Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I do have an evening Netflix addiction which I need to deal with. I am trying to figure out which part of me takes over when I loose entirely too much time on stories that don't have anything to do with me. I do love a good story. I know something in me rests when I can pay attention to stories that I don't have any responsibility for. This is because most of my work day is spent listening to and supporting people in healing their usually traumatic stories. I truly love my work and feel it is a privilege, but sometimes need a break from it. So I guess Netflix is a break for me. The problem is that in Ayurvedic terms, most of what I watch is rajasic and over-stimulating or tamasic and dulls the senses and mind. Most of it is not sattvic or peaceful, except at the end when the bad guys get caught or the couple gets married.

I spent my traumatic childhood watching a lot of TV and getting lost in various stories. I believe it was a form of disassociation. After age 16 I didn't have another TV that I watched regularly for...well I still don't have one that I ever watch. (I was 16 a very long time ago.) But about 5 years ago my daughter introduced me to Netflix and I have gotten involved in all kinds of stories. They mostly involve abuse of power. Sometimes the characters get brought to justice and sometimes they do not.

The first story I got involved with was Law and Order SVU. This was very healing for me because back in the day when I was being abused in this special victims sort of way no one was doing anything about it. Not family, school or law enforcement. I also really like that the main character has her own story, so it was a survivor leading the way to deal with perpetrators. Her experiences of coming from victimization and being a victim herself enhanced her capacity to do her job with authority. In my field of psychotherapy being a survivor seems to diminish your authority in the eyes of colleagues as the profession still seems to be based on an antiquated patriarchal model of being neutral and/or perhaps above the patient or client. The years over which this story unfolded were healing. I think our best voice against power over violence  and for healing its aftermath may actually be happening on TV. But I still don't want to loose so much time...

I caught up with the last episode last night and it was a good example of the power of telling our stories. The young women who were witnesses told their stories bravely and bluntly and in its way it brought the bad guy down. If we all could be brave to keep telling our stories, all of us who have been or are victims of power-over abuse, perhaps this old, destructive patriarchal paradigm would change for good. I can dream...and energize the dream...and it may finally be realized!

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