There is a new Netflix show out right now that seems to be all the rage. It is called Maid and is based on a memoir written by Stephanie Land. It is getting a lot of recognition on social media… a lot of talk around the water cooler… a lot of praise. If you haven’t heard of it, let me give you a quick synopsis.
It is a story about a young woman who leaves her emotionally abusive spouse and the challenges she faces in the aftermath. A lot of people told me that maybe I shouldn’t watch it. Concerned that I would become ‘triggered’ by it. Well, if you know me, you know that is just issuing a challenge. So, of course I watched it.
And did I get triggered? No. I found it an incredibly interesting story and one that I could pick apart and dissect based on my own experiences. Especially in the beginning. In truth, I felt a little disconnected from the story. Mostly due to the differences in our situations.
The character in this show has a 2 year old daughter. She also has no job. She has no loyal friends or reliable family to turn to. She has only the car she leaves with in the middle of the night and a small amount of cash in her bank account. Which dwindles very quickly. She has nothing but a need to get away and a desire to remove her daughter from a toxic situation.
This was not me. I was very fortunate to have a job. A place to run to. And no dependent child to feed or shelter. I had it easier. I had a head start.
So for the first half of this series, I could not relate but I could feel for this character. My heart broke for this character and the hardships she endured trying to find her way in a broken system that does not have enough resources to help someone in need. After all, as she states, there are no bruises. No police reports. No physical or recorded evidence of abuse.
And then half way through the series something happened. I’m not going to tell you what and ruin it. That would be rude of me. But let me say this. The first half was about her struggling with the system. Walking through the logistics of finding a job, shelter, childcare and all the other things that a lot of us take for granted on a daily basis. The second half was about the emotional struggle.
Bam. Now I’m in it. Now I get it. This is the part that no one talks about. No one understands. This is the part you can’t explain to anyone because once again… there are no bruises. No police reports. No proof.
It is only a feeling that is inside of you. A state of mind that no one but you can truly understand. A level of crazy that is instilled in you. Doubting yourself every day. Wondering if you imagined it. If you made it up. If you are the crazy one. This is something that people need to see and hear and feel. But they can’t. Because it is inside you.
This show did not trigger me. Not in the least. It did however make me want to go climb to the top of a mountain with this character and feel the freedom of getting out all over again. Feel that feeling of independence. Strength. Courage. And sanity. Glorious beautiful sanity.
The only criticism I can offer – because this is a TV show review – is that the story was too brief. To condensed. Because reality is, getting out does not happen that quickly. It takes way longer. Way more fails. Way more missteps and wrong directions. But you just simply can’t cover that in 10 shows. So I get it. This is TV after all or at least a story adapted for TV. A condensed and marketable version of this woman’s reality.
So if you watch this show, know that there is so much more to cover. So much more awareness that needs to be out there so that maybe these systems can be less broken. So that maybe help for someone who is without a job, money or a home can have more hope. Feel safe. Feel sane. Have that head start that I had.
Here’s my closing… this post isn’t just a TV show review. This is a plug. A request. A little ask from me to you to consider giving this broken and struggling system a little helping hand. There are Domestic Violence shelters everywhere. Help them out with a little donation. It doesn’t have to be money either. Used clothing, children’s items, non-perishable food, your time. Anything and everything helps. It’s a worthy one and one that your friend, sister or even your brother (yes men are victims of this too) may one day need.
Just something to think about… thanks.