Does media (TV, music, movies) from your childhood trigger you?

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VividImagination

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I grew up in the 70s, and like so many of that generation the television was my babysitter. Although I do have some positive media memories (Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, the movie Grease) I have recently found some things that trigger me and I have no idea why. I saw some clips of Captain Kangaroo, Simon and the Land of Chalk Drawings, and Romper Room tonight and was nearly ill. I mean, I became seriously nauseated over some shows that I should have enjoyed.

My early childhood was very chaotic and violent, with a raging drunk/addicted psychopathic father and a BPD (later NPD) mother. My older sister was molested for years by my father (her stepfather) while my mother pretended she didn't know what was going on. My memory is a complete blank until after my mother's remarriage when I was in kindergarten. It makes me wonder what was happening while those shows were on in the background.
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all4peace

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Re: Does media (TV, music, movies) from your childhood trigger you?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 01:19:12 AM »
Oh, honey, I am so, so sorry. :bighug: That seems really disturbing and it makes me wonder with you.

I have not had these kinds of triggers but grew up without media in the household. I am triggered by having my mom physically near me. There is something "off" about my mom sexually, and I've told on here about her having to be involved in my baths for wayyyy too long, so certain physical situations involving her are very triggering for me.

I'm so terribly sorry that your mother was unable/unwilling to protect your sister, and that you may have also suffered under her neglect. It's a beautiful thing that your 3 kiddos have a mama bear who protects them no matter what.

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bozono

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Re: Does media (TV, music, movies) from your childhood trigger you?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 02:52:50 AM »
THE FLINTSTONES brings back some resentment because that was the show my Brother and I were watching when my Father suddenly ordered us to bed at 5:30 IN THE AFTERNOON. We were around 8 and 10 and our bedtime was usually 8:00. We were jumping up and down on our bed and yelling "It's too early", and Dad was standing there, LAUGHING AT US, as if he were getting back at us for something. For the next month we had to go to bed in the afternoon, and dad nastily told us "you'll have to work your way back up to 8:00.!" What had we done? My father had paranoid personality disorder and I really believe he took our imperfect sleep habits as an affront to him. He was just militant about it.

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GypsyArticulator

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Re: Does media (TV, music, movies) from your childhood trigger you?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 05:18:49 AM »
Sort of. Any show that was a major part of my parents routine makes me feel stuck in that age again. So bed time is the worst time for me.

Like the show Cheers. I like it a lot and it mostly doesn't bother me but I can't let it be on while I drift off to sleep because it will give me flashbacks to falling asleep in my parent's room. 

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lightworld

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Re: Does media (TV, music, movies) from your childhood trigger you?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2017, 10:27:32 AM »
Vivid I'm so sorry you had such a difficult and chaotic childhood. I wonder  if something in the shows that trigger you are reminding  you sub-consciously of specific events that may have been particularly upsetting.  Perhaps these have not surfaced yet and hopefully never will.

As a child I absolutely hated Sundays because it was a day we were all in the house together and it was full of drama and my father's bullying, so any show that was on TV on Sundays triggers me and even the people who were on the shows do it too.
LW
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Seven

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Re: Does media (TV, music, movies) from your childhood trigger you?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2017, 10:50:49 AM »
There are some movies i just CANNOT watch.  I dont know if they'd be considered a trigger (well maybe one that comes to mind).  The movie The Pursuit of Happyness.  Started watching it....couldn't finish it because i could just not fathom how a mother could just up and leave her kid.  To this day when i see it happen with people around me, it angers me.  Totally incredulous how a mother can up and leave her kid.

The other (the possible trigger) is the movie Enough with JLo.  Or i guess this would apply to any movie that revolves around spousal abuse.

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Does media (TV, music, movies) from your childhood trigger you?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2017, 03:43:56 PM »
There are some things, like old black and white movies, that give me kind of an uneasy feeling but I don't know why. There are 2 things that I specifically remember being upset by when I was a kid that still give me the willies. One was those yip yip alien guys on Sesame Street. I think that I was left alone to watch, became frightened, and then discovered that there were no adults around to console me. I think there are some unpleasant sub-conscious memories that happened while certain shows or songs played in the background and hearing that sound can trigger an uncomfortable feeling in us without triggering the whole memory - just my theory. I've wondered about this too.
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RapunzelNoMore

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Re: Does media (TV, music, movies) from your childhood trigger you?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2017, 04:33:07 PM »
Certain songs do it for sure. The ones that would get sung AT me, as if she could only truly communicate her "suffering" with that very song.
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Amadahy

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Re: Does media (TV, music, movies) from your childhood trigger you?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2017, 07:52:06 PM »
So sorry, VI.  It's amazing what kind of things are stored away. 

