This American Life: #567: What's Going On In There?
September 20, 2015 6:04 PM - Subscribe

Often we see someone's situation from the outside and think we know exactly what's going on. This week This American Life gets inside and find out just how much more interesting the reality of it is, including a teenaged girl who records a remarkable story about the boyfriend who abuses her, and why it's so hard to break up with him. (trigger warning for depictions of domestic abuse)
posted by lunch (9 comments total)
 
It's worth noting for anyone contemplating listening to the episode that while the second segment isn't graphic, it's an incredibly uncomfortable listen to say the least.
posted by lunch at 6:06 PM on September 20, 2015


This needs an abuse trigger warning. Interesting episode but part 2 was really hard to listen to.
posted by ellieBOA at 8:34 AM on September 22, 2015


I emailed a mod asking if they could edit one in. I'm fortunate that the situation described is not one that I've ever been in, but it was a segment that did make me better understand the want for trigger warnings. The interlude in which the producer cut in to say that the girl had done missing was absolutely horrifying. I know they mention an organization and counselor she was seeing towards the end of the program, but I hope she's able to graduate and get the emotional support she needs and that we'll hear about it in a rerun.
posted by lunch at 12:22 PM on September 22, 2015


[Added warning.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:23 PM on September 22, 2015


The inclusion of the part 2 story is really odd in light of the episode's purported theme. "Stories where we go into situations where people think they know what's going on and we find out what's really happening" is how Ira Glass describes it. What do we think is going on with this girl and what is "really" happening?

I feel like they are assuming the listener has some kind of preconceived viewpoint and hearing the story actually from her POV is going to knock your monocle out of your eye or something. It's really weird.

Also good lord, could their ad read guy be any less enthusiastic?
posted by selfnoise at 12:52 PM on September 22, 2015


Should have said TAL should have added a trigger warning, thanks LM too.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:03 PM on September 22, 2015


The inclusion of the part 2 story is really odd in light of the episode's purported theme. "Stories where we go into situations where people think they know what's going on and we find out what's really happening" is how Ira Glass describes it. What do we think is going on with this girl and what is "really" happening?

I'm assuming they wanted to air this story and made a tenuous connection with this week's theme. I think the relation to theme comes from the details at the beginning of the story, in which the school counselor first meets the girl and learns that the reasons she's skipped class are fairly complex.
posted by lunch at 5:19 PM on September 22, 2015


Yeah, the second part was very tough to listen to.

Listening to her rationalize going back to him and the nature of her relationship drew uncomfortable parallels, for me, to some of the people I have known and the (in retrospect) emotionally abusive relationships they stayed in, and how I didn't notice the signs at the time, since nobody was sporting a black-eye. Which, circling back, is why I liked(?) this segment. I think more people should engage with stories like these and reflect on how easily psychologically and emotionally abusive relationships can fly under the radar, and that things don't have to be visibly physically abusive to be terrible and abusive in the background.
posted by selenized at 3:32 PM on September 24, 2015


The third piece made me cry for real. It was a simple, moving piece that, while extreme, was relateable.
posted by latkes at 8:37 AM on September 25, 2015


« Older Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Th...   |  Movie: Bicycle Thieves... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments