Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Art Imitates (Past) Life

So, last night Daniel and I finally sat down and watched Waitress. Months ago, we saw the preview and complained about how it would never come to Bakersfield. The preview was the right amount of quirky about an unhappy waitress in a bad marriage that accidentally gets pregnant. It looked funny and we like Nathan Fillion since his Firefly and Serenity days (we're geeks like that) so when it came out on video a couple months ago we bought it. And then I kept putting off having us watch it. Something inside me told me no, don't do it.

I'm glad we finally watched it. Adrienne Shelly was a brilliant writer. The dialogue in this movie was quick and honest. The characters were real and quirky. You could tell through her direction that she loved this world she'd created and the actors were behind her vision for this movie. I'm saddened that she is no longer here to keep making movies through her perspective.

That all said: I had a hard time last night. Keri Russell's character easily could have been me ten years ago. My biggest fear back then was that I'd get pregnant and never be able to leave my ex. All of that came back to me full force while I sat on my couch next to Daniel and Zoe. Had I not gotten out when I did, my entire world could be very similar to the one on our television. Jeremy Sisto's character was so much like my ex - he scared me. The incessant honking, his tone of voice, the way he treated Russell like a child, the ultimatums and countdowns, even how he pushed her. I sat through his scenes with a knot in my stomach. I felt physically ill. There was a scene towards the end that had me shaking inside. I felt the fear and shame I haven't felt in years. It was horrible. I don't know when I'll be able to watch it again.

Sometimes I think I've forgotten that part of my life. I think it's all behind me and I'm not afraid anymore. And then I see a movie like this and it pulls me down. I remember how degraded, useless, ugly, stupid I felt. I remember every unkind word, every push, grip and scream. I remember the fear and the feeling that I was trapped and no one could help me. It's horrible. I wonder how long that will last. Will those years always come back at me?

My saving grace last night was Daniel and Zoe. Daniel knew I was upset. He took Zoe and me in his arms and I got to hold them close. This is my life now. I'll never go through that again. Zoe will know that that life is unacceptable. She'll find someone who loves and cherishes her as much as her father and I do each other. Maybe someday we'll watch Waitress with her and talk to her about what I went through to become who I am now. Maybe she'll learn from my mistakes. I always considered keeping that chapter of my life from my children and now I think that is the wrong thing to do. Hmmm.

Well. I guess that brings me to my x365:

7. Assface
I married you when I was nineteen and naive. You were insecure and weak, and took that out on me daily through emotional and physical abuse. You don’t deserve thirty-one words.

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