“The way she said it all with no remorse made it worse.”
It’s funny how one person can be at the center of a whole family’s trauma. Almost all of the Porters had lasting effects of what they endured throughout their lives:
Lake, Vant, Wreck, and Sav clearly had poor attachments and emotional trauma that manifested as a total lack of emotion, womanizing, and/or abuse in their own relationships. The Porter brother who was arguably the most impacted was Dem, who suffered from Intermittent Explosive Disorder and Manic Depression, which was exacerbated by the poison he was fed.
At the center of it all was Erica, also known as Mucci. She successfully manipulated everyone around her. She was the woman of the house for years and played a pivotal role in the development, or lack thereof, of the Porters.
Why would Mucci literally destroy the sons of the man she loved? She was very clear about the way she was treated when she was with their father, Hassan. She was abused emotionally and physically by him, and unfortunately for Mucci, Hassan was all she had when her family disowned her. Honestly, he was all she wanted. She was only fifteen when she started dealing with him and because she really had no other family, Hassan was her man, her mother, her father, and everything else. Because of this, the trauma ran deeper and eventually, it turned into resentment, envy, and some sort of twisted entitlement. When Hassan died and she was left with his offspring, she took total advantage of it.
The thing about trauma and abuse is that it can manifest in many different ways and under the right environmental conditions, can easily turn into mental illness. Victim turned abuser, Mucci displayed several characteristics of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). There are several descriptors of NPD including:
· Grandiosity- exaggerated sense of self-importance; feeling superior to others
· Excessive need for admiration-Must be the center of attention
· Exploitative Relationships-people are only valued based upon what they can provide for them
· Lack of empathy-having no care about the emotional needs of others.
Perhaps Mucci’s narcissism was best displayed in the following scene:
“I got y’all through hard times. I made you the men y’all are today! Not them, ME! Not Hassan, ME! My own son got none of me but I made sure y’all spoiled asses stayed up! I did that! You should be grateful! Thanking me! I was young and I loved that man more than anything in the world, but I was the one constantly getting the short end of the stick! Do I regret some of the things I’ve done? Of course, I was angry. But am I sorry? No. Y’all are stronger because of it.”
Here, you can see the grandiosity and her need to be admired for the Porter boys’ ability to become men despite what they went through growing up. You can also see the lack of empathy she had for inflicting trauma and abuse on them. Although she recognizes she may have done some wrong, she tries to justify it by saying that her abuse made them “stronger because of it”.
Mucci was a prime example of how one can go from victim to abuser when one does not come to terms with their trauma and abuse. Trauma coupled with the extreme sense of entitlement, resentment, and grandiosity was the perfect recipe for disaster.
What do you think? Do you have any sympathy for Mucci considering mental illness could have been a factor in the way she treated the Porter men?