View Single Post
Old 26-01-2013, 01:24
Forum Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 16,498
I'm coming at this from a slightly different angle - I didn't know who this person was before I caught her on IAC (don't watch Corrie) and some of the opinions I'm about to give come from professional experience, not just my own personal view (although I suppose one does form the other when you're talking about how children/young adults should and shouldn't be nurtured, and then in turn behaving - I've certainly brought up my own daughters, one of whom is only a couple of years younger than Helen, using a fair amount of what I learned at work, and they've turned out ok!)

BIB - yes, you'd think someone in Helen's world would be trying to broaden her horizons for her own good, especially as they profess to be so concerned at all the negative things that are said about her and how upset she is about being 'misunderstood'. Ideally that role should have been fulfilled by her parents long before now, but instead they seem (from the interviews I've seen/read in their own words) have thought they were doing Helen a favour in 'protecting' her from anything other than what Helen wanted to think/do - they've certainly validated a lot of the things that people find so irritating now.

It's been done out of love, in this case, that much is clear, but it's been misplaced love. So many times I've seen parents who are afraid to guide their children in any way - sometimes because they think it will 'stifle' them, sometimes because they think any kind of negative comment will reduce their child's love for them, sometimes other reasons, but all done for the best of intentions - but the effect is that you end up with a child who does not have a balanced view of how the world works. People always seem to think that it's neglect or a lack of parental love that leads to inappropriate behaviour in older teenagers and young adults, but that's far from the case - it's just that no one sees the damage that 'over-loving' (that's not a real term, I can't think of the right one at the moment!) can do, as much as not loving enough.

BIB 1 - See, coming from my point of view of not knowing who she was before IAC, and reading some of the comments on DS before the show started, I got the impression she was quite popular, and liked, for her role in Corrie! I did watch IAC thinking "wow, some of the people who said they liked this girl must be wondering who they're watching now", and it seems that quite a few others did too - and now, suddenly, in a matter of a few months, she isn't very popular at all. Maybe I've got that wrong, but from an outsider's point of view that's how it seemed/seems to me in the cold light of day.

BIB 2 - I think you, and others who have expressed similar thoughts, have it largely right here. She DID show people what she was really like in IAC, and people didn't always like what they saw. No, she's not unkind, deliberately or otherwise - and I don't think I've read a single comment anywhere ever saying that she is - but being 'kind' is no defence for not being sensible, nor is it an excuse for being immature and insular in your thoughts, deed and words at the age of 22.

Helen's problem isn't one of how intelligent, or not, she is, it's more basic than that - something that, actually, has nothing to do with intelligence at all. What's she's lacking is good old common sense - a very undervalued thing, and so often overlooked in today's world where only paper qualifications seem to be valued as 'proof' of having achieved anything. She seems to think people will think more of her if she went back and studied, that it would suddenly change how she's viewed, but she's missing the point. Many people who find her frustrating don't care about the fact she hasn't done A Levels, or a degree, they're frustrated because she seems to lack something far more fundamental, and yet far more necessary than qualifications, and that's good old common sense.

Again, not knowing anything about her, I was confused that in the jungle she sometimes wore it on her ring finger, and other days on her middle finger (are both fingers the same size?). Are they really engaged, or is it her just wishing they were and him buying a nice ring for her middle finger than just occasionally finds its way on to her ring finger? She is certainly not emotionally mature enough to be taking the step of marriage and children yet, and he doesn't seem to want to be tied down yet. The signs aren't good, reading between the lines and watching the body language, but she either can't see that or doesn't want to.

Does anyone actually 'hate' her? That's a strong word. Do they dislike her (haven't seen much evidence of that either) or do they just dislike the things they see and hear her do? They are separate things. Has anyone actually been 'spiteful'? I've not read any spite.

