Writing and Compulsion

I’m trying to write something on here everyday. It’s a lot harder than I thought it’d be and I’m already doing bad at it. But, as of this sentence, I still have an hour and 7 minutes left to write something so here goes. 

This is gonna be a sort of sad thing, just FYI. 

I just saw a tweet by somebody saying that said Grey’s Anatomy helped them out of their depression. I think that’s great and I also have a million and one thoughts about how therapeutic television can be, but that’s another post for another day. As sad and tragic and ridiculous and stupid as Grey’s is, I hear and read a lot about how it helps people through stuff, and that’s really cool and a good thing. 

As much as I love that trash show, I don’t have the same relationship with it. In fact, I think I have the opposite. Not with the whole show, just two episodes; the season finale of season 6. If you’ve watched the show, you know that’s the episode where the grieving husband of a patient who died in the hospital comes back and shoots up the place. It’s a terribly, terribly sad and depressing two hours of television. It’s scary, and just absolutely harrowing. I wish I could look at it objectively, but I have such a weird connection to those two episodes that I don’t think it’s entirely fair for me to say it’s the most well made finale of the series. 

I have this weird feeling in my knees and my stomach right now. It’s the same feeling I always get when I bring this up. It’s annoying and needlessly dramatic if I’m being perfectly honest. It happens every time I think about this and sit down and write about it or tell somebody about it. I suddenly feel incredibly exposed and also like I’m desperate for attention, which, maybe I am. But let’s just rip the bandaid off of this thing so I can finish this post and go to sleep. 

Six years ago I was the victim of an armed home invasion. I was tied up at gunpoint and held until the robbers left the house. It was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me and I honestly hate how much it’s changed me. I don’t remember ever being this scared or feeling this bizarre knee/stomach thing before. It’s dumb, I hate it. Talking about it in real life to people makes me feel like I’m lying or that I want people to feel sorry for me, but the truth is I often feel a random compulsion to talk about it. I get the weird robbery feelings and they bubble up and one of the only ways to get it out is to talk about it. And the thing that sucks is, without fail, every time I do, I feel worse because I feel like I’m being judged or that the person I’m talking to thinks I’m being dramatic or they’re bored or they think I’m lying. I don’t know what it is, but not a great feeling. 

Anyway, the point of saying that is to say this: the season 6 finale of Grey’s resonates with me in ways I wish it didn’t. The only other way I can absolve myself of the weird robbery feeling is to watch those two episodes. I see myself being held at gunpoint in those episodes. It’s like my life, the worst experience of my life, made for TV. It’s crazy and ridiculous and a little creepy, but I’m being totally serious here. 

It’s weird how much of a compulsion I get to watch those episodes. It scares me and it doesn’t make me feel any better (it doesn’t make me feel worse, which I think is worth noting) but I often just feel a strong urge to watch it. It’s satisfying, but only while I’m watching. It doesn’t make me feel good when I’m done. It’s like taking a drink of water when you’re thirsty and it quenches your thirst as your drinking, but you’re still thirsty when you’re finished. 

I don’t know why I’m so fascinated watching fictional characters go through a similarly terrible experience. I’ve tried numerous times to explain it, but I can’t. One time the robbery feeling got so bad, I penned a 12-page letter to ABC describing  to the best of my ability how those episodes make me feel. One day, if I ever feel comfortable enough, I’ll post it here. 

I think that’s the reason I defend Grey’s so fervently. It gives me something to hold onto, you know? It gives me a weird thing to do when I get that inescapable feeling and have no one to talk to or don’t feel like writing. People talk shit about that show and, yeah, it’s not the best thing on TV, not by a long shot. But this…thing that I have with it, this weird obsession or compulsion or desire or whatever it is I’ve got is a driving force behind why I stick with it. 

So, I’m glad the show has helped people through hard times, I genuinely am. Depression is truly the worst and if Grey’s Anatomy helps you push through, then rock on. But while I’m happy it’s helping others, I think I’m also a tiny bit jealous. The weird season 6 connection hasn’t helped me. It hasn’t hurt, yeah, but I want to be on the other side too. I don’t want to be trapped in this weird need to scare myself and relive the worst day of my life. I don’t want to feel so deeply what the characters feel as their lives hang in the balance and they’re unsure if they might be shot in the next few moments. I don’t want to see myself in their fear and I don’t want to rely on it to make me feel…not bad. I don’t want this. 

I don’t have a real ending here. It’s 11:22 as of the writing of this sentence, so I’ve completed the goal for today, even if it’s kinda cheating and even if this post is an addled mess as the product of my sleep-deprived brain doped up on cold medicine. Seeing that tweet gave me that weird feeling and I had to get the thoughts out there, so I’m killing two birds with one stone. Thanks for reading. The next post won’t be nearly as depressing, promise. 

2 thoughts on “Writing and Compulsion

  1. I so, so badly wish you never had to experience that horrific event. But I am happy you are able to talk more and more about your story. I remember the very first time you told me. You didn’t really say much about it. I think we were discussing all of the different phones we’ve ever had when you told me. But when you did talked to me about that event you shared more each time. Also, now you’re opening up more about your story on your blog. Your memories from that event may never go away, although, I wish with all my heart one day those awful memories would fade away from your mind forever. But when those memories and feelings do come rushing back, know I’m ALWAYS here for you if you want someone to talk to, not talk to, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to just sit in silence with you, I’m here! Well, since at the moment we live in different states, I’m here for you always via FaceTime or phone call or text!!! You are one of the funniest, smartest, and nicest people I have ever met. I feel so incredibly lucky to have you in my life! I love you!<3

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