I stopped watching TV ages ago; I think it was as far back as 2010, I can never be sure. I stopped watching it as it did something to me, I wasn’t sure what and I couldn’t define it but I knew that TV made me mental. I covered it up for ages by saying the noise bothered me; this sounded “normally abnormal” and fitted with the experiences of other mentalists. Those involved in my ‘care’ at the time accepted this and understood.
When I was confident that my suspicions I had DID were correct and I decided to share my findings with my ‘care team’ one of the things I mentioned was television- I revealed to them that I had stopped watching television as it made me switch, TV was very triggering. Those involved in my ‘care’ at the time didn’t accept this and didn’t understand.
I used to love TV, all sorts of TV and I loved films, all sorts of films. In the time I have avoided the TV I have occasionally watched a film but anything I watched had to be something I’d seen before, was familiar with and therefore could identify any potential triggers. I had to have enough knowledge of a film to ensure I was watching it with the correct eyes- or at least not the wrong eyes.
For the past two years or so I have repeatedly watched Mulan, Heathers, The Breakfast Club, In The Loop, Spiderman, Monsters Inc. and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Whilst all of these are fantastic films, it does get a bit boring and I think I sometimes miss TV, watching TV is such a normal thing to do, it’s easy, entertaining and informative. Mostly I’d like to be able to watch TV as I feel inept that the TV still fills me with fear, I feel like I’m failing in some way.
I did once watch something I had never seen before- Disney’s Up and I’m still haunted by it. I don’t know why and I daresay it’ll all come out one day but that film was a horrific ordeal and now any reference to it- be it a picture or whatever is triggering, it is to my great sadness that my previous love of balloons has been replaced by fear as they now remind me of that film. I was retraumatised by Disney/Pixar, which sounds amusing and indeed would make a great t-shirt slogan but it was a further knock to my confidence that I’d ever obtain anything resembling stability.
Just over a week ago I decided once again to try and challenge my fear of TV and settled down to watch Curious George- a cartoon about a monkey, I love monkeys. I’m not sure what it was about and I’m not entirely sure what happened but I suspect that the episode of Curious George was not unconnected to the awful body memories and flashbacks I went on to experience a couple of days later. I don’t know what all of my triggers are, I can’t imagine I ever will but I have a vague idea of some of them. Some are obvious and probably common, some appear ridiculous (Party Ring biscuits) and some make no sense at all. One of my triggers is umbrellas; there were umbrellas in that episode of Curious George. So you see it makes perfect sense- if you’re mental.
So once again, I was avoiding the TV. TV is far too unpredictable when your summary of yourselves is “triggered by everything” it’s far too dangerous when you just don’t know what might come up and how it may affect you.
Last night I decided that it might be nice for the 7 year-old to have a movie night. I had ‘purchased’ the live-action Horrid Henry film from isohunt and we had obtained the necessary supplies from the Spar- popcorn, chocolate and crisps. I despise Horrid Henry; the animated series on TV is rubbish as are the books. I consider myself something of an expert on children’s fiction and children’s TV, the popularity of Horrid Henry confounds me to this day. I’ll spare you my critical analysis but suffice to say I find the stories of a child with some sort of oppositional defiant disorder with parents who display inconsistent parenting styles from one incident to the next, very dull indeed. I had therefore decided that the Horrid Henry movie was likely to do nothing more dangerous than bore me to death and add fuel to my hatred for Francesca Simon.
I was wrong.
I don’t really remember watching Horrid Henry- always a bad sign, but from the tweets I made during the film I can tell that several pairs of eyes watched it and it ultimately was a confusing ordeal. Not as traumatic as Up *shudders* but not something I’m keen to repeat.
I can, thanks to my virtual paper trail point to some things that made Horrid Henry quite so difficult- one being mixed cultural references, I have the same problem with Stuart Little (I have many problems with Stuart Little as I detailed here). The Horrid Henry film had outfits from times I couldn’t identify but they were anything from 1950- current day. Henry has an iPod shuffle- my poor little brain just could not compute.
Well-known faces in the film, whilst no doubt good for the box-office were also confusing for me- not least as I wonder what on earth Richard E. Grant was thinking being involved in such a pile of dross. Gavin from Gavin and Stacey was in Horrid Henry but he wasn’t Gavin. I think Jo Brand was in there too but I can’t be sure. I know Noel fielding was in the film as I tweeted about it and promptly lost my mind.
Last night I vowed never to watch a film again- ever.
I feel depressed today that something so fundamental still evades me and I feel hard done by that DID feels the need to constantly remind you of its pervasiveness and sneak into every corner of your life. I daresay that eventually, as therapy progresses I’ll gather the knowledge I need to be able to watch TV and films again, but I can’t help feeling angry that something that should be easy, even enjoyable is like planning a military operation.
As Horrid Henry would say IT’S JUST NOT FAIR!