Friday, June 3, 2011

Shania Twain on OWN


Is anyone following the Shania Twain series entitled "Why Not?" on Oprah Winfrey Network? While I haven't been a particular fan of Shania's over the years (though I've liked her well enough from afar), I recently watched three of these episodes, DVRd by my parents, and found them both interesting and frustrating.

Shania Twain is trying to heal from a bitter divorce and regain the ability to sing without restriction. Apparently, a painful betrayal by her former husband and best friend (they had an affair) wounded her to the point that she has been unable to perform for years. This program on OWN is about her efforts to do "whatever it takes" to heal, including interviewing people whose life experience might shed some light on hers: a woman who cheated with a best friend's husband, a woman whose best friend cheated with her husband, and a family of teenagers who lost their mother prematurely. She also asks Gladys Knight for counsel, attends the Golden Willow Retreat for some body (and soul) work, and consults with Dr. Gordon Livingston, an author and grief counselor. What she doesn't do nearly enough (and this is the part that frustrates me) is CRY. Instead, she stifles the expression of real feelings...time after time...with a forced laugh that becomes increasingly difficult to hear. No wonder she can't "release her voice," because she is choking down her feelings of sadness and rage big-time. Those tears Shania has never cried have to be blocking her golden throat with the biggest lump imaginable.

The thing is, this lovely woman is immensely likable. Ironically, that makes me sort of want to grab her by the shoulders and shake the sobs right out of her. And if I were her sister (who accompanies her on this journey), I would! As a viewer, however, all I can do is talk to the screen...which is immensely unsatisfying, especially to one who thinks she knows all the answers. (Yep, that'd be me, the know-it-all who wants to be her therapist!) I want to stop her every time she flits away from whatever she is really feeling and pull her back so she can grieve and grieve and grieve and grieve some more. And I want to tell her that all the skydiving and rock climbing in the world are not going to give her the courage she needs to perform again. The only courage she needs is the courage to cry it out before she tries to move on.

My impression of Shania Twain? She is a strong and admirable woman, one who held her own grief at bay in order to raise teenage siblings after their parents died in a car accident many years ago. But that was then, and this is now. Today, she needs to honor herself and her feelings enough to release them.

I hope she succeeds.

(Hey, maybe she already has! I haven't seen the rest of the series...)

=)

PS. I love her new song, "Today is Your Day."

PPS. She still needs to write the other one...the sad one. Skipping steps on the grieving cycle never works.

22 comments:

Laraine Eddington said...

I wish she would go to you for counseling Sue.

Anna M said...

well put. Heaven knows sometimes all I need is a good cry.

Dr. Sue!

Ames said...

I saw that show and my heart really went out to her. What goes around comes around for her ex-husband and her ex-friend. Isn't she now married to her ex-friend's husband? At least she is strong enough to know she needs help and to seek help!~Ames

Brian Miller said...

you are wise...until we are ready to let those feelings out they will eat any joy we hope to attain...

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Oh I LOVE Shania and I had no idea this happened to her. Since having kids, it seems like I'm a little out of the loop of the adult world sometimes! :)) My Oprah has been replaced with Barney! :) Anyway, I'm glad to know about this show. I use the DVR record option on our box a good bit so this is one not to miss.
p.s. I agree with you that singing about this very thing will probably be what helps her heal. The betrayal by a husband and a best friend is something I can't imagine! That must be heartbreaking...

karen said...

I didn't even know where to find the OWN! I went to the website and now I do - thanks! I'll want to try to watch this series as it sounds like a good one. It's true - until you grieve you can't heal.

Amy said...

Wow, what a heart breaking story! I am a big fan of crying. I do it all the time. It is important. And so sad that so many people view it as weakness, not a cleanse. I hope she does grieve.

Esther Joy said...

As author of "Joy in the Mourning" I totally agree with having to grieve in order to heal!

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Now this I have never seen, but it would probably be too depressing for me to witness a strong woman like her beat down by those events! I hope she succeeds too!

Grandma Honey said...

I just watched the Oprah show with Shania on it, 2 nights ago. What a fascinating story. I was struck by how forgiving she is, what a good unselfish person. I found it surprising that she married the ex of her ex-husband's new wife...how odd is that!

So where can I watch these shows you are talking about?

Also, I think she does bury things. On Oprah she talked about the horrific VIOLENT abuse of her step dad towards her mom...but then went on to say he was such a good man....HUH?!..how can that be??

Lisalulu said...

I enjoyed this, I always wondered what happened to her. Maybe she did cry.. and it just didn't make for 'interesting' TV. For TV the producers show what 'they' think will get the ratings up. love her new song!

Momza said...

I have been watching her show too and you've expressed my exact feelings!
She seems to be held hostage to her past. Someone needs to get her to give herself permission to grieve and then move forward with hope in the future. THAT'S what's missing in this show. imo. And I love her.

Jenny said...

I have it recorded but I haven't watched it yet!

Darlene said...

I love Shania's new song. I find this tune going around in my head. She is really a good composer and I love the way she sings her own songs. I too believe she needs to cry and also to put a little of the blame on her husband, instead of laying in all on her best friend. Why does she try to defend him by telling everyone that he is such a neat person, so caring and thoughtful. Give me a break!! Getting mad at him and crying her heart out would be such good therapy for her. I too am sick of hearing her laugh. One of these days, I hope she will wake up.

BECKY said...

I haven't seen it, but I do know about her heartbreak, etc. I totally agree with you, Sue!! And I'm just like you...quite The Know It All!! :)

Karen Mortensen said...

I have been watching it. I like it but I feel the same as you do. I wish she would cry and get it over with.

blessedmom's simple home said...

I haven't seen the show, but I've always loved her music.
Blessings,
Marcia

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

I love Shania Twain! I wish that I hadnt missed her shows-I have wanted to watch them, but can't seem to remember when they are on!

Blessings & Aloha!

Mormon Women: Who We Are said...

OK, so another thing that makes me wonder is if she's really going to be finding healing by trying to do a show about finding healing. I get the sharing thing and all, but if the goal is first to get viewers and advertising, is she really going about this in a way that will be honest with herself and putting her healing as a priority? I just worry that she'll be at the whim and will of the producers rather than doing the work she and only she can do to really heal.

Mormon Women: Who We Are said...

Keep forgetting to put my name when I'm logged in to MW. Sorry.

~Michelle

Joy For Your Journey said...

How sad that happened to her. I agree crying/grieving is a necessary part of healing. Although it is possible that she saves her crying for when she isn't in front of a camera. But I also know several other people who have gone through devastating experiences and block their emotions to survive. It seems to be a natural reaction at first--but as you said, eventually the tears need to come before the healing can happen.

Donna said...

I totally agree with you, at one time a doctor asked me why I never cried...I started and so far I haven't stopped. Very medicinal.

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