Rookie Bravo Housewife Aviva Drescher is becoming more intriguing with each passing blog, episode and tweet, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. It’s probably my own fault for expecting more from her, given her privileged background, education and social status. I should have known better when someone, anyone, agrees to become a Real Housewife. It’s not going to go well, and, in Aviva’s case, it’s been unraveling faster than it has for most of them. I would think that, before you agree to work for someone, it might be a good idea to know what your potential employer does and what it expects you to do. Apparently Aviva had never seen one single episode of the Real Housewives of any city before she agreed to play in Bravo’s sandbox. If she had, she might have chosen differently.
I mentioned in an earlier post that she said her purpose for joining the New York cast was to raise awareness for children who were living without legs. I also brought up the very obvious fact that Bravo wasn’t the best place to do that. Now Aviva has driven that point home. I don’t think she’s really doing her cause any good, and it’s not because of Ramona or Sonja, but because she, all by herself, is starting to look angry, defensive, petty and elitist. Ramona and Sonja can bring their own kind of madness and mayhem, but screaming at them about one’s charity and children who have no legs isn’t going to change them. Those two are like Lucy and Ethel on steroids, and Aviva thinks her judgmental behavior and name-calling are going to have some effect on them. It won’t. They are veteran Bravolebrities and they know that being strange and loud and inappropriate are what bring the ratings. In fact, I think, like children, the more you tell them to cut it out, the worse they’re going to behave.
She’s also being more than a little disingenuous when she poo-poos those who dare to criticize her father for his really licentious and asinine actions and topics of conversation. I’ve read other blogs and social media, and I didn’t see many people who found him terribly funny or entertaining. Why a daughter would want the world to view her father that way is beyond my comprehension. She may have her reasons, but I’m not sure I want to know what they are.
Aviva freely admits that she has phobias which lead to anxiety and panic attacks. On Twitter, when someone mentioned that she could have taken a ferry to St. Barths instead of the small plane, she responded that she gets seasick and joked that she has a boatload of issues. I think that’s putting it mildly. It seems that the only things she’s not afraid of are taxi cabs, her children and her husband. Her fears have been visited on her family, though. Her husband is not just her partner and friend, he’s also her crutch and enabler. The world is beyond her reach unless he’s right there by her side. Her son expressed certain concerns about riding a merry-go-round. Now, I know that small children can come up with some doozies, but his was a new one. It makes you wonder just what kind of conversations about the dangerous world the Drescher family is having.
The accident that Aviva survived some 35 years ago was about as horrifying as anyone can imagine and more than any child should experience. She’s talked about how, had the conveyor belt not been stopped, she might have died. Rescue workers worked to free her from the machine at the cost of her foot. It would be a nightmare inducing event for anyone. We’re not seeing someone who has made much progress in dealing with it emotionally, however. She relates the story to her castmates, and to the viewers, not as someone who has met the trauma head on and learned how to deal with life without the dark cloud of the accident overshadowing her every waking moment. Instead, there’s a woman who has let her loss and fear dictate how she lives her life. She didn’t have to go to St. Barths when Manhattan is her very own Scary Island.
The Journal of Traumatic Stress classifies what happened to Aviva at the age of 6 as a Type I traumatic event – a list that includes life-threatening accidents – which, when the psychological effects are untreated or treated incorrectly, can leave an adult with a form of post traumatic stress disorder. It can manifest itself in myriad ways, with profound impacts on someone later in life. In one of the articles published by The Journal, two professors of psychology wrote about the frequency of neuroticism among adult survivors of childhood traumas. They listed trait descriptors such as tension, nervousness, irritability, insecurity, and being high-strung or overly emotional. Aviva often speaks about all of the things that trigger her phobias and, now, in scenes with her fellow Housewives, we’ve seen her anger and outrage go from 0 to 60 in 15 seconds. One week she was upset with Heather and defending Ramona. Then she was angry at Sonja for choosing a dog over a charity event and only slightly less perturbed with Ramona for having some work done on her backside. In the upcoming episode, she’s calling Ramona and Sonja “white trash”.
Now, I really don’t care what her issues are or how she is or isn’t dealing with them. If she and her family are working together and have found a way to handle their lives, it’s none of my business. People get married and stay married for all sorts of reasons, and they’re free to raise their children the way they think is best. I just wonder about the message she’s sending to the kids she says she’s trying to help. When she was talking to Carole about what happened in that barn she said, “a six-year-old, born of a family that’s well educated and successful, whose parents spend their whole lives loving and nurturing, what are the odds that a six-year-old loses her foot in a machine?” I’m guessing that there are similarly situated families who also wonder how their children lose limbs to cancer or other diseases and accidents. I’d bet that even those kids who have big and dangerous machines around their property also question why bad things happen to them. Accidents and disease aren’t based on wealth, scholarship or social standing.
If Aviva wants to be an ambassador and spokesperson for those children, she should take a look at and a listen to how she acts and sounds. So far, it sounds as if she’s saying that, along with the loss of a limb, there’s a very good possibility that you’ll also lose opportunities to lead anything close to a normal life, simply because the injury will take over everything about you. It seems as if she’s focused on the “almost died” part and forgetting about the fact that she didn’t. Sure, danger lurks around a lot of corners, but if that’s all you can think about, well, you’re never going to leave your secure little world. We’ve all seen people who can be inspired representatives and advocates for good causes. It requires dignity, respect, thoughtful words and some humility. Being on Bravo, writing scathing blogs about your cast mates and engaging in wars on social media just aren’t going to cut it. So, when Aviva says it’s not about her, but about the children, I hope she means it. They should know how to become more than just survivors of misfortune, but grow to be people with full lives. I think that those kids could be as much help to her as she is to them. If Bravo isn’t her cup of tea, then she should walk away. Now that would be a graceful step ahead, in the right direction.