A few years ago, I wrote a piece about triggering media that was based on a couple of series and a documentary that were deemed controversial or too triggering. They covered topics like suicide, eating disorders, and postpartum psychosis, all things I’ve experienced in my short forty-one years.
I knew all three of these would trigger me in some way – and they did, but I watched them anyway, regardless of how I may or may not feel during or after.
To me, they were important to watch.
After going through some of my own trauma for over two decades, I found these programs comforting on a level that I feel only those who have gone through these kinds of traumas can truly understand.
They were real and raw and expressed feelings and emotions that were consistent with my own at the time.
They reminded that I was not then, nor will I ever be, alone.
Well, here we are, a few short years later, and I’m once again taking off the blindfold to watch the ever anticipated Australian Netflix series, The Let Down.
I was excited about the show, especially since I knew Celeste Barber was in it, and do I ever love her.
However, what I didn’t expect, was how much I’d be triggered by this show.
At first, I thought since I had watched triggering material before, I’d be okay. But this is one series that was shut off after the first episode. In fact, it would take me close to a year to revisit and watch the series in it’s entirety.
And I did, eventually.
For me, The Let Down caused me more angst that the postpartum psychosis documentary did. It caused me more heartache than the show based on suicide. It caused me to back away more than the one based on eating disorders.
And let me be clear, all these programs stirred up something inside me like a cake mixer does to its ingredients, but I never shut them off. I went through each of them, remembering my own difficulties and feeling safe and understood.
But with The Let Down, I was triggered like I’ve never been triggered before.
The Let Down spills my every fear and secret. It depicts the real life struggles of a new mom. The breastfeeding and the loneliness. The lack of sleep and the anxiety.
In that first episode, I saw myself in Audrey, the main character, and all the old feelings came rushing back like water over a broken dam.
I remembered how alone and how misunderstood I felt after the birth of my son. I never wanted to leave the planet more. I never wanted to erase a decision I thought I so badly wanted.
I felt alone and I was hurting, but it didn’t last forever.
With help and support from friends, family, and medication, I was able to move past my postpartum depression and anxiety and come out a stronger person.
I had a deeper understanding of the hardships of parenthood, one I couldn’t possibly understand before having a child myself.
And now here I am – with another triggering program under my belt – and I’m thankful for the reality it portrayed.
In a world looking for rainbows, I flock to the dirty truths. Because while rainbows and gumdrops are beautiful and delicious, life isn’t always that way, and I’d rather be ready for the dirt that’s coming in than have my perfect bubble popped and be unprepared.