How Voyager Got Me Through It All

GeekMom TV and Movies
voyager becca
Image By Rebecca Angel

The only time I stood up to my bullying stepfather was about Star Trek: The Next Generation. The show was on and I walked to the kitchen for ice cream. Returning, I went for the remote, but my stepfather took it first and changed the channel.

I told him that I was watching Star Trek. He replied something snarky like, “You snooze, you loose, kid.”

There were many ways this man held dominance over our lives, and being annoying about the TV was a small one. My usual response would have been to shrug and walk to my room to read a fantasy novel because I really hate fighting. But something snapped.

“I. WAS. WATCHING. STAR TREK!!!!” I screamed.

There was silence for a few seconds. My stepfather didn’t say a word, he just put the remote down and walked out of the room. I sobbed into my ice cream and watched the rest of my show alone.

Only a few short years later, I was a teen mother with a beautiful daughter. I had dropped out of college to take care of her, with my boyfriend going to school and working to take care of us. It being winter in Syracuse, New York, I was trapped in a tiny apartment with the baby. My (real) father came to visit and noticed we had no TV reception. With two different Star Trek series going on at the time, this was not acceptable. He started sending me video tapes with episodes of Deep Space Nine and Voyager.

Oh, how they got me through it.

Although DSN is great, Voyager captured my heart like nothing else. I wanted to be a crew member under Captain Janeway! She would know I was strong, capable, and intelligent—words that our culture does not tag onto teen mothers. The Doctor made me laugh. Chakotay made me swoon. The plots made me think.

Once the warm weather set in, our little family moved to Albany so my (now) husband could attend graduate school. We had TV reception. No matter what was happening in his lab, my man knew that Wednesday nights were Voyager nights. His job was to keep the kid (soon to be kids) out of the living room while mommy watched her show. If there was mint-chip ice cream brought home that day, happiness would increase. And sometimes, sometimes, the children would go to bed easily and I might even get a foot rub while watching my intrepid crew in space. Sci-fi fan heaven.

Being a parent is hard. Being a wife is hard. Being a young woman in this culture is really hard. Voyager showed me week after week that using your brain, working as a team, and caring for the people around you were the way to solve all problems. While lost in space trying to get home, no one on that ship cared what each other’s pasts were. They were only concerned about everyone doing their job to the best of their ability. I took that to heart.

As a child my role model was Sara Crew who taught me to have self-respect no matter how people treat you.

As an adult, I needed a new role model, and I found her in Captain Janeway. Thank you to the creators, writers, directors, actors, and everyone else involved in Voyager. You got me through it all.

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10 thoughts on “How Voyager Got Me Through It All

  1. You are my Role- Model- Mom. You are one of the most inspiring people in my life. And for the record, the other Mom who most inspires me, started as a Teen-Mom. You are both strong, capable, and intelligent. Voyage on Becca!

  2. I’ve never really watched Star Trek, but this caught my eye because a few years ago, I learned that one of our library trustees co-wrote some Voyager books. We’re just north of Syracuse, too 😉

    1. I’m re-watching them now with my son. I’m enjoying it just as much (and realizing that I didn’t see all the episodes in the beginning.)

      Yay, Syracuse!

  3. My affection for Trek things was seeded at home, but blossomed in Albany while I was a student (the first time) in the 90s. The basement apartment didn’t get the best reception, and out of frustration I tried connecting the cable to the TV to discover it was somehow live.

    I’ll never forget seeing Marina Sirtis walk past as I sat on the steps of my brownstone apartment. I was living in the Lark St area, on Lancaster – one block away from the Egg/Plaza where a SciFi convention was happening. It was a great place to be a bit nerdy, and now as a parent, I bet it is a fab place for kids. I live in the Woodstock/Kingston area now, but look forward to taking my girl north for some NYS museum fun at some point in the near future.

    Fascinating story, there must be many of us out there who bridge life experiences with the connections we make with series such as these. Thank you for sharing your eloquent story. I’m new to motherhood, and can say it is fab to discover this website!
    .

    1. Ah, I missed a chance to see Marina at last year’s ConnectiCon, but I hope I get another chance. I hear she’s a great speaker.

      Glad you found geekmom!

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