Trauma TV

I get in the passenger seat and I sit wondering how it is that the whole thing doesn’t just untether itself and fall apart, crashing, a mess of wrong people and wrong times. I walk around and feel amazed that other people are also walking, not falling or being kicked or jumping in front of cars. The world seems so implausible, so fragile and why is it we can walk around or get in our car and feel as though the normality is that we survive it all.

I was deeply unsettled by This is England ’86 last night. I wanted to watch it because I loved the film and the last two episodes were superb, apart from the montage at the end. There seems to be a big following on facebook and I imagine it’s got very high ratings. I watched it with my hand over my mouth and wouldn’t speak to my husband afterwards. I got into bed and took my sleeping pill and read some of Doris Lessing’s Mara and Dann and steeled myself, then I curled up tight and went to sleep. I’m still too upset to talk about it with my husband, because I never wanted to have to talk about it again, and I won’t. So why am I writing to you, dear blog? Because I don’t have to look anyone in the eye or feel ashamed, because there’s distance and I am in control.

If you watched it, I imagine you were shocked, upset, and if you weren’t you have got problems. How can anyone justify putting something that awful out there, as fiction, as telly, when it was so disturbing? I suppose it’s acting out something which is real and horrifying, making people reflect on it, on abuses and making people aware. Did it go too far? I don’t know, I would like to know what other people thought. I imagine a lot of people would think it ridiculous to get upset about something on the telly, because it’s just telly. Even if nothing else, the acting was about as good as it gets, it was so realistic. It was gratuitous. What was Shane Meadows trying to achieve? I wonder if ratings will soar or plummet. I felt as though putting it out there so unashamedly was a good thing for victims, for public awareness. I also didn’t feel right about watching it, and afterwards I felt ashamed of my body and things came back to me so hard I had to separate myself from it by going through my bedtime routine like I did when I was little, trying to breathe right and focus. I did some EFT, emotional freedom technique, which I use every day to get through anxiety. I took my pills and lay down feeling so grateful and so lucky to be alive, to be human, to be strong, and to have such a wonderful, loving husband. I was grateful for my two children, I was amazed that my life could be so safe, so untroubled. I held on to those things. I held onto my book, only half reading, just scanning, just trying to find a hook, a line that would take me somewhere else.

Today the sun is out and I have the house to myself in complete quiet. I’ve had my injection and I’m going to make a hot cup of coffee and write about things I can deal with. I’ve set in some boundaries today, and I’m trying not to feel so fragile, that the world is unbearably chaotic and I can’t catch my breath. The fact is I am surviving, and for today at least, I don’t need to worry about anything falling apart.

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