similar to that of women who have been in “ordinary” abusive
relationships where women who are subject to violence like
Kimmy (intimate partner violence and sexual assault) are likely to
feel self-blame, shame, and negative social reactions (for Kimmy,
being labeled a mole woman and seen as a spectacle by the media)
that can lead to PTSD and depression (Kennedy Prock 6.). This
series makes the choice to depict the journey back from kidnapping
and captivity as one that includes both difficulty (such as living
with PTSD and depression) and joy (like rediscovering yourself
despite the past of violence) to reinforce the idea that people,
particularly women, are more than the trauma they experience and
have the agency to make choices that will improve their lives.
Kimmy makes the difficult decision during the second
season to see a therapist. Television critic Alan Sepinwall describes
this plot point as “where things started to get really interesting and
complicated for the remainder of the [second] season” (Sepinwall
2016). The series does a great job capturing the fact that this can
be a hard choice to make, even for people who have been in the
most extreme and horrifying situations, because of the widely held
belief that people should be self-reliant in dealing with the traumas
in their lives. During the episode “Kimmy Goes on a Date!” in the
first season of the series, Kimmy is having a dream that she is going
on a date with Charles (Andrew Ridings), a tutor employed in the
household where she works as a nanny. In her dream, the date
starts off with the couple returning to her apartment in Disney-
style princess and prince outfits, and Kimmy then informs Charles
that she is going to change clothing. When Kimmy enters her
bedroom, however, it becomes the bunker that she was trapped in
for all of those years, and she is unable to get out. When Kimmy
does wake up from what started as a dream and turned into a
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