After spending the past year with my twenty-seven year old daughter and her friends, I have been shown where to find the  most hilarious moments on cable. By far, Reality Television rates at the top of the dysfunction food-chain and is by definition a panacea for the chronically bored to death.  I have noticed a recurrent pattern with the numerous shows that I have watched. I can see what makes for “great” reality moments and what makes a show less than exciting.

It comes down to having a good mix of mental illnesses and personality disorders within the pool of contestants. This will always produce the unexpected at any time. Take two or three bipolars with various degrees of mood swings; not swinging at the same time. Add contestants with ADD, ADHD( poor impulse control), borderline personalities, narcissists, fragile personalities and strong antisocial personalities, then you are going to have fireworks! If you look at the dysfunction of one of the most highly watched shows, “I love New York,” you will find your dysfunction primarily in the personality of the  “prize.”  You add a controlling mother, who could possibly be any combination of the mental/personality disorders,  then, you won’t need as many competitors who randomly “act out” in order to have the consistant weekly level of drama required for addictive-watching by millions.

Have you noticed the many random melt-downs? Have you noticed the defined arch-enemies?  Have you noticed the chief manipulators and their crews? Have you noticed how many times “friends” have been “thrown under the bus” in the name of competition? If it were a psychiatric ward,  not a televised competition, then there would be consequences for not only acts of violence, but for a myriad of manipulations that are associated with these disorders. What the television industry has done is to successfully put “mental patients” together in a fishbowl (in the name of competition) and let them all “do their thing.” This is proving to be a very lucrative venture.

What you do not see are the consequences of rejection that create a “downward spiral” in the personalities that really do want love or the “prize”, once they are bounced from the program. There should be on-staff clinical psychologists to assess people who are painfully expelled at the notorious “expulsion ceremonies.”  Who follows these people to make sure that they don’t fall into a depression that could result in “suicidal ideation” being acted upon? Who is to keep the promiscuous bipolar, who has a history of early sexual abuse, from engaging in even more dangerous sexual behaviors once expelled? Who is going to follow-up on the young man who hates his mother and has been publically rejected,  perhaps ridiculed by a “female figure” from beginning a life of psychopathic violence towards women? Who will watch out for a fledgeling “black-widow” in the making?

One thing can be said. If the producers of these shows did some digging into the pasts of the contestants, there would be no shows at all. There would always be red flags. There would be liability as prevelant as the drama.  Most of the young people on the reality shows have not yet been diagnosed. They are self-medicated by booze while on set, and may be on drugs when living their regular lives.  Just think about the tragic outcome of,  “Megan Wants A Millionaire.” The young man to whom Megan was most physically attracted was the suspect of a “manhunt” for the alleged mutilation/murder of his wife. This story ended up in Canada, where the millionaire contestant committed suicide. If any of these contestants had been given a personality profile, there might  have been a red flag by the deceased contestant’s name. What would have happened if Megan fell in love with this man and they spent a great deal of time together after filming? What if she began to exhibit the same type of behaviors that could have driven him to  alleged heinous behavior? What would be the liability for the creators/producers of this reality show? It has been pulled from television, now, due to the high profile nature of this case. Only those who filmed the show (and their intimates) know who Megan chose to be “her millionaire.” A reunion show? Not a chance!

 It is not enough to ask someone in their twenties if they have ever had a felony. It is not enough to have a urine-test for substances. It is not enough to ask someone if they have ever had homocidal or suicidal thoughts. They will lie, take herb/cleaners for urine drug screens, and present well. What contestant who wants love or money is going to admit to hearing voices, or having homicidal/ suicidal thoughts? What will be the scrutiny from now on upon these reckless forays into the “crazy-making” fishbowls known as “Reality Television?”  Somewhere quality risk management needs to be implemented immediately; not to rob the show of its excitement but to protect the contestants from themselves and others during and after the tapings.