It does annoy me when people immediately jump on someone giving valid comments on someone's behaviour, not the person themselves, and accuse them of a 'hater' or 'disliking the person' or being 'spiteful' and 'jealous' when it's been nothing of the kind. I don't 'hate', 'dislike' or 'envy' Helen (or anyone I've never met for that matter - how can I?) and spite in anyone is horrible, but I do see behaviour traits in people (some of them flaunted with such pride we can't miss them) which are unattractive or inappropriate (as in Helen's case). But that doesn't mean I 'hate' or 'dislike' the person, nor is it a sign of 'spite' or 'jealously'. It's separating the sin from the sinner, if you want to use that expression - a very important part of dealing with anyone with any kind of inappropriate behaviour, including in your own children.

Again, a little bit of common sense and she would see this for herself. But in the absence of that, where are the people around her to provide that common sense on her behalf? If they are advising her, and she's just doing it regardless, then Helen really is bringing it on herself, either because she seems no harm in it regardless of what others say (yet always seems to regret it afterwards - has she never heard the expression 'once bitten, twice shy'?!) or because she's desperate to remain in the public eye. Either could be the reason, or a combination of both. Neither are going to do her any favours in the medium to longer term, though.

The parents, though clearly loving Helen very much, have sadly created 'Frankenstein's monster' in their over-indulgence of Helen. They only want her to be happy - a noble thought, but they're going about it in the wrong way. They think making her happy is validating her every thought and whim, reducing the boundaries instead of setting them, lowering expectations instead of raising them. That might seem like a 'kind' thing to do to a child, but actually it scares them.

Children like to have boundaries, rules, clear expectations (and high ones). Give children goals and they'll rise to them; if that's set in childhood it will naturally carry on in teenager-hood, and adulthood. Helen's parents, unfortunately, either on their own or under misguided advice, seemed to think that they had to compensate for her by going in the completely opposite direction - they will defend it as 'protection' and 'love' and 'kindness', and yes it's good to have that, and bring them out in your child in the process, but it's only half the story. Helen could, and should, have been encouraged to learn how to cook at home, to clean, to use a washing machine etc by her parents, and she'd have done it - her unusual 'job' wasn't a reason for her not to learn those life skills, but now she seems to wear her inability to cope like a badge of honour around her neck. Very odd, and very odd that her parents still seem unable to move away from validating Helen's behaviour even though she's now 22. I suppose if they did they'd have to face up to the fact that they haven't really done her any favours!

But the upshot is Helen is clearly vulnerable and unsure of herself, unable often to face any kind of personal challenge without a 'get out clause' excusing her from it (because she's always been given one) and as much as I'm bound to be accused of all sorts of things in saying so, her 'kind and loving' parents have contributed to that more than anyone else simply by wanting to make her life as 'simple' and 'easy' as possible within the unusual circumstances in which Helen was living her teenage years.

Does Helen have the medical conditions she also uses to 'excuse' and 'explain' her behaviours? Hard to say for sure without knowing her, and certainly ADD and ADHD manifest themselves in different ways and can be managed very succesfully in various ways, but I have a friend with bi-polar and he doesn't see the traits he recognises in himself in Helen (or some other celebrities who 'claim' to have it for that matter). But it's easy to claim depression - you can't 'see' it like you can a broken leg, and it's easy to read up on the symptoms and pretend if you want to (plenty do). But it does seem to have become the latest celebrity trend, and that does any genuine sufferer a huge disservice

Apologies for such a long post. I certainly don't think Helen is unkind or horrible, and I don't hate her, but the fact remains that she is awfully lacking in the emotional and social awareness one would expect to see in a 'normal' 22 year old, and it can't all be blamed on her unusual job as a child - a child's greatest influence is always its parents, for good or bad. They clearly love Helen very much, but I wonder if they had their time again, with hindsight, they'd do it differently? I think we'd have seen a very different Helen if they had...
Certainly a very interesting and well-considered post. I'm not sure if I would define normality within such a narrow range though; there are many ways of raising children and I'm not sure the way Helen's parents did it is so clearly wrong as you reckon it. I'm probably a little biased here, as so much of what you say about Helen is true of me (the not being taught to cook, clean, work a washing machine etc; I still live with my parents and do very little housework), and yet I am in most ways very unlike her (I think I am capable of a little more thought than her, but I am also rather less kind - or that's my assessment)
DavetheScot is offline   Reply With Quote