The Bold & The Beautiful Update Friday 12/8/06


Written By Wanda
Pictures by Boo

Riding home in the car, Eric and Stephanie discuss what a big, emotional ordeal this has been with her mother. Eric tells her the children are gathered at the house, but if she’s tired he can call it off. She laments it has been an issue too long in the closet, and she should have told them herself. He promises he will be right there beside her. She tells him she is not sure he will ever understand how much she appreciates just that – his being there with her and the fact that he stood up to her mother. She thanks him for that. He opines that is nothing compared to the support she’s going to get from her children…..she’ll see…… everything will be fine.

Over coffee, Brooke and Taylor also discuss the situation and find it hard to believe that Stephanie was abused by her own father. Because she is such a strong, self-assured woman, but it does explain why she has the need to control everything and everyone in her life. Brooke finds it very hard to understand since Stephanie always talked about her dad being a good dad and a pillar of he community. And yet he beat her with a belt. Taylor acknowledges he was a good dad until he had too much to drink or a bad day. Brooke realizes this would explain Stephanie’s temper. Taylor says her mother was no prize either. Obviously not, Brooke says, since Stephanie wanted everyone to think she was dead. Taylor adds and she had no intentions of ever seeing her again until she convinced her she wouldn’t heal unless she confronted her mother. And Ann wouldn’t even acknowledge anything had ever happened. Brooke says that is so sad. She knows what it is like to be abandoned by your own father. Sometimes she feels like her life has been a whole reaction to her father walking out on her….maybe Stephanie’s life has been a reaction to her father’s abusing her. Taylor acknowledges that is exactly what it is, but at least now she is facing reality and her life is about to change dramatically. And Eric’s life and the children’s as well.

Thorne offer Felicia a plate of pastries and she cringes, she can’t eat a thing – her stomach is in knots. Thorne says his too ever since his dad called last night. She laments that’s what she needed – one more thing to keep her from sleeping. Ridge surmises it must be pretty lonely with Dante in Italy. She quips she never thought she’d be so disappointed that Dominick was sleeping through the night. Thorne asks if Dante got a sculpting commission? She replies he had to since he’s not getting a paycheck from Forrester anymore. Ridge wants to know when he’s coming back? She tells them when the two of them get off their butts and help her start this new company….so hop to it already!

They agree that after what her mother did to Stephanie, Ann doesn’t deserve to have a relationship with the family. Felicia says she hopes Stephanie tore her head off yesterday. “That selfish, old bitch, pretending that nothing was going on and making mom feel guilty about wanting help.” Ridge adds that her dad was the one who needed his head torn off. There is no excuse for abusing a child like that, ever.

Eric and Stephanie walk in and she greets and gives each child a big hug. She tells them she is glad to be back and each of them chimes in if there is anything they can do. She thanks them. She’s just glad they are not upset with her for not telling them. Thorne says Taylor explained that part and Ridge explains they all understand. She realizes that, but she feels badly that she just sort of let them think she had this incredible childhood, and she just pushed all that ugliness out of her mind. And as a result, she pushed her mother right out of her life and theirs as well. Felicia says, “are you kidding? If you think we wanted anything to do with that woman after the way she treated you, forget it.” Stephanie points out the way she grew up damaged her, and the truth is the kids paid the price in her need to control everything. As a result she interfered in their marriages and relationships. And ultimately it cost their father the company. She wants them to know she’s not making excuses, but it is an enormous sense of relief to understand why. And she just wants to thank each of them. Then she sinks onto the couch Felicia sits beside her and wipes away a tear and says if she thinks this justifies that 11 o’clock curfew when she was sixteen, she’s not buying it! Stephanie leads the group in a big laugh. Thorne adds at least now they know why she’s always been so protective. Ridge says and they are very grateful, believe it or not. Stephanie laughs again when Felicia says she wouldn’t go that far. But, she is proud of her as her mother, and Thorne adds they love her and Ridge says they wouldn’t change that. She hugs, touches, pats, kisses while Eric beams.

Brooke laments that she always wondered why Stephanie was so angry. She just assumed it was because of her…..because of all her relationships she’d had with the men in the family. Taylor explains that not all of her anger was misplaced, but it does help explain why she went to such lengths to get Brooke out of Ridge’s life. She just had this uncontrollable need to control her family. Brooke wonders if she will be able to get past this? Taylor replies it won’t happen overnight, but it’s a start. And what she finds the most amazing is that Stephanie chose on her own to break the cycle of abuse. And being overly protective was the only good thing to come from this….not that this doesn’t create its own problems. “The damage of abuse trickles down family generations for a long time unless it is broken.” They have this saying in therapy, “there is no excuse for abuse.” A lot of people think that just means physical, but verbal abuse is also very damaging. If a child is told constantly that they are stupid or they are shamed for making a mistake, or told they are worthless, that really shatters their identity. No child should ever have to go through that. No kind of abuse should be tolerated. Brooke agrees – no abuse, verbal or physical. As parents they need to be more responsible and protective. If not them, who will?

Ridge questions Stephanie. Is she telling them that no one else knew? She replies no…..well her sister, Pam. Stephanie explains that she thinks telling would have just been too painful for her, and she did blame herself. And Eric adds that it was abusive, not discipline and their grandmother allowed it. Ridge can’t believe his mother went to her mother and she knew all about this and did nothing. How could she do that? And to ignore their own child’s cry for help. Stephanie tries to explain that times were different then. Her father RULED the family. He put a roof over their heads and food on the table. Eric agrees with Thorne, it doesn’t excuse her mother not defending her own flesh and blood. Stephanie had gone to her and she turned her back on her.

