I had the opportunity to watch the movie, "The Room" last night. I found myself surprisingly having feelings of panic, fear and anxiety. I was determined to watch it to the end no matter how I responded to the scenes of each moment.
A synopsis of this film in short would be:
"A young woman who has been held in captivity in a small shed for seven years tries to make as normal a life as she can for her five-year-old son, Jack, who knows her only as "Ma." When Ma and Jack escape their captor, Old Nick, they must cope with the outside world and forge relationships with Ma's conflicted family."
It sounds almost to trivial to describe it in this way.
I was consistently in awe and terror of how this boy who turned six, came to see his in world by living solely in a one room shed for his entire life of captivity. His profound questions of his "reality" and view of a world of a room with only a skylight to the outside world.
His mother told him a false narrative of his world from the beginning of how the world was and is from the perspective of the room. A television would bring in a 3 dimensional slice of this pretend world and it complicated her story to his bright mind.
When he turned six, she decided to tell him the truth of where he was and tore down all the barriers to her story and felt he was "ready" to hear the truth of their current situation.
His struggle to make sense of her words and the pretend story of his life felt familiar to my path of reconciliation of the truth of my family of origin. The words not matching reality and the long struggle to differentiate between fact and fiction.
At times he would want to go back to his room and to the only life he had known. His family's inability to help him navigate his new world left me frustrated and I could see now how powerful these adults had on him whether to allow him to be free with his own experience of his life or follow the models of their own perceptions of reality.
My own struggle with this movie was puzzling and it took about a day (and a session with my therapist with EMDR) to work my way out of the "room" in my mind and the realization that a thin facade had still left its mark on my freedom.
Looking back I can see how I was taught to see the "world" in a certain way. Punished for not going along with the family narrative. Shunned for not keeping it going within the family.
It appears that we hard wired to see the world through the adults around us. I am surprised how much I underestimated the effects this had on my perceptions of this world.
The proof was in my adult behaviors and the view I had once believed to be true.
I am still untangling some wires and beliefs.
It has been a long and arduous process.
The Room is empty except for a belief or two I have not yet discovered.