Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gone, Baby, Gone brought some PPD OCD memories back

This weekend D and I watched the film Gone, Baby, Gone based on the Dennis Lehane book of the same name.  I cannot stress enough what an excellent film it is.  Two days later I am still thinking of its themes as I wash the dishes or straighten up around the house.  The only Lehane book I have read is Mystic River (saw the movie too), but after reading up on him and learning that Shutter Island (another awesome film) is one of his novels, I think I may have to read a lot more of his stuff.

I liked Gone, Baby, Gone's complexities, the fact that it didn't make a right or wrong statement necessarily but left the audience to wallow in the grey area.  About parenting.  About pedophilia.  About kidnapping.  About murder.  About what love really means and what love can tolerate.    

The part of the film in which Patrick Kenzie encounters a pedophile brought back my memories of some highly unpleasant intrusive thoughts that I first experienced when N was a baby and that still sometimes make a brief resurgence.  Fortunately, my medication, my past reading about PPD OCD and my therapy all help me manage these thoughts when they pop up now.

At one time, though, these thoughts were paralyzing because I thought having the thoughts meant I wanted to act on whatever I envisioned in the thoughts.  And the thoughts, let alone the idea of acting on them, were revolting, repulsive, horrifying.  I would feel full-blown panic set in whenever an intrusive thought would pass through my brain.  

Because of these thoughts (that were of a sexual nature and centered around my child(ren)), I couldn't help but wonder what pedophiles think and feel, and watching this movie brought that question back up.  Is my horrifying intrusive thought over which I have no control similar to what they think?  Are they horrified by an idea that pops in their heads but feel powerless not to act on it?  Or is the idea that pops in their head exciting to them?  Or is the idea not something that pops into their head as an accident or weird brain spasm but a desired idea that they created?  

And if the thought that pops into their head is horrifying to them but an overwhelming urge makes them act on it, is this mental illness or evil?  Or both?  And does this mean that in addition to feeling sickened by what they do to children, is it possible to also feel some compassion because their thoughts might be something beyond their control?

Like Patrick in the movie, the only answer I have is, "I don't know."

Even though I know that my intrusive thoughts were some of my worst fears flashing before my eyes, to this day I have to remind myself of this fact again and again.  Or I might begin to doubt again what kind of person I am.  


Kathy W said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy W said...

I know exactly what how you feel. I sometimes she movies or tv shows that remind me of how thoughts I used to suffer with but I am alot better now I'm thankful for that. Thanks for your blog and for making me feel not so alone.

Mrs. Haid said...

I am so pleased I've not seen this movie. I cannot handle topics like that since becoming a mom. I'm so sensitive about abuse and injustice as it affects kids. I threw up 15 minutes into Slum Dog Millionaire.

Its nice in recovery to be able to have self awareness about how you responded in a certain time in your life to a situation and balance what you wish you could have done with what you had to work with at the time.