The Emotional Rollercoaster Of Benson And Stabler

The Emotional Rollercoaster Of Benson And Stabler

Law and Order: SVU first aired on September of 1999. It has been quite some time since that first episode first came out, but regardless of the years, the chemistry between Benson and Stabler – or should I say, the emotional rollercoaster of Benson and Stabler’s relationship, throughout the years their partnership has been one of the most solid relationship between two fictional characters; as well as the actors, that the entertainment industry has had. Allegedly, due to unspoken issues between the actor, Chris Meloni who plays detective Elliot Stabler, and the creator of the show, Dick Wolf, Meloni left the show after twelve seasons of giving life to this fictional character.

Recently, on April 1st, we got to see Elliot Stabler come back to reprise his role on the Law & Order franchise after ten long-awaited years.

benson and stabler

How Did I Get Here?

I have been a huge fan of this show ever since I was a teenager and along the way, I found myself engraved in the lives of these fictional characters. Sadly, growing up for me, was rough. I can’t quite describe my childhood because I have such little recollection of it. Having to witness my mother abuse alcohol and drugs was something that’s permantely marked in my brain for the rest of my life. Due to addiction and her untreated mental illnesses, I found myself in the middle of a long battle between physical and emotional abuse. Because of that, I always tended to turn to fictional characters and celebrities as a way to escape my reality; a coping mechanism if you may call it.

That specific coping mechanism has been living with me ever since. I’m in my mid-twenties now, and I still rely on this fictional and unrealistic universe to get myself throughout the day, to bring a smile to my face when I need it, to keep me grounded, to help me think that there was hope out there after all; even if the idea of that sentiment was based on what I saw on a TV screen.

Slowly, these characters started becoming part of my life. I made sure that my life was surrounded by theirs and what they were going through; it made me feel less alone and more validated. That pattern stopped for a while when I got into college, but after a few rough turns, I once again turned my way back into the unrealistic universe.

A Life Change ft Olivia Benson

Between 2013 and 2014 my mental health took a completely different turn than what I was already used to. I knew I had depression, but after a tragedy in my life in 2012, I just kept pushing my feelings deeper and deeper onto myself until I felt like I was trapped; trapped in my head, my own misery, and my unresolved childhood trauma.

Around December of 2014, I was in a dark place. A place that I have always heard about, but never quite took the journey to understand it. Those days started turning darker and more loud as the small voices in my head – my subconscious – started telling me that there was no way out; suicide was the only solution. I was determínate. I was tired of living in misery, in fear, being misunderstood and used by people I knew and those who were part of my bloodline history.

Things started changing when one of those miserable days I sat down to watch some TV.  For some reason, I landed on the USA network and to my surprise, there was a marathon of this show that I have never seen before. I was immediately drawn in as soon as I saw the leading female character: Olivia Benson.

Olivia bensonMy immediate thought was “where have you been all of my life?”. Shortly after I saw that first episode I immediately went to the internet to search up this woman, not even knowing who she was. It took me a minute, but I found her: Mariska Hargitay. She gave life to the amazing character that is Olivia Benson to this day.

A passionate woman, an amazing actress, an advocate for women’s rights, the founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation; a foundation dedicated to helping those who have gone through unbearable trauma like domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. That was it for me. I found hope once again. That day, without her even knowing me, she saved my life, and ever since I have been a devoted fan of not only her acting but her as a human being as well.

A New Journey Thanks To Fictional Characters

As I slowly started getting myself back into my old ways of watching TV shows and things that distracted me, I found myself engraved in the lives of these two NYPD detectives; Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler. I dedicated most of my free time to catch up on seasons 1 through season 12; which was the last season Elliot Stabler was last seen on the SVU precinct. That of course until now.


Here’s where the emotional rollercoaster of Benson and Stabler continues; April 1st came, I gathered up my favorite snacks, a bottle of wine, some tissues, and the company of my dog, because I knew I was not prepared for this encounter. After ten years, I was expecting to get my heart ripped out of my body, and that’s exactly what happened. Not only did I get my two favorite characters back together, but a lot of nostalgia, sadness, happiness, a sense of relief, anger, and grief, came over with that return. I knew what I was putting myself through. I knew the emotional rollercoaster Benson and Stabler were about to take me through and I still gave in.

the emotional rollercoaster of benson and stablerApart from them being my comfort characters, I basically grew up with them. I went through dark times and SVU was the only thing that got me through another light of day. I owe so much to these characters, and the actress that portrays Olivia Benson has also had a huge impact on my personal life, more of what I could’ve imagined.

What’s Next?

After watching the episodes and having some days to process the position that the writers had the characters portray, I came to terms that no matter how much time passes, how much life changes – or how much the show itself changes – we always come back to what we love. We come back to our safe space; we come back home where our hearts belong.

I know it’s going to take Benson and Stabler some time to work on their relationship. I know there are still so many unspoken words, mixed emotions, and a lot of pain in both parts. Him for leaving, and her for how he left and abandoned her without giving her the courtesy to find closure. They were partners for twelve years. Ten years went by and she never knew anything from him. Not a single call, not a letter, nor a happy birthday text; it was like if he had vanished from the earth; and so he did when he decided to go live in Rome with his wife, but yet, he made it clear that even so many miles apart, so many years without talking, so many unresolved issues; that didn’t stop him from thinking about her and how life would’ve been if only she was there with him; he never stopped loving her, and neither did she.

Now, I just need to wait and see how the story unfolds and what level of trust is Olivia Benson willing to give back to her former partner.

Nettles to say, the emotional rollercoaster of Benson and Stabler is only beginning, and may the best is yet to come.

