The Stuff of Nightmares

I am not a particularly superstitious person, but I do have this belief that what you put out into the universe comes back to you. The inverse is also true in my head – what you let into your head, that which you make space for has more of a chance of becoming reality. Taking on a life of its own.

I also have very limited time in my life for TV viewing. Even less time when you consider that when my child is awake our TV viewing is limited to G, PG or PG13 rated stuff.

Take these two aspects of my life, of being me, and you might begin to understand why I am struggling with whether or not I can handle watching Netflick’s new series Orange is the New Black.

Short version: Very middle class, normally upstanding citizen female character makes a ridiculously bad choice of love interests, does something particularly stupid and ends up being convicted of a felony and sent to prison for 14 months. The show is about that experience, the experience of being in prison. Which is where my brain goes haywire. Because if there is something that I would consider Hell on earth, it would be prison. I watched the first episode, and was completely uptight, anxious and decidedly disturbed by the end of it. And nothing particularly BAD happened, other than she went to prison, offended the inmate who runs the cafeteria (the fabulous and almost unrecognizable Kate Mulgrew) and ends up the next day getting a used tampon in a bun for breakfast.

I don’t want to make space for this experience in my brain, in my psyche. It makes me physically and mentally unhappy. Was it the Nightmare on Elm Street movies where the evil character would enter your dreams and make your worst nightmares come true? I ask because, you guessed it, I NEVER WATCHED THEM. That concept though, of something making your nightmares come true, is much of the reason I don’t want to watch this show. It doesn’t matter that it is funny, poignant and well written, and getting acclaims up the wahzoo. It is the fear that I am going to watch someone get something up the wahzoo that makes me anxious. I don’t want to make room in my psyche for women much like myself, but for the error of choosing a very risky love partner and doing something stupid for that love, could be sent to prison.

Does that make me a wuss? Crazy? Maybe. Possibly. I DO NOT CARE. I am going to watch back to back episodes of The New Girl and laugh til I cry when a badger is trapped in an air duct with three people at a Hindu wedding. Because while I HAVE been to a Hindu wedding, the likelihood of a badger being anywhere near me or in the air ducts is very unlikely.

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Stuff of Nightmares

  1. Nope, it doesn’t make you crazy.

    I watched about the first fifteen minutes of the show, and promptly turned it off when I realized what the story was based on. I read a long article about her before her book came out, and frankly I felt like she did a stupid thing, went to prison, and now she’s making a ton of money off it. Meh.

    But there are a LOT of things I can’t handle watching. Like pretty much anything involving a home invasion. I will have nightmares for days, it’s just too much for me to handle.

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