Alice Parris


Abuse is a generational curse.. The abused becomes the abuser. The abused seeks out the very same type of abuser and the cycle is repeated again and again. My mother was abused by her mother, andsurvived  a miserable marriage. When we were young she was distant, unavailable, sleeping (most likely depressed) In her later years she became the rock that all of her children could count on in times of trouble. Myself, I have been raped, pimp-beaten, and verbally abused during my earlier years. I always seemed to choose the same type of man, although on the outside they seemed to be very different. In the end, their chief objective was to control me and that by any means necessary. If I could be controlled by a beat-down, that is what I received. If I could be controlled by systematic verbal abuse, that is what I received. Now, I have found that I am a whole lot meaner than I used to be. I can be verbally and physically abusive myself, given the right set of circumstances.

I am writing this blog because my twenty-five year old daughter has been choosing the same bad man since she was eighteen. Her life has been a series of miseries. I was unable to help. She was looking for her father who died when she was only  seven. I call him the “party-pimp” He was good-looking, charasmatic, charming, unfaithful and a pimp-style beater. I spent a Christmas eve in an emergency room after having been beaten for an hour. The last of many beatings.

Anger is depression turned outwards.  Depression is anger turned inwards. My daughter has tried both approaches.  She has tried to assault her abuser, she has been curled into a ball with heart-wrenching sobs. No matter how much I wanted her to not live my life, she continued to choose the same type of man. Today I got a phone call. I was waiting for it. I knew it was coming. She had tried to get a noose and kill herself because of abuse, she had considered drinking chemicals. Tonight, she got a knife, after she had punched her abuser in the face, and there was no telling whether or not she would try to kill herself, him or both. She was a loose wire, having been verbally beaten down for years.  Because of the amount of prayer that I have spent on her behalf, she escaped her jailor. He, an ex-felon, an alcoholic, an all around loser told her how she was a panty-waste. The cruelty was unbearable. She is now staying with her brother and his family. My family is galvanized to help in whatever way we can. We are eager for her to have her own worthwhile life.

She is eligible for her father’s survivors benefits. She is unable to work, having developed a disorder where she faints from stress, or either has developed a seizure disorder. She has been referred to a neurologist. The problem is that my daughter has been diagnosed with ADD, learning disability, and more recently bipolar (as are all of my relatives with a few exceptions) She is unable to fill out the forms because she can read them and simply not understand what she has read. My beloved daughter-in-law will help her get help. There has to be someone in the Social Security department who assists people who have a problem with comprehension. Hell, there are people who are are still totally illiterate.

 I am angry, yet grateful. I am grateful that my daughter is not mortally wounded,  incarcerated or dead. She has knife wounds on her fingers. I have a great deal to say about God’s faithfulnes. This is not the time for my sermom. Right now, I can ony describe what was my mother’s life, my life and my daughter’s life. We live in a society where pregnant women are being  murdered by the  person who has vowed before God and man to love them, where college students are disappearing faster than UFO’s on radar, and where men have begun to attack females in the most bizarre ways. Are we living in a “woman-hating” society? It sure feels like it. What country have we now become? 

I have written poem entitled, THE WOMAN OF A THOUSAND CUTS. It is my story. I hope that this poem will help many abused woman make a decision to survive. To get out before it is too late. To read the handwriting on the wall. To understand the abusive personality, and to make a plan B once it has been identified. Men have become lovers of themselves. Women, keep your eyes open. It has been a long time since we have been on anyone’s pedestal. We have become prey.  Women beware!


She barely noticed, as she skipped

along as a child, the bushes of ill-will.


She, being envied, never understood…

As she passed by these bloodied-bushes,


thorns scraped her legs and a thorn

pierced her left foot. She kept on skipping,


stopping long enough to pull out

the offending thorn. Forgetfulness…


When she became a woman, she never

noticed the lustful glances.


After the rapes, she noticed a gash in

her private parts. Unmourned…


Time heals all wounds. She kept moving.


The pimp-style beating, the steely-glint

of a pointed gun, the betrayal of love,


left black & blue marks in places no one

was designed to see; within her heart.


Loving again, she found mockery to be

her daily bread. These assaults became


lacerations of the mind, not the will.


When others carried away her children,

she moaned deeply, gutturally; a wounded


animal. There was massive internal bleeding.

She kept moving. Die to self is the only truth.


When she stopped to share wisdom and light,

she met deception and darkness.


Fiery comets cauterized this bleeding.


She kept moving, though her pace slowed

with age. She has flash-backs


of a thousand cuts, looks above, seeks

comfort from life’s only love.

Alice Parris