Our subconscious mind responds to pictures, not words. It is therefore no wonder that movies can be very triggering to abuse survivors. My background in ritual abuse makes me very sensitive to certain images, symbols, music and even colours. Just last week I got very triggered by the new Terence Malick film, “Song to Song”. It was a woeful experience, long, indulgent and fragmented. But I stuck with it, regrettably. The film was shot with an anamorphic, fishbowl lens, which was very disorienting. It was set against the backdrop of the Nashville country and rock music scene, known for producing mind control puppets in the music industry (see Cathy O’Brien’s “TRANCE Formation of America“). There was lots of referencing to selling your soul to the devil (represented by a music producer in the Industry) and the film also featured a lot of sadomasochistic sex. The main bit that triggered my parts was the Satanic chanting music that fuelled a montage about 3/4 of the way through the film. I had to block my ears because it became way too much and that was when I knew that I had dissociated. It was so quick! I drove S home and I had the most pounding headache come on (a sign of switching) and by the time I got home, I was very little. I wrote something in my online diary and a little one will share it now, but please note definite ****TRIGGER WARNING****
August 8, 2017 – It was the worse when they chopped their heads off. What people don’t understand is to get that fame and lifestyle you have to murder people and hurt babies. Plus eat them and stuff so it isn’t everything you think it is. I only did it coz they made me do it. Sometimes I wish I had my head chopped off so I didn’t have to remember it.
Not nice. It took me over a day to come back to normal. Scary memory.
Other movies that have set me off in the past, include ‘Irreversible’ – horrid anal rape scene and a disgusting, disorienting movie all round. Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ because of the ritual scenes. ‘Changeling’ made me cry as it brought stuff up because of what they were doing to the kids. That was definitely SRA.
My parts also don’t like movies that feature babies, blood, hospitals, witches or bodily fluids. Kids movies are okay, but it is not super easy for my little ones to watch kids movies yet because there has been so much bad stuff go on in childhood, it is hard to see happy things. They know the truth about badness and movies are either scary or work to hide the truth. That’s what they think anyway.
My T said that I have to be very careful about what I see and that sometimes I just need to walk out of the movie or experience because otherwise it can be way too triggering. She is right and I think I need to ground myself before I see things and give myself the choice to leave if it seems like it could set me off.