• Norma Jean Dunning

This is Us Therapy

I've been using "This is Us" to psychoanalyze my own life and my own issues. It's been pretty helpful. Even brought it up in therapy, talking about my childhood traumas. Alcoholism in the family. Reflecting on the dynamics of one generation to the next. You see how Jack and Rebecca were raised. You see how Randall, Kevin, and Kate grow up; how their parents tried to learn from what they dealt with. Then dealing with issues that Kate dealt with, abusive relationship, issues with food, the drinking like Kevin, Randall's need for control, Toby's depression, Rebecca's illness. The feelings of having to share and never feeling like enough. Doubt, destruction, anxiety, panic attacks. I was 22 when my dad passed suddenly. They were 17. I can't say that I had as good or close of a relationship with my father as they did. But, I believe that's only because he showed love and affection the best he could while dealing with a disease that went untreated and his own demons that he tried to keep from his children. So, this has been a good show to sit through. Some nights are more tearful, others spark a moment of realization. But, I'm enjoying it. That is until now…Season 5. I'm not ready for this. I can't go back to 2020 and deal with everything again. I haven't had a chance to grieve everything. I haven't had a chance to process through all of the collective trauma and individualized trauma that these last couple of years have given me. How can I sit here and watch what it does to this growing family? _________ So, it's been a few days and I actually started watching Season 5. I'm handling it a bit better than that first day. I guess I was just startled. Everything over the past two years happened not only to me, but to everyone. Maybe not everything, but the big things yes. Pandemic, protests, trials, climate change effects, isolation, war; we've all been living through that and it's been eye opening.


We have all been living through the pandemic. We have all been isolated from what was our norm. Some of us are still taking precautions even when the country seems like those who are elderly, immunocompromised, and infants are expendable because those who get sick may be able to make it to a hospital bed. But, I digress. That's not what I'm here to discuss. We have all seen, as well, what this country can do when they come together. We are witnessing the repeat of history all while teachers are being told not to teach our history. We can't keep repeating the mistakes of our past and pretend we don't know any better. I'm not perfect by any means. There are points where I have to stop and get my own privilege out of the way, but watching the Big 3 deal has been a lesson to us all.


I'm not finished with the season or the series yet so there's still more it has to teach me. I'm just glad I was able to take a step forward and keep moving. So, here's to our uncertain reality of the moment, of doing the best I can from day to day, and just taking it "One day at a time."

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