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The way your child-self associated your abusers with movie villains

Roland

MyPTSD Pro
I just watched All Dogs Go To Heaven for the first time since childhood. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a very strange cartoon movie. I probably couldn’t even explain it that well. But anyways, I’m a CSA survivor, my dad was my abuser, and he also abused me in other ways (verbal, psychological, somewhat physical). As a child, I couldn’t process this correctly, so I didn’t know it was abuse until I was 16 years old, so I just assumed it was normal and I deeply repressed a lot of things. I grew up fairly isolated on a rural farm, so I didn’t see or realize other kids weren’t experiencing what I was. But, your brain finds a way to process things anyways. One of my favorite movies was All Dogs Go To Heaven, and I just realized the way my child-self saw the main dog character, Charlie, as my brother, and me as Itchy, his best friend. The two dogs basically survive together like my brother and I, they dodge the villain’s bullets, run from danger, live together, and look out for one another. Itchy is also very anxious like me, and Charlie is a strong, confident leader like my brother. This is nothing in comparison to the other way I saw myself in this movie. There’s a little orphan girl named Anne-Marie that talks to animals and the villain of the movie, Carface holds her hostage and makes her talk to animals so he can figure out who will win animal races and place bets and make him money. She wants to go outside and he tells her she can after talking to a rat but then doesn’t let her outside. He’s clearly exploitative of her and kinda disgusting of a character, but my child-self saw me as the girl and my dad as him and even as a child, saw the exploitation shown in the movie as the pedophilia I experienced from my dad. When I say I saw it like that, I mean I would watch it and strongly relate to the girl and feel her position of being exploited as the sexual abuse I experienced. But funny enough, Charlie rescues her so he can exploit her instead, but he’s “nice” and a “good guy” and wants to keep her happy so he buys her clothes with the winnings, feeds the poor, and promises to help her find parents. But he does all this so she can make him money. So my child-self continued to see Charlie as my brother, and me as either Itchy or Anne-Marie, or both. Also Charlie saved Anne-Marie from Carface, and I felt like my brother did that in some ways. Anne-Marie is an orphan, often portrayed as lonely, sad, etc, and I related to that even though I had parents. She met a couple that she wanted to be her parents that were the perfect couple, as in beautiful, affectionate towards another (not like my parents) and I felt her ache to have parents like that.

Another few examples, is Shrek, he’s disgusting, isolationist, and he has a few times when he is angry or cranky, and I saw him as my dad in some scenes.

I LOVED Monster’s Inc as a kid. To me, I was either Mike Wazowski or Boo. But the Sully character wasn’t anyone in my life- just someone I needed. Randall, the monster that scares Boo and is the antagonist to the main characters was like my brother to me. Then the whole concept of there being monsters in your closet that scare you but they may be friendly, appealed to me, because I was very much a “there’s monsters in my closet” kind of kid. I had an imaginary friend that was a monster in my closet (I had forgotten until now lol). But he wasn’t scary to me, he was like a friend.

Also, I watched the movies over and over in childhood. So like I really embedded myself into these characters and scenes.

Anyways, I think it’s interesting how the inner world of a child is. I didn’t consciously realize I would use movies to process my trauma. Has anyone else deeply attached and related to certain movies?
 
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tv was not often available in my own childhood conditioning, but i got lost in books with the most desperate of ease. when i imagined simon legree while i was reading the book, "uncle tom's cabin," he looked just like my daddy. ditto for pap in huck finn's adventures. my heavily traumatized older brother liked it when i nicknamed him, "artful dodger." in later therapy sessions this was called, "personification" and regarded as a good thing when taken with huge doses of mindful awareness.

no doubt about the intriguing mysteries of a child's mind, especially when that childish creativity is being iced with ongoing trauma.
 
tv was not often available in my own childhood conditioning, but i got lost in books with the most desperate of ease. when i imagined simon legree while i was reading the book, "uncle tom's cabin," he looked just like my daddy. ditto for pap in huck finn's adventures. my heavily traumatized older brother liked it when i nicknamed him, "artful dodger." in later therapy sessions this was called, "personification" and regarded as a good thing when taken with huge doses of mindful awareness.

no doubt about the intriguing mysteries of a child's mind, especially when that childish creativity is being iced with ongoing trauma.
It’s probably a really effective coping mechanism, it’s easier to understand a character than yourself. Often villains have their reasoning displayed or directly explained unlike real-life villains.
 
it’s easier to understand a character than yourself.
i hold this as the functional heart of the detachment principle. for my own psycho nickel, the word, "character" is equally functional when i substitute, "sib-in-healing." a support group peer is far easier to understand than the mother that sister-in-healing reminds me of.

in my own herstory, storybook villains recognize themselves as villains far more often than their real time counterparts. my own daddy died thinking he was a misunderstood genius, and a charming one, at that. huck finn's pap KNEW he was a falling down drunk, ranting at puppets in his head.
 
i hold this as the functional heart of the detachment principle. for my own psycho nickel, the word, "character" is equally functional when i substitute, "sib-in-healing." a support group peer is far easier to understand than the mother that sister-in-healing reminds me of.

in my own herstory, storybook villains recognize themselves as villains far more often than their real time counterparts. my own daddy died thinking he was a misunderstood genius, and a charming one, at that. huck finn's pap KNEW he was a falling down drunk, ranting at puppets in his head.
Exactlyyy
 
I happen to adore All Dogs Go To Heaven & Monster’s Inc., too.

No childhood trauma, here.

Finding things that speak to you? Priceless.
 
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