day at a time.
There is also the attachment of the children to Sandino. Although, they do not say it, they have grown to depend on Sandino’s presence in their lives. He shows them the humanity, they seem to be lacking in terms of the relationship with their aunt. He takes the time to show and teach them things about life and he provides a certain level of security for them.
6. Write about the issues of stress you see in the life of April, April’s mother, and April’s niece and nephews. Write about the experiences of grief in terms of what you understand thus far about the grief experience of African Americans. Also describe how responding or not responding to stress has hindered or has been helpful to this family system.
The stress in the life of April was building this wall or image of I don’t care about nobody, but myself. All the wild knowing that her wall could be shattered at any time by the truth of what led her to cope with her molestation. Having a relationship with her mother became too much of a strain. It was a reminder of her trauma and the brokenness of their relationship underneath the layer of civility. She was with a married man and a known drunk. Also she had a sister to circum to her pain and allowed it to overtake her. There is fear reality so she literally sleeps her days away and avoids everything else.
The stress of April’s mother is that she is old, taking care of her dead daughters children and wondering all the while if it was something she could have done to avoid the death of her daughter that the feelings of guilt will begin to surface. Also, there is her other daughter who is physically still there, but refused to lift a finger to help her. She lives in society where due to age, race, and class her income will be limited and she will probably not be able to retire, but will have to work.
She is sick, but knows that if she dies no one will be there to take care of the kids. Her days are filled with worrying about paying the bills, Manny’s medicines, Byron’s non-communication and their dependency on her having a steady paycheck. Also, being consumed by the guilt of whether or not her daughter’s death and non-existence was a reflection on her parenting skills.
The stress of the children are there as they go to school and see children that don’t have a worry or care in the world and they don’t even know if they will eat from day to day or even have a place to lay their heads. Their mother died from her addiction and never left them a good memory to even draw from. They hear other kids talking about their parents and what fun they have and any or all good memories of their mother seems to be drowned out by the sting of the everyday miseries. To live in this state day to day is stressful, draining, and leads you to detach yourself from normal interaction for the need to maintain and protect this unhealthy, yet familiar reality. Soon will be the conclusion of the series.