I was prompted to write while perusing news articles today. Man oh man is it depressing to read the headlines alone! I have asked why news has to be so violent, traumatic and tragic as a blanket question my entire life. I’m not exaggerating. I think I’ve wondered this my entire life, or at least as long as I have had a high enough level of cognizance to wonder it. I used to ask my mom to turn off the news or just not to watch it at all, because I couldn’t handle hearing all the chaos being reported. I’ve always compartmentalized ideas, events, actions, people, and just about everything else. I couldn’t fit ‘the news’ in any of my acceptable spaces so it went into the unacceptable and intolerable bins. Yes, I lived a charmed and somewhat sheltered childhood. My rather naive brain could not have possibly made sense of it all in my accustomed way - which was to make sense of it all. This is probably pretty normal but what is a little odd is that I still do the same thing today as a 32 year old woman!
I suppose I’ve gotten more comfortable with some of it. The major headlines that include just an overview idea don’t completely revolt me or send horrible visuals and/or real fear through me. I certainly can decide whether or not to watch longer or read on based on those headlines. If I decide to read an article and it immediately exploits someone, delves into unnecessarily horrific details, or contains a tone that is unsettling, I stop reading. The problem comes when someone else, most often my husband, has chosen to watch something that I don’t like. I can hear the crap through closed door and the shows I recognize, I can’t even stand all the dramatic music and I get pretty moody and bossy about what can and can’t be played in our home when I’m home.
Again, I feel like I was born with this hyper sensitivity to violent or vulgar media, and as you can imagine it has really caused some frustration and embarrassment in the more recent years. I used to put myself to sleep in a theatre if a movie was overwhelming to me. Falling asleep anywhere on my own volition was a skill that served me well for years. I can’t do it as easily anymore but that might have to do with the absence of copious amounts of psychotropic drugs in my system. From about 18 – 28, I was pretty much sleepy and lethargic all the time so given the opportunity to check out, I chose sleep quite often. I think I also take after my dad; he fell asleep in the theatre (the real theatre) during The Phantom of the Opera which is like the loudest (in a good way) production ever! Honestly, it was just so much easier, and I still think nicer, than cutting the movie short for me and whoever I’d gone to the theatre with. So now that I don’t have such an easy switch to sleep capability, I don’t have another solution – yet.
I’ve tried a few things to no avail. I’ve tried to close myself in the bedroom and play music while I read. This usually ends in my temper flaring up because now I’ve cut myself off from socializing and from the kitchen J. So that’s out. I’ve tried to actually watch the shows. Total disaster has ensued every time. I have zero ability to control my extreme and emotional reaction to these shows – yet. I’ve prayed and prayed for acceptance of both my limitations and other peoples’ tastes that I can leave if I’m bother WITHOUT acting the victim. I need to pray more cause this hasn’t worked. I’ve tried mandating that only the shows I approve of be played when I’m home. This is actually where we’re at now because it’s kept the peace. So far my husband has proved much more flexible than I, and yet I still react when suggestions for ‘the other’ shows are made. Oh well, here’s room for growth. Maybe some therapy is in order. Maybe more creative outlets are options for me. I don’t know what but more will be revealed.