She tells her kids that she didn’t tell them this, but thirty years ago when their grandfather died, she went to her mother and thought now they’d be able to talk about it. But it was the same way yesterday….God after all those years that she tried to confront her. She still wouldn’t acknowledge what happened. But Taylor said what was important is that Stephanie had acknowledged it. She’s said it, and confronted her, this is what happened and this is what she hadn’t done. She’ll tell them, this was really hard, but their dad had given her the strength. She pats him on the hands and he returns it by saying he was only there for moral support. She had reached that turning point all by herself. And he quips that’s not to say she won’t be driving them crazy sometime before dinner. They all laugh. He adds that she made this progress all alone. And he’s said it before and he’ll say it again, “you’re an amazing woman.” She thanks him and he kisses her behind the neck.

Ridge laments that her mother couldn’t bring herself to face up to what her father did, but maybe her father did. Stephanie says they never spoke of it. Ridge points out that he did put Forrester Creations in her name. Thorne wonders if he was trying to make amends. Eric thinks it’s more like his keeping control over his daughter and proving what kind of a wonderful father he was. But Felicia adds that all the money and stock in the world wouldn’t make up for beating your daughter. Stephanie sighs and says she doesn’t want to go on with this. She just wants to put it behind her, move on and them to do the same. But she would like them to promise her something. When they go home today she wants them to grab hold of their children and give them a big hug and kiss and tell them you love them because you can never say it enough. Ridge tells her they will and they love her too.

Taylor and Brooke walk in and say they hope they are not intruding. Eric tells them not at all, come on in. Brooke walks up to Stephanie and tells her she is sorry. Sincerely, Stephanie thanks her. Brooke says she knows now and she wants her to know she is there for her. They hug and Brooke tells her she knows Stephanie only wanted to give her children the life she never had, and she did. Taylor laments that she hates to break up this little moment, but she needs to speak with Stephanie privately a few minutes. They go into the den and the kids tell Eric that he really stepped up and their mom isn’t the only one they are proud of today.

Stephanie thanks Taylor and says she did need just a moment to catch her breath, all that support is a little overwhelming. Stephanie admits it was terrible at her mother’s. She thought she was going to have one of those classic anxiety attacks. There they were standing in the living room, making small talk and she knew what she had to say, but wasn’t sure how to say it, but Eric was wonderful. It was because of him that she found the strength to say what she did. She only wishes…..her mother didn’t hear…she didn’t listen. And she is never going to acknowledge that it happened. Taylor points out that she knew she might not. Stephanie says yes, she knew that. But that Taylor had told her the most important thing is that she say it, acknowledge it. For her whole adult life, she has been excusing the inexcusable. And confronting her mother after all these years was really cathartic. And she wonders now what her life would have been like if she had confronted her father. Taylor tells her she still can….it isn’t too late.

Ridge finds Brooke alone on the terrace and asks if she’d like to join them in the kitchen? She tells him in a minute, she’d like to talk to him first. She knows how much he loves his mother and all of this can’t be easy on him. He says he’s okay and they all have been going through this for years and they just didn’t know it. “The abuse my mother was going through kind of rippled into all our lives.” He just wishes he had understood it before now. Brooke extols now that they do know, they can help her. He answers that his mother is getting through it. What really gets him is the number of kids still out there going through this or worse. It seems like there has to be something they can do about it. She says they just can’t forget that abuse can happen anywhere, in any home, even in families like their own. They must keep their eyes and ears open – at the kid’s school, in sports, with their friends. Ridge laments that its often easier just to ignore the problem or turn the other way, but if they can prevent one kid from going through what his mother did, he thinks it is worth it. She agrees.

Stephanie says it is too late; her father is dead. Taylor says it’s too late to talk to him face to face, but she can still tell him how she feels. Stephanie is skeptical – how? Taylor offers that it felt cathartic with her mother to stand up for herself. So she can still do that. And she’s come so far, she shouldn’t stop now. And she’ll help her do it. Just think of her father, think of his face and remember every detail. Remember the furrow of his brow, hear his voice when she was yelling at her. See him standing there with his pipe and his martini. And then tell him how she feels. Stephanie opines that she thinks she would feel ridiculous doing that. Taylor asks what would happen if he was standing right in front of her? And then he suddenly started approaching her, aggressively, like he did when she was a little girl? Stephanie replies right now she would be very angry. Taylor urges her not to tell her, but tell him! Stephanie asks – as if he is standing there in the room, and Taylor replies yes. Stephanie points out that she loved her father, but she was afraid of him, afraid of his temper. Taylor tells her to tell HIM that.

She looks at Taylor, she braces for it, then turns away, thinking how to approach it. She says this is difficult. But, then she zones in, gives a sigh and begins, “Dad, you said you loved me. But, you hit me. You abused me as a little girl and I don’t know how you could do that.” She goes on that she trusted him and loved him. She always thought he was the bravest, strongest person in the world. “But, you know what I think? I think you were a coward, and what you did was wrong. It was WRONG!” Taylor goes to her and tells her that see, she can protect herself.

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