On How Motherhood Ruined Horror Movies for Me

They say that becoming a parent changes everything, and there’s no doubt that’s true.  Becoming a mother has changed my perspective on just about everything in this big, wide world—including movies.

 

I’ve never been a big fan of horror movies.  They freak me out.  People are always running toward dead ends—up stairs, into closets, etc.  I know I wouldn’t be in the most rational state of mind if I were being chased by a guy with an ax or something, but watching that kind of thing from my safe living room couch just plain frustrates me!

 

Early in my pregnancy, I started having strange dreams.  Pregnancy guides said this was normal behavior, so I didn’t think I was totally losing my mind (yet), but there were some mornings when I woke up as terrified as the chasee in that sort of film.

 

Once I had a dream that my family’s indoor cat was outside of the house and my dad— from whom she keeps her distance in real life—had the only chance of getting her back in the house.  Something in my gut told me that however valiant his efforts, they would be fruitless; she was dying.

 

I woke up in such a horrified state that I wanted to call my mom to see if the cat was all right, but I didn’t even have the courage to do that, in case my dream was some intuitive rendering of reality.  Ultimately I learned that the cat was just fine.  The only thing that was in danger was my sanity.  I was becoming a mother, remember, and that changes everything.

 

These weird dreams kept up throughout my pregnancy.  They aren’t totally gone now, and I doubt they ever will be—once a mommy, always a mommy.

 

I had another really dreadful night the first time Jacob slept in the crib in his room, rather than in the bassinet in ours.  He was all of fifteen feet away, with both doors open and a baby monitor on.  Still, I had the worst nightmares of my life that night.  I shudder to think of it.

 

You’d think maybe the experience of these terrible, terrible dreams would make horror movies less difficult for me.  If I’m awake, I should be able to keep in mind the fiction of the film.  These are just actors, telling a story, on a screen.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

 

Around New Year’s we were visiting John’s family, playing board games and watching movies.  Board games are always fun with that crowd, and that day was no exception.  As we switched gears into movie-watching, we flipped through the movies on television and came across Taken with Liam Neeson.   The film opens with a young woman and her friend getting kidnapped after arriving in Paris.  The scene in which they are, in fact, taken, positively made my skin crawl.  Everyone else sat there, nonchalantly continuing to watch the film.  Someone had even seen it before.  But me?  No, thank you.  I considered my options for about a nanosecond and got myself out of there and into a hug as soon as possible.  It wasn’t even that I was picturing something happening to Jacob or anything.  I just couldn’t stand to watch such a horrible thing happen.

 

I went back in a while later and watched the movie’s happy resolution, all the while convinced that the kidnapper was going to pop out again and re-take the girl.  It was an irrational, emotional, unrealistic reaction.  But from now on, I think I’m sticking to Disney movies.

Non-scary Baby

This photo has nothing to do with this post (clearly).  But I figure you need something sweet to look at after all that scary-talk.  Plus, Kristin says she likes posts with photos.  Ask, and you shall receive!

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4 Comments to “On How Motherhood Ruined Horror Movies for Me”

  1. Hi there!

    Actually, funny you talk about horrible dreams. I actually had the worst anxiety of my life just after Ezra was born. It was definitely post-partum hormones wreaking havoc on my imagination. I had to keep telling myself that it was all going to be ok.

    Good luck staying away from horror movies! I’m not a big thrill junkie myself, so even the commercials can sometimes freak me out!

  2. You are absolutely not alone! My husband and I were watching 24 during my pregnancy and I saw 1 scene where Jack Baur was being beaten. I had nightmares for 2 weeks. I would wake up in hot sweats, practically convinced that somebody was breaking into our house.

    Zoe is 6 months old now and I can’t watch anything that has an ounce of violence in it (excluding war scenes). I specifically can’t watch news stories involving children when something bad happens. I completely understand =)

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