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How a Film Can Make Me Feel Wrecked

Discussion in 'Social' started by Rob T., Apr 4, 2007.

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  1. Rob T.

    Rob T. Active Member

    The following is just my relating an experience I had. Everything written in this post is just my opinion, so if you want to just reading here and ignore it, that is totally ok. No Harm. That is ok with me, really. no sweat.

    I have a theatre degree, and have done [pro theatre] acting. For all of the ways acting has screwed up my ablility to trust, I probably would rather have gotten a degree in singing. But, since it's been over 13 yrs. since I earned my degree, + I forgot the emotional and sometimes emotionally painful impact that art or [a harrowing film like "saving private ryan"] can have on someone.

    Recently, I had to go in to work for 2 hrs one day. I prepped for the day badly by sleeping too little + by eating breakfast too fast before driving to work.
    While getting ready for work, I saw a film that really blindsided me + hurt me. [well, that was my fault. The fictional film involved police brutally murdering criminal suspects, I could have turned it off when the film started to make me uneasy]. It was an anime, [meaning Japanese animation], film. I won't mention it's name, but avoid anime films where people wear black nazi-looking helmets and use WWII nazi guns.

    Anyhow, the film involed a government man who falls in love with a 17-year-old girl. The girl belongs to a crime group. In the end, the man's government agency tells him that she is a threat to the agency, and that he must kill her or [he will be killed himself if he does not kill her]. In the end, she is killed by the agency.
    There are probably many things about the end of the film that really upset me and probably slapped around my various issues and traumas. The film covered things in stories I despise: The murder of children, abusive cops or military, betrayal of your friend, killing of innocent people and the like. Yeah, my anger at my being attacked and knocked out by an ex-military man probably made a connection in my mind to the girl who was killed by the military-type man in the film. Also, I probably wanted [the strong fictional man] to save the girl who was sentenced to death, and was clinging to his chest, with her crying and seemingly pleading and for him to save her. But he doesn't save her, he caves in and lets his agency kill her.

    .......Yeah, this film probably probably mirrors my past in a way that is too close for my comfort: A military man betrays some girl who loves him and visciously attacks her. When I was about 8, I had my back to an ex-military man. He got pissed off at me or at anything, most likely because he was a guy who was [looked down on, since he liked living off of his wife, and staying home and being a lazy bum]. The piece of ____ probably attacked me and knocked me out because he wanted to fight someone and win. Yeah, a 25 year old military trained guy sneaks up behind a boy and beats that 8 year old boy unconscious. somehow, that isn't a fair fight. Yes, the film struck a nerve with me. In the film, the girl is sentenced to death and is killed in a quick and unexpected way that makes you step back and cover the horrifed expression on your face. Off topic, I know, this sh*t of a man that I know attacks me in a terrifying way. And in a painful way. He was the guy I admired the most at that time. He has probably wrecked my ability to trust, and my abilityto think that people over 16 can be trusted by me. or that adults can be safe.
    Not all films and fiction are just fake stories, I believe. The book, "Gone with the wind" is a fictional book about the hardships of the U.S. South in the civil war. But the stories of the southern people suffering in that makes the book almost real to some people. If you insult "gone with the wind" around some southerners, They will angrily look at you like you have spitted on The Bible or their mother. My conclusion about my seeing this film? I dont know.

    I guess if you have issues with violence, I strongly suggest that you be careful about what: action, war or violent films and shows you see. Also, even though You and I are of adult age, there are still films and fictions that can make you cry or make you feel completely miserable. I think I'll avoid anime films for awhile. That's not supposed to be a clever ending, I'm REALLY uncomfortable with anime right now. Oh well.

    Hope you're all having a Good Day,

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  3. Rob T.

    Rob T. Active Member

    I don't know. The film has left me feeling stunned and confused. Does what I've written about the film make sense?