If you would like to watch this story unfold can do so by signing up for a Hulu account. You’ll have a seven day free-trial – which is amazing, and depending on the plan you decide to get you can access endless hours of TV shows and movies. All 22 seasons of SVU are there along with Organized Crime. Sign up right now and don’t miss any upcoming episodes.  law and order

What did you think? Did you saw the episodes? What were your thoughts? Have you seen the show, or are you a current viewer? Let me know in the comment section down below.

18 thoughts on “The Emotional Rollercoaster Of Benson And Stabler”

  1. That is some story you are telling here. It is good to see that TV and in this case the Benson and Stabler rollercoaster, can bring joy to one’s lives. It did not need a psychiatrist to bring you back from the brink, so you practically solved your issues yourself. That could also mean that in reality, you are a very strong person.

    I personally have never seen this show, maybe it is not aired in Thailand where I live. But I have seen many episodes of Law and Order with other characters. Maybe you will find other TV shows and characters that will help you on your way.

    1. I didn’t completely solve my problems but they were indeed a huge part of my way towards regaining back my stability. There are so many great shows out there but these will always be my comfort characters.

  2. I only recently watched Law and Order again after many years while visiting family, and absolutely loved it. An emotional rollercoaster is a perfect way to describe the tumultuous relationship between Stadler and Benson.

    How great for you that you found hope again through following Olivia Benson and therefore Mariska Hargitay, and also the through the amazing work that is done by the Joyful Heart Foundation. 

    I am not familiar with Hulu, so will check them out to continue watching Law and Order. Is Hulu similar to Netflix?

    1. Truly an amazing show! Yes, Hulu is similar to Netflix, more cheaper tho and has a wide variety of old shows and well known shows. You should definitely give them a try. 

  3. Thank you so much for being open and so revealing about your journey.  I really do so hope that you find joy and peace.

    I had a wonderful upbringing but have messed up in later years and now have no one and nothing.  I feel that there is nothing left, but to wait to die and hope that that will be sooner rather than later.

    However, this post has given me some hope that even though I am as low as anyone can get in life, that there is hope.  I have just lost my partner of 7 years because of my foolish ways, but live in hope that one day we may be reunited, although I don’t think that that will ever be possible.

    I really want to watch this program to see if I get get some comfort from it too.

    1. I am so sorry to hear about that. If there’s something I could do, even if it is the minimal – encouraging words always help ease ones emotions at times – please don’t hesitate to react out. Look at everything that you have overcome, you can’t give up now. You got this!

  4. Hey there Stephanie,

    It’s really heartbreaking to hear about you abusive childhood but I am glad you found a happy place in the form of Law & Order especially these 2 fictional characters Benson & Stabler. And yes you are right, we always find ourselves going back to our happy place that makes us feel safe, happy and comfortable.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read this, for your words, and for wanting to get an update on these two. 

  5. Series, and actors who give life to their characters can be fundamental stones in people’s lives, that is what we get. The main actress of Law & Order seems to really bother about those who suffer violence, since we understand she started this organization, Joyful Heart Foundation, to help traumatized people, domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault victims included. That is a case in which character, and that who plays it become one, and it is then more likely that the public will get involved with the actors beyond screen. Congratulations to Mariska Hargitay for being a fearless woman/actress, since she doesn’t fear the possible impact of this confusion. Thanks to Stephanie for sharing this information with web users. 

    1. This was such a lovely thing to read! Thank you so much for taking the time and understanding the message, I hope you’re doing okay,

  6. Hi Stephanie
    Thanks for sharing your views on the Emotional Roller Coaster of Benson and Stabler. I am very sorry to hear about your story and learn that you have been through a tough time in your life. Kudos to you and your strength as you could manage some of the hard moments  through this TV series. Ultimately, you evolved as a stronger person and that made me happy. Hope you will enjoy the rest of your life with ease and happiness.

    Warm Regards,
    Gaurav Gaur

  7. Hi Stephanie. Very interesting article. Depression is very serious condition (unfortunately still to often underestimated) and every way to get better is worth trying. I must admit I was surprised reading your post, as   I couldn’t imagine that fictional character can be helpful, but I’m happy to hear it worked for you. This is very interesting concept, and as it obviously won’t replace doctor or medicines it may be great add on to therapy. I didn’t watched before Law and Order series, but definitely will to see this amazing character 😊

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and your understanding of this concept. Really recommend watching the show; it’s amazing and really well-made/developed. 

  8. Good day, I’m pleased to meet you. I am very happy to have read this important and interesting information you provided. Well, it’s somewhat touching to know the battle you got into, of emotional and physical abuse of your childhood due to your mother’s alcohol abuse and mental illness. But, it’s inspiring and motivating how you finally found an escape plan from all those.

  9. Mariska Hargitay is the daughter of actress Jayne Mansfield and actor and Mr. Universe Mickey Hargitay.

    In June 1967, she and her two brothers (Zoltan and Mickey Jr.) witnessed the terrible accident in which their mother died. They were all in the same vehicle. The car collided with a truck. The three adults in the front seats died, while the three children in the back survived.

  10. I’ve been hearing a lot about this ‘Law & Order’ tv series, but to be quite frank, have only viewed it in bits and pieces. I have watched a couple episodes of this show. The two detectives, Benson and Stabler work well together, producing quality performances on ‘Law & Order.’ They’re not many good police shows that has the ‘staying power’ of ‘Law & Oder’ and the many fans it has accumulated. 

    1. I can surely agree on that. This show has had such a great impact on its viewers and the relationship they uphold with these characters. Great tv show and an amazing supporting group of actors. 22 years and still going strong; truly admirable. 

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