A look at dysfunctional patterns in Ginny & Georgia, a series on Netflix

Warning: There may be spoilers so if you have not seen the series maybe come back after you have and then share what you think.

Image source: Teen Vogue

About the series

Ginny & Georgia is a 10 episode series that follows the life of a young mom, Georgia Miller brought to life by Brianne Howey and her teenage daughter Ginny, played by Antonia Gentry. Georgia is definitely scattered as a mother but, you can’t fault her when it comes to loving her kids the best way she knows how. Her need to escape the hard life and protect her children and all the strategies she uses to achieve this, like her Southern charm and her striking looks. The running when things get rough is exactly what creates a rift or measured conflict between her and Ginny. The dramedy begins on a light note and promises fun vibes. But rapidly turns dark and leaves you questioning, or at least left me questioning: why, as human beings, we opt to run and lie instead of stand and fix?

“We are all victims of victims,”- Louise L Hay

If we can admit this, we may begin to see that we don’t have to be ashamed of the things that happened to us when we were helpless children. Then we can hopefully be open enough to look at our traumas objectively and begin to heal from that space. Georgia decided to run from a toxic and abusive environment, and yes, I get that, we all get that. We agree with leaving a place or people who are hell-bent on causing you harm.

What I think perpetuates dysfunctional patterns, is the lying and figurative running. When you just won’t admit out loud what happened to you and pretend it has no bearing on how you currently run your life.

Georgia’s, like many mothers’, motivations are to protect, provide stability and love to her children and she does do it at any cost. She stuffs her past deep inside her, paints on a red smile and parades a happy mom who has it all together. But how can she? She didn’t have a good example of how to be a good mom. Her best hope is to do the opposite of what her own mother did. Sadly, we only outrun symptoms and not the core dysfunctional pattern.

The Patterns

  • Instability: Georgia grows up in an unstable home, there is abuse and a complete lack of boundaries. She then runs from the outward presenting symptoms. And works hard to give her children a better life but fails to see how the constant moving is a form of instability. The changing of men in pursuit of a better life also creates instability.
  • A lack of boundaries: Georgia coming from a trailer park and a mother who wasn’t concerned (it seems) implies that she grew up with no set boundaries, the very thing children need to feel safe and loved. She in turn overcompensates for this and “parents” her kids as if they are her peers. She fails to see how this can burden a child and this somewhat explains Ginny’s angst when it comes to her mother. Ginny wants her mom to be a mom.
  • The rift: Georgia is clear about her rift from her original family but doesn’t recognise how her own parenting creates a rift between her and her daughter, so much so that season one ends with Ginny and her baby brother running away from their mother. The act perpetuates the RUN WHEN THINGS GET TOUGH pattern.

What are you running from?

We often fall into the trap of thinking because the symptoms don’t look the same the core disease doesn’t live in us. It is scary when we realize that by virtue of being in the environment and around the people we are now running from, what we are running from lives in us. It may present a little differently than what our naked eyes encountered in our childhood but the disease is the same. In Ginny & Georgia’s case, the disease is to RUN.

Discovering the patterns I have from my grandmother

One of my primary caregivers was my maternal grandmother and those who have been on this journey with me through Anathi: A Lifeless Womb and Amahle The Love You Seek, know the relationship I share with my grandmother or lack of. I have let the relationship go and any hopes of it being the ideal granny and granddaughter situation but, she did help raise me, she was instrumental in modelling what a woman is or should be. She was also instrumental in shaping my view of the world and this realization scared me.

It made me wonder what parts of me are her? And how much? And is there any hope to rid me of any of these traits? Or is it my lot to learn how to embrace what I perceive as my shadows?

I often ask myself if I am being like my grandmother in certain situations and I have found her lurking. I used to get frustrated with myself and sometimes justify how the situation needed a certain reaction but the pit of my stomach will always steer me right back to the person I am working to become. And when that feeling presents itself, I know my job is to lay down the sword and use my words to fix the mess. I know my grandmother will NEVER use her words to fix, and so at least on that front I am forging my own way.

What are you running from or working hard to heal? share in the comments or drop me an email and let’s work together to be better for ourselves and those who come after us.

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