Empowerment Series: Dominican Venezuelan Actress, Isadora Ortega Shares “Another Love Story,” Abusive Relationships and Mental Health
One of the things, I most enjoy about doing this podcast, writing, and interviewing is how much I learn in the process. Having the ability to share lessons continues to be a gift that fills me with gratitude.
AW does not shy away from the strong subject matter. We believe difficult conversations that shed light on serious topics are essential. One of the best ways to help one another is to openly talk about the hard stuff, too.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that on a normal day, over 20,000 telephone calls from all over the US come through to the domestic violence hotline. More than 10,000,00 women and men are abused by an intimate partner in a single year. We can’t keep ignoring the numbers, this is a huge issue for society.
This was a difficult dialogue due to its serious nature but necessary.
In the film, Another Love Story, the character, Miriam, (played by Isadora Ortega) suffers domestic abuse at the hands of her partner, Marc. The man walks into her life, as a knight and shining armor until he becomes a monster. During our conversation, we covered emotional and physical abuse, mental health, toxicity, and red flags in relationships. The talented Latina also shares the personal experience that inspired her to do the movie.
The Dominican Venezuelan Actress does not shy away from speaking her truth, as she shared her thoughts on what it means to be part of this film. The Executive Producer takes us on the journey of Miriam Ramos. A woman who falls in love with a man that is successful, charming, passionate, and extremely generous. The outpouring of love from the perfect partner is what most girls would dream of until she sees his dark side.
Another Love Story is an award-winning film that has won accolades for Best Director, Brandon Morson, and Best Actress, Isadora Ortega at the 2021 New York International Film Awards. The title was also selected as Best Feature Film at the 2022 Gold Movie Awards.
AW had the opportunity to sit with Isadora for a powerful conversation to bring awareness to the troubling reality.
Another Love Story deals with a tough topic. We see, how its lead character, Miriam, falls head over heels for Marc. He seems like the perfect man until he shows a dark side. His anger turns to rage, triggering repeated episodes of emotional and physical abuse. This is a powerful story. I believe abuse happens more often than we realize. Why was it important to tell this story? The story is based on true events. My childhood best friend was killed 5-6 years ago. Many pieces of the film resemble her story, it was important to bring light to it. Sadly, he took her life and then his own.
When it happened, I began to research and realized how big of a social issue this is but not getting enough attention. In public, the perfect couple then behind closed doors total chaos. I have family members that reached out to say, “This happened to me.” We see these situations and assume the person can leave at any time. It isn’t always that simple because there is a lot of manipulation and mental abuse. People can experience feelings of unworthiness. If they leave, no one else will love them, and there is also, shame behind the ordeal.
I wanted to highlight the problem, as well as, let people know, you can escape domestic abuse and live your life. The moment a decision is made to leave, you are in real danger. Many agencies have resources available to help those that need them.
Possessive, controlling, suggesting immediate introduction to friends and family circle, the overwhelming outpouring of love, alienation from your support network, and lavish gifts that all take place in a short span of time. In my opinion, these can be red flags but we don’t always see things for what they are, instead, we prefer to see what we want. Any other warning signs we should look for in an abuser? We did a screening, where I was approached about what took place with our male lead’s character. Audience members connected with the red flags, and the story was familiar. Marc’s character infiltrated himself so deep into her life that no one else mattered, he became the center of her universe. Abuse happens in our circle, so it’s important to see the signs.
Would you agree that Marc’s character used sex as a weapon of passion, as a tool for control. Sex is one the most powerful drugs there is! Feelings are involved, chemistry is there which can blur the lines for anyone not clear on who they are and what they deserve. “I hit you then we have sex. I speak to you like trash then we have sex.” It may feel like sex can alleviate anything which covers things up. But ask yourself, “Would someone that truly loves hurt you?”
I worked with a Private Investigator who works with people that have experienced abuse.
Possible red flags to look for in a toxic relationship would include:
- If the romantic partner is trying to block your social media.
- Create chaos that keeps you away from your friends and family. Alienating you for those that support you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
- Keeping you from having a means of transportation, so you don’t have the means to get around on your own.
- Speaking down to you. He tells may use phrases like “Who is going to love you more than me? You cannot do better than me.”
These all fall under domestic abuse, the physical aspect of the torment would be domestic violence and it happens mostly to women but men, too.
I can’t stress how critical it is to understand that survivors of this type of violence, suffer similar trauma as people who go to war because their brain is damaged in the same way. It has devastating consequences and police don’t want to get involved, unfortunately.
When you feel like you are not enough, it affects every aspect of your life. Do you believe this strongly ties into being a victim of abuse? This goes deeper than we realize. How we see ourselves, shapes our experiences. If I come out of a toxic relationship, my job is to find counsel, and speak to someone to find out the “Why?” Knowing yourself helps do things differently in the next relationship. I think we should all get some therapy, as human beings.
Did you learn anything after working on this project? Laws are not well structured when it comes to domestic abuse. In fact, they are flawed, old, and not sufficiently enforced to protect anyone. Even a restraining order does not have a lot of protection. Abusers don’t face real consequences. They receive a slap on the wrist and use a revolving door, to continue the abuse. In one of those instances, they are out, abusers kill their victims.
There is a hotline for victims but there should be much more help available. Realistically, it has become worse after the pandemic, victims became prisoners in their own homes.
In the final scene, Mimi’s friend says to her “This is not your fault.” What did she mean and why did she say it to the victim? An abuser, a narcissist, will convince their victim that anything they do or the shortcomings they have is their fault. If they cheat, hit you, or find any flaw in their character – it becomes your fault. You have to know it is not – it’s them.
We like to end interviews with advice, quote, or affirmation to help our readers. What advice do you have for women who may be in a similar predicament as Miriam? It could be you or me. This can happen to any one of us depending on our mental state. Nurture your spirit with positive, good energy to help you recognize that you are not deserving of harm.
When you know who you are and what you deserve you don’t allow anyone to hurt you. Men and women need to ask themselves about their mental health. If you see monsters everywhere, there are ways to find help. There is no shame in getting help. Life is hard, and asking for help is not something to be ashamed of. We all need a little help, sometimes.
You can find out more about Isadora by visiting Instagram @lablacklatina. The film, Another Love Story on iTunes, Amazon, Direct TV, Sling, Vudu, Google Play, and YouTube Films.
This interview has been condensed for clarity.*
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