The Missing Links




Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Document Type



Eighteen year old Carter Fitch’s inability to deal with her lesbian leanings against the subtle, but very real small New England town prejudices of both her parents and peers leads her to a destructive drug habit. Out one night in Boston with her small town beard, (Josh, a boy from a neighboring town) she meets up with Kennedy, an out and proud lesbian from Cambridge. Kennedy brings Carter into the Boston insider rave scene, where Carter is free to be herself, and only bound by her own internal fear of letting go. Eventually, Carter’s boyfriend and her parents find out about the wild sex and excessive drugs, and Carter’s parents send her to a rehab in Arizona called The Willows. Though she resists her “Sacred Inner Infant” at first Carter eventually believes the staff’s insistence that her sexual promiscuity and drug use are not a rebellion but a re-enactment of repressed memories of sexual abuse. After five weeks at The Willows, Carter returns to her family, convinced that her mother had molested her as a child. Once Carter’s father learns of her accusations, he stops paying for her therapy. Eventually, by ease dropping on other clients, Carter realizes these “memories” of abuse she’s been flooded with may not be reality. With the help of her younger sister, Helen, Carter realizes that her mother was not a pedophile, but that she does have very real issues from the past which must be dealt with before she can move on. Namely, Carter has to confront her own internalized shame over her sexuality. At the end Carter moves back home and one night as she helps Helen to prepare for a physics test, Carter realizes that both internalized homophobia and false memory syndrome are like constant exposure to low-level radiation. “There’s no way for the body to protect itself from consistent low-levels of radiation, because the immune system doesn’t realize they’re something it needs to fight,” Helen explains to Carter. “Over time it causes much more damage than one high level exposure.”



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Committee Chair

James G. Bennett



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