    Good Day,

  4. Andre

    Andre Active Member

    Hello Rob. I know that film, you found a very sad one to watch before going into work. What you wrote makes a lot of sense. Since you seem to enjoy anime, but some parts can trigger you, I think you can still be alright to watch and enjoy it as long as you are careful with how you watch. It is not good to just avoid certain triggers but it is necessary to exert some control over how you expose yourself to them. While you are very sensitive to certain ones I would suggest that you be careful with what action movies you watch in general. Abuse of authority is a fairly frequent theme I think. Are you always upset seeing this sort of thing, quickly seeing its link to your past? Have you found any ways to help yourself brace for exposure when you knew ahead of time that it was going to happen? You might want to consider exposure therapy if you are not already doing that. Teach your body the distinction between past and present during those moments.
  5. batgirl

    batgirl I'm a VIP

    Personally I like violent anime, and I also like violent live action films, even though my trauma was violent. They don't trigger me, they're more cathartic than anything else. On the other hand, I can't watch films that are overly sentimental or emotional, that triggers me. So for example, if I had the choice between Apocalypse Now and Terms of Endearment, I would watch Apocalypse Now. Terms of Endearment would upset me very much.

    Anyways my point is I think it's very individual, what triggers a person. If you don't want to be triggered, I guess it's best to stay away from films that bother you. On the other hand, if you are trying to work through certain aspects of your trauma, watching something that's triggering, in small doses, can be helpful.
  6. Portabella

    Portabella Well-Known Member

    I agree with Batgirl. I can watch violence and it is almost a comfort, it lets me know that the world is unkind and I can deal with it. However, movies like "Something for Joey", "the champ", "Gorillas in the Mist" will upset me to no end and will ruin more than my day. I can get very very upset and cry my eyes swollen. So, yes we understand you, although coming from different traumas, we have different movies that trigger us. I have learned to stay clear of these movies, but occassionally I don't get a warning from family or friend and I goof and will turn them off if getting upset.
  7. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

    Yep, different triggers for different people. I can usually watch horror flicks and it doesn't phase me. Military movies (some very specific ones) are a huge trigger, Nightmare on Elm Street and anything involving an animal being hurt. Forget it, I'm a wreck.

    I have two movies in the house that are major triggers. I bought them so that I can work on being able to manage the anxiety.

    Basically, everything Evie and Portabella said. :biggrin:

  8. Rob T.

    Rob T. Active Member

    Hi Andre,
    Thanks for the advice on [exposure therapy]. It sounds like it might be helpful. I guess films, like any other product, I have to pick which ones that I find acceptable, ro to my taste. such as, I like house cats, but siamese cats aren't for me. go figure.
    Good Day, Rob
  9. Rob T.

    Rob T. Active Member

    Hi batgirl,
    Thank you for the reply to my post. I see what you mean about certain films or subjects being able to trigger me personally. Such as: I can watch the [shoot 'em up ] Michael Douglas film, Black Rain, all day long. However, I like the Jean Reno film, the professional. I probably won't see "the professional" a lot-since the bad things that happen to some of the heros can really make me tearful. I guess it's mostly my needing to be selective in the entertainment that I pick up.
    Thanks Very much, Rob
  10. Rob T.

    Rob T. Active Member

    Hi Portabella,

    Thank you for your reply. Hmm. I think a thing that really messed me up was that someone gave me an incorrect description of the film before I saw it. He said that the film's plot was: a swat cop meets a woman who is in a crime mob. He tries to save her + take her away from them. Nope. The film wasn't about that at all. groan. Oh well, I won't believe his film reviews again. But thanks for telling me about how certain films can really trigger some people sometimes. That's really helpful to me.

    Thank You, Rob
  11. Rob T.

    Rob T. Active Member

    Dear bevcan,
    Thanks for your reply to my post. Yeah, I think I know what you mean. Such as-The original 1970(s) film, halloween uses hidden monster(s) and chilling music to make me very, very scared. I jump at shadows after watching that. : ) . However, I tried to watch a remake of "the Texas Chainsaw Massacre". To me, the [remake film] was tossing people on the ground and shaking a volkswagen-size sword at them every 4 seconds. It was laugh out loud bad. Halloween can spook me, but the [remade horror film] is something I can laugh at and turn the DVD player off. I guess everyone makes there own choices in frightening or sad films. I think I can work with that. Thank you for your reply.
    Thank you, Rob
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