We Need to Talk About Alex
First eviction of BB9, blah, blah, Steph gets the boot, blah, blah, BB's loss is The Daily Star's gain, blah, blah. As the reaction of the eviction crowd showed, the real story of BB9 is Alex. We need to talk about Alex.
After the Mikey incident, I've been watching Alex's behaviour in the house with increasing alarm. Her self-righteous (and totally illogical) anger over the wedding task culminated in her standing up and voicing an objection during what was actually quite a funny and nice moment in the tense atmosphere that had developed. The slightly mean cheering from the others when they were told that the Fabulous Four were up for eviction did, at least, lead to a decrease in tension in the house. Unfortunately, Alex, despite having her suspicions proved, was no happier, which lead her to mutter nastily about Rebecca's cooking skills at dinner whilst sitting directly opposite Rebecca, with it coming to a head at the house meeting. What, from anyone else, might have been a reasonable suggestion (those who couldn't cook, letting those who could, take over at mealtimes, as there isn't enough food to allow mistakes) turned into a fully-fledged rant from Alex, who seemed unwilling or unable to accept Rebecca's apology, and also seemed unable to take any suggestion that she may have been unreasonable in refusing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. This was a big mistake on Alex's part; the expressions of her fellow housemates and Rachel getting upset when she tried to intervene to defend Rebecca's innocent intentions meant that she was slowly alienating every housemate. Alex even managed to get into a row with Rex, who had been very much in the background up until then, where he showed the steeliness which may take him through to the end; he wasn't having any of her silly behaviour.
The incident which lead to Alex's rebuke from BB (a surprise for me, if you read my previous BB post) was Rachel crying in the Diary Room about Alex's behaviour, which seemed pretty genuine, although stating that you 'hate conflict' suggests you haven't been watching past shows that carefully. The Diary Room session where BB informed Alex that bullying would not be tolerated in the house was revealing, because she talked about receiving 'tough love' from her mother, and considered herself tougher than the other housemates as a result. However, we didn't see much of that toughness when she left the Diary Room, as she went directly to bed and hid under the bedclothes. This childishness erupted yet again when Rex decided to annoy her by poking her where it's been proved to hurt; her possessions. After yet another outburst, Alex stomped to the Diary Room to protest. This was where the female BB showed just how good she really is at assessing housemates' personalities, as she got to the real nub of the problem by asking "How does it make you feel when Rex takes your things?". It's tempting to simply write the sobbing of Alex off as a pure tantrum, but this question led Alex to reveal her outlook on life. Alex explained that everything she owns has been earnt by her for her and her daughter, so we can conclude that when someone takes something of hers, it feels like a personal attack on her efforts to provide for herself and her child, which goes some way to explaining the ferociousness of her reaction.
Ferociousness is probably the word we focus on, as it's not just severe annoyance that Alex suffers when she feels threatened in some way, it's raw, intimidating anger, which makes it very worrying. Why is Alex so angry? She's attempted to justify her judgements of others ("Remember I told you!" being something of a catchphrase of hers) by stating that she experienced the same from her father. So what have we learnt about Alex's upbringing? What with her father's hectoring, judgemental behaviour, and her mother's 'tough love' (which is so often a justification for outright emotional abuse), it really shouldn't be surprising that Alex is like she is. We can but speculate about what happened when Alex got pregnant at 14, but there is a strong suggestion that she didn't get the support she needed from her parents, and it's often that we tend to end up sounding like them; after all, Alex has learnt to tell people that they're 'not ready' from somewhere. Jenny, the other young mother in the house, is the result of a happy, supportive childhood, judging from her own comments, and is very different to Alex, as she knows how to deal with arguments, as the free and frank exchange of views she had with Darnell showed. There's no way Alex would have been able to start over her relationship with Darnell, as Jenny agreed to, as she's a text book example of someone who holds grudges, which makes her a very tough person to get on with. Poor Alex.
However, all is not lost for her. BB responded to Alex's demands that Rex be stopped from taking her things by suggesting that she calmly explain to Rex that taking her things makes her angry, and that she would really appreciate if he didn't do that. Alex actually took the advice (a real breakthrough, as she was telling Steph at one point that she could give her opinion, but she couldn't tell her anything), and came to a calm agreement with Rex that he wouldn't touch her things. It's telling that BB chose to have Davina announce the eviction in the studio to avoid Alex hearing the 'Get Alex Out' chants, as it would have been the last thing she needed to hear at that point. I really hope Alex learns that there's more than one way to relate to people, and that she gets some councelling for the cruel way in which she was brought up, as her, her daughter, and the rest of the housemates deserve a better Alex. There are signs that she exists.