I can’t do it…avoidance has kicked in.
I will NOT go and see the new ‘Beauty and the Beast’ film. There, I said it.
You may wonder why this is important, or even interesting, in the context of a blog geared around mental health and PTSD recovery…but those issues are exactly why I’ll be giving the new Beauty and the Beast film a miss.
I don’t have a personal vendetta against Disney…I like Disney, but the Disney films I like are the new ones with the new stories…ones that basically have nothing at all to do with my childhood.
I don’t want to be reminded of my childhood, and that is precisely why I won’t be purchasing over-priced popcorn and settling down in the cinema for a “trying not to cry in public” Disney film viewing cry-fest.
I know that’s what it’d end up being like…so as much as I’m told it’s a brilliant film- having my complex-PTSD triggered just isn’t my idea of light entertainment.
Older blog readers will be fully familiar with my past, but newer visitors to this blog won’t know the ins and outs of everything that together made up the trauma layer of the life-shit sandwich. I try not to write about it at length these days on summerSHINES as this is about post-traumatic growth, and I have begun writing my memoir which is where I’ll deal with those horrors in minute detail. Suffice to say my childhood was evil, and I don’t use that word lightly. It really was.
The main characters in my story were lovely people on the surface, but that concealed the evil and darkness that came and went like sunshine on a British bank holiday Monday. The evil was unpredictable evil. The loveliness was the antidote to the evil. I loved the loveliness.
I favoured the beauty over the beast. Why wouldn’t I.
Evil people are not usually evil all the time. They conceal their evil by essentially pretending to be really nice people to most people they meet. They reserve their evil behaviours to unleash on select people at unpredictably selected times which are carefully planned.
My parents were both beauty and the beast. They embodied both character extremes. There was beauty that made you want to weep with joy; highs, exhilarating highs. Heady time capsules of pure magic…..charisma, likeability, humour, wit, quirkiness, cuddles, compliments, treats, loving attention.
Then there was the beast….confusingly co-existing within the same people.
Fairy-tale stories can hurt people with complex-PTSD backgrounds. They can hurt people who were parented by narcissists. They can hurt people who were physically intimidated by their parents as children. They can hurt those who were sexually abused or raped…the ultimate sin or taboo within a family……
daddies who have sex with their daughters
mummies who have sex with their daughters
mummies who have sex with their sons
daddies who have sex with their sons
Both sexes are capable of sexual abuse. It is not only men abusing girls.
I have met guys who were sexually abused by their dads and hear from them how impossibly difficult this is to heal from.
All kinds of people abuse. Both sexes. It also doesn’t matter either if you’re heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian. As I said, all kinds abuse…..middle class, upper class, working class parents. All kinds abuse.
All racial orientations. All religions. All education levels. All occupational status levels.
When it comes to childhood abuse, all children are potentially at risk and all types of people can become perpetrators.
There is no cookie cutter template for a child abuser. Stereotypes do nothing to protect people who are abused by ‘the non-standard person’. There is no standard. And all abusers are both beauty and the beast. The beauty allows them to abuse without suspicion. No-one would believe you if you told.
Sometimes the parents who show their beast sides to us during overwhelmingly scary moments can be the ones who minutes later are showing their beauty to you.
Imagine how much of a head-fuck that is.
I believe while all abusers are split into both beauty and the beast, all children are beautiful.
….No matter what your physical characteristics…..eye colour, hair colour, muscular frame or build, athletic prowess, bodily grace, or the extent of the symmetry in your facial features, all children are beautiful. End of.
Children are beautiful in their innocence and purity. It is adults that smear muddy adult sized handprints all over that beauty.
Child abuse that involves bodily touch (physical or sexual) means you feel their hands over you for the rest of your life. I can still feel his touch even now.
Child abuse can also be mental, emotional, psychological, narcissistic. Parents can shame and scorn and put down and criticise and nit-pick and tease and harass and ignore and abandon. Parents can turn their face away and cease to care. You sometimes catch yourself wondering whether they actually ever did. That is not a beautiful way to treat a beautiful child. I cannot put into words how WRONG child abuse is, and how AWFUL it feels to be born into an abusive family, or encounter abuse from step-parents/other relatives.
No other crime is this insidious and felt as being ‘all about you’. Child abuse forms such a substantial part of the fabric of your whole psychological identity.
Shadows, drips, smears, tugs, tears, physical manipulations…. “I’ve got you right where I want you,” Daddy booms. Powerlessness. Helplessness. Fear. Pain. Grief. Meaningful looks of intent. Expression reading. Hypervigilance. Environmental scanning. Raised voices. Relief. Euphoria. Dread. Retreat and privately cry.
Before you know it, that beast crept out of my pants, and into my beautiful child head.
Am I still beautiful now as an adult?…now this was done to me.
Am I ruined for being a victim? or am I beautiful in my ability to survive and endure and not perish in the face of evil?
What am I? Beauty? Or the beauty that was ruined by the beast?
Does someone ruined as a child ever become fully beautiful?
What is he? (Daddy) “…If I do this for you….please say you love me,” summer says. Beauty or beast?
What is she? (Mummy) “…Don’t ignore me. Don’t do that shaming thing you do that wounds me more than any other human has ever wounded me,” summer says. Beauty or beast?
I can’t watch beauty and the beast. I can’t deal with hollywood extremes. I had enough extremes in my real-life past. I can’t deal with beautiful hollywood glossy imagery, when all I see is the beast and what he did to me.
This song breaks my heart..
It may sound innocuous and maybe even uplifting to you…but to me this sparks and stirs up more emotion that you could possibly imagine….this is as close as I’ll get to beauty and the beast…..sharing this song on my blog…but apart from this, anything Beauty and the Beast related, it’s avoid avoid avoid.