Each week after Rehab With Dr. Drew, we’ll be talking to some of the staff on hand at the Pasadena Recovery Center to find out everything that went down in front of and behind the camera with this season’s group of patients. This week we spoke to our friend Jennifer Gimenez, the resident technician at the facility who had battled demons on her own, and she offered up her insight and some behind-the-scenes details for this episode that dealt with Jasmen’s miscarriage, now that her would-be due date approached. Jenn had told me what happens in this episode prior to my watching it because she knew that I’m currently also four months pregnant, and within the episode she also revealed her own miscarriage of a child at four and a half months. Overall, it was a tough thing to watch for anyone but Jasmen’s story resonated strongly for both of us.
You warned me about this episode and just how emotional and hard it would be, and I admit I watched it once and I don’t think I’ll watch it again, there were some things Jasmen revealed that were incredibly hard to hear. How did you feel re-living it as you watched?
Watching the show back, I was pretty much speechless. I was like, “What am I really feeling right now?” Because, you know, I do reveal that I myself have gone through what Jasmen has gone through and I lost a baby at four and a half months pregnant and it was a very traumatizing experience. I think there’s a lot of times where you ask why..why did that happen? Especially in recovery, they say that only through your experiences can you help other people, and experiencing this with Jasmen was as much a healing process for me and it made me realize that this is why I went through this and was able to get through this, in order to help somebody else. I had a lot of closure, to be honest with you. On a selfish level and on a healing level, really. This was one of the most profound reasons why Jasmen drinks and that shame and hurt and remorse she has and that secret she has, you’re only as sick as your secrets and here she is revealing hers, and there’s so much closure. She’s not fighting with Erica because she doesn’t like Erica, they don’t really know each other not to like each other, she’s just acting out. To watch this, I was mourning watching this, but I was also happy that we had each other to go through this together.
She told you there was even more to her story than just the miscarriage, and then we learned that she got rid of the baby’s body on her own and that’s what was killing her. Did you know part two of her story before she told the group?
It was a shocker to me, I did not know about that part, she just keep saying “There’s something more, I’ll tell you soon,” and the first time she told me, it was in front of the group. That’s a strong place to do it. She went through the experience word for word in explaining how it all happened, and she went into the nooks and crannies of her story so she didn’t have to hold on to it anymore. I thought it was so healing for her and so beautiful that she was able to do that. I suggested we have a memorial, a little funeral service for the baby because she says she never go to bury the baby, and that’s what you didn’t see, the group actually held that service for the baby. At the end when you see us all hugging, that’s what we were doing. The whole group united for Jasmen.
Her story was clearly nothing that they expected to hear, you could see the shock on their faces, did things start to make sense to them about why she had been aggressive and hard to deal with up to that point?
As soon as she told the group, you could see the shock, they’re all kind of looking toward Dr. Sharp and I, and I just got up and followed her because I didn’t want her to feel ashamed as she walked away. There’s a lot lot lot of tears going on. Everyone just bonded together and that’s what the unity of a group setting should be like and they did it organically. I will also say that it was such a healing process, and especially seeing the men’s reactions to all of it. You could see Drewbee and Michael and Eric and how broken they were for her. The women too, but I wasn’t expecting the men to be so sensitive and so caring toward her, I was very inspired by that.
Was this situation the turning point in her addiction, or was she always as much of an alcoholic before this happened?
This was the turning point for her. She was already an alcoholic and she was already doing the things she was doing, but once that happened it just went downhill, it was that straw that broke the camel’s back. I’d also like to say that the one other great thing about this episode between Erica and Jasmen, my hat goes off to Erica because she actually confronted Jasmen in a very grown up way and used her tools to work things out with Jasmen. Normally in recovery, that doesn’t happen that quickly and I was very happy to see that, and I hope that’s something Erica is using in her life today. That communication.
Even before Jasmen told her story, it was interesting to see how much of an affect she and her aggression and her behavior had an effect on the group, between Erica and Heather and everyone.
And Heather even says it, these are the reasons why they drink, when she says “I normally would have had a drink at this point.” This is one of the reasons people drink, once they’re in their addiction, this is a greater reason to drink and these are triggers for them and they don’t know how to cope with this or show their emotions yet. So I think this is actually a really good thing that’s happening here, people are starting to feel things.
At the beginning of the episode, Jasmen seemed convinced that she could control herself and her drinking on her own and that seemed to worry everyone. Did that shift at all after she made her big reveal?
Oh, absolutely, it definitely changed. Carrying that secret was a weight and once she got through this and she revealed that secret, she got through this with the group and with me and was like “Oh! This is what recovery looks like.” When you;re going through these things and people are supporting you and no one’s judging you for it. You go, oh, that’s the common bond, we get to go through things together and there should only be support, and I think that really changed for Jasmen.