The movie Carrie (original version) triggers me because it *really, really* captures my mom in the portrayal of Carrie's mom - the uber religiosity, the shame, the covert sexual innuendo, the friggin' scary presence of the woman in relation to scared, timid Carrie (which portrays how I was).  It gave me the sickest feeling seeing it as a kid (which was too graphic for a kid, to boot). 

Believe it or not, a more recent show can trigger me, too -- Everybody Loves Raymond.  I just can't wholeheartedly laugh at Marie - too close to my world.

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VividImagination

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Re: Does media (TV, music, movies) from your childhood trigger you?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2017, 09:31:54 PM »
I can't stand Everybody Loves Raymond either. Marie was very nice compared to my NM, but I still found it very uncomfortable.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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VividImagination

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Re: Does media (TV, music, movies) from your childhood trigger you?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2017, 09:44:16 PM »
I asked my older sister (ten years older, so a valid observer) if she thinks I was sexually abused in any way. She said she didn't believe so, but anything was possible. My mother was very careful not to leave me alone with my father because he physically abused me from infancy on (threw me against a wall as a newborn, knocked my front teeth out as a toddler) but she was more than willing to leave my older sister with him quite often.

The discomfort from these shows could center around the constant domestic violence, my physical abuse, emotional abuse (it was severe) and possibly witnessing my sister's abuse. I'll never know, and to be honest, knowing what happened wouldn't help anything. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I would never want to live with the memories my sister has.
There are three solutions to every problem: accept it, change it, or leave it. If you cannot accept it, change it. I f you cannot change it, leave it.

Sometimes you're damned if you don't and damned if you do, so damn well do what's best for you.

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sandpiper

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Re: Does media (TV, music, movies) from your childhood trigger you?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2017, 01:32:27 AM »
VI that's awful, I'm so sorry you went through this.
When I was talking to my trauma counsellor about the sexual abuse that my sister said she witnessed in the orphanage (aged 4-6), but said that she herself hadn't been molested (don't believe it, she was such a stunningly beautiful & cuddly, needy, affectionate child that it beggars belief they would not have targeted her) - the T said to me that sometimes children who witnessed abuse were even more traumatised by it than the children being abused. That came down to a number of things, like wanting to protect the other child & being powerless to do so, and having to pretend it wasn't happening (the mind **** of it all, with adults unwilling to keep you safe) and with the knowledge that at any given time, you could be next.
She said that the waiting, for the abuse to start with you, and not being entirely sure if the abused child was safe - because you were aware of the terrible things - was a huge trauma for a child to overcome.
uBPDad tried to kill me & nearly managed to get away with it - how I'm here I don't know. the luck of the gods I guess. My cousin happened to stumble upon it and went and got help, and Dad managed to dismiss it as an accident and the stupid child's fault, of course.
My cousin has never recovered from that. He's turned into a full blown alcoholic-narcissist and has the emotional repertoire of a 10 year old boy. The T explained that one by saying that his parents probably screwed with his head by doing the 'That never happened, you have no cousins, it was a bad dream' thing so in a sense he got doubly screwed by his family not reflecting back reality to him & messing with his head & making him think he'd imagined it all.
When I had that sh*t turned around on me, that was what screwed with me even more than the actual memories.
So yeah.
Just don't feel that you got off lightly if you weren't sexually abused - you were part of the abuse that happened to your sister, a silent witness helpless to raise the alarm, and aware of the danger and able to feel conflicted about everything that was going on.
That's way too many monsters under the bed for a small child to process. Don't dismiss it. You were both victims of sexual abuse here, it's just been played out differently. And yeah, I'm with you - ignorance is bliss.
No more memory restoration for me, I hope.
 :bighug: :bighug: :bighug: