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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sometimes it's okay to be happy.

Tabitha frequently wants to watch feel-good, everything ends happily, family-friendly, trite, poorly written, stupid movies. And I let her. Not only that, I watch them with her. And they're horrible.

But here's the thing--movies filled with violence, sexual content, foul language, and poor role models are the norm, and they rival what Tabitha sees and hears daily at school. And I'm okay if she wants to retreat sometimes and feel safe in fantasy for a couple of hours.

Adam whines that the movies are dumb; Darrin groans that he hates a particular actor or actress; DJ snorts at Tabitha's taste in movies...and then they all join her in the family room to watch the movie. Interestingly, when it's over, no one raves about how good the movie was, nor do they want to watch it twice. But they also don't make fun or become upset because the movie wasn't funny, or exciting, or titillating, or erotic enough. They just say something about it being an okay movie. I think they get tired of all the violence, sex, and language, too, sometimes.

Recently, I had the opportunity to choose a movie to watch with a friend. He had a few collections of comedy series--which I like and think are funny. He had a few movies which I had seen, and some I had not. But I chose to watch Nanny McPhee. He didn't sneer at my choice or laugh at me, but sat beside me and told me why he loves the movie, too. And I enjoyed watching the movie again with someone I love, without worrying that I might encounter scenes which could be uncomfortable or distasteful (although, in that particular company, those things wouldn't really have bothered me). This was important because at the time I was struggling to control PTSD and all it's lovely accompaniments, and I am often triggered by things I see or hear.

I suppose many people, myself included, have a tiny bit of Tabitha in them--a need to be safe even when doing something as simple as watching a movie, or perhaps a need to believe, just for a couple of hours, that life has happily-ever-after endings occasionally, and it's okay to enjoy and feel good about that.

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