Big Giant Spoiler to last week’s Sons of Anarchy in this post. But I have got to talk about this, so please don’t yell at me if you haven’t watched it.
One of the things that changed, drastically, when I had Jackson, was my ability to watch violence towards and to kids. It started when I was pregnant, which is when we began watching Battlestar Gallactica. There’s a scene in the very beginning of the miniseries movie where one of the characters has an incident with an infant that made my heart catch in my throat as I thought about our coming baby.
That? Was nothing compared to what came after he was born.
To be fair, one of the big parts of my anxiety was/is thoughts of death, particularly of my loved ones. So that’s kind of a trigger for me, and something I try to avoid if possible. I’ve stayed away from certain books that are about murdered kids, I’ve stopped watching crime shows, heck I try to stay away from the news… it’s just not worth the chance. I’m able to deal with it if I’m somewhat prepared, but by and large my threshold for watching kids get hurt is at about a 2 on a scale of 100.
So when we watched the end of last week’s Son’s of Anarchy, and I saw the blood dripping down from a silent unmoving little boy–who, hey lookit that, looks shockingly close to my kid’s age–I literally burst into hysterical sobs. I hid my face in my hands and I sobbed, because holy hell that is my nightmare and my anxiety and my fear and I just can’t. CAN’T. And it’s not like it was something that I could shake off as “unlikely” in my life–gang violence, or a shootout in the streets, or anything else that might have happened because of life with gun & drug running bikers. No, this was a car crash. Which is not really out of the realm of reality here, where we spend hours and hours every week on the road. It was entirely too easy to put my kid into that scene.
Forget the warnings about nudity, where is my “Warning:Children are hurt during this show. Viewers who can’t handle that should maybe leave the room” warning?
Maybe it’s because it came after a day of reading headlines (not articles, I can’t read the articles anymore) about murdered kids, lost kids and other kids who died, but I just…that scene gutted me guys. It took me an HOUR to get to a point where I could try to sleep without visions of car wrecks in my head. I have watched more violence and gore on Sons of Anarchy in the last few months (we only started watching the series about a month or two ago, so it’s been pretty concentrated) than is probably advisable, but it took a “simple” car accident for this show to really shake me.
The odd thing is that LOGICALLY, my brain says, “DUDE, it’s just a TV SHOW. Chill out.” But logic clearly doesn’t have a place when this happens. Logic can’t always stop fear. It can’t always reverse emotion. And when it comes to those visceral, punch to the gut emotions about my kid? It has NO power in the moment. Maybe later, when I can talk my way through it. But in that moment, fear and anxiety and, in a weird way, grief, all take over any logic that might exist.
I don’t know how much of that is anxiety, or how much is motherhood. I don’t know if it will get better, or if this is now just a part of “things I can’t handle.” All I know is that part of me changed when Jackson joined our lives. And that part of me has a hard time with kids, real or fictional, who get hurt.
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