Why does Sharon blame Meredith for breaking up the family?
Sharon sees herself as the victim in the family and her daughter's refusal to welcome her abuser back into the home is Meredith being selfish, in Sharon's view. She does not have any empathy with her daughter and feels that she was selfish and thoughtless to have given evidence against her father and in turn forced Sharon to live without him for the duration of his sentence. Meredith is an inconvenience to Sharon who wants to resume an outwardly picture-perfect family life. Sharon was twelve when she began her relationship with Charles and because of this does not see her 15-year-old daughter as a child in need of protection but as a romantic rival whose flirtation caused her father to make what Sharon calls "a mistake".
Why do you think Meredith returns to her parents' home when she has the opportunity to escape and live with her grandmother?
Although she would be safe living with her grandmother, Meredith feels an enormous responsibility to make sure other children in the neighborhood are safe from her father as well. When she learns that her parents are trying to have another child she realizes that the cycle of abuse will continue and her father will never be stopped. This realization is coupled with what she sees as an opportunity to send her father back to jail when Nigel, the arresting officer in her father's case, gives her a "teddy cam" to film her father trying to abuse her again. Seeing a way to get rid of him forever motivates her to go home even when she has the opportunity to do otherwise.
How does Meredith's obsessive compulsive disorder manifest itself and how does it help her in her day to day life?
Meredith is obsessed with certain numbers and is compelled to perform certain actions a set number of times, such as taking a certain number of vitamins. When she does not do this she feels out of kilter. She also counts the number and pattern of things. She has faith in some numbers and a great sense of foreboding about others. Unlike the majority of people who suffer from this disorder, Meredith is actually helped by this rigid framework of acceptable numbers as it is the only framework that she has. The rules her obsession gives her are the rules that replace any kind of parental framework or guideline which enables her to have some kind of structure and purpose. Meredith also seems to have knowledge of numerology and knows the significance of each number, using this skill to judge whether a situation might be positive or negative and using numbers to replace the parental advice or guidance that she does not have.
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