One thing I want to spend more time on this year is healing my trauma. I want to take some time (over the next few weeks) to talk about that today using the character Raven from the 2003-2006 Cartoon Network series Teen Titans. Because there are some parts of the show where she serves as a brilliant metaphor for my trauma and some of the things I struggle with because of it. I want to focus on those parts by breaking down a few select episodes.
(So yes we’re going to talk about bit about what the tagline “The inklings of traumatized mind that loves to tinker” even means. Well, the trauma part. Inklings is just like bit of thoughts and ideas.
Before we begin, Some Disclaimers
There are countless ways to interrupt anything. I am not trying to claim anyone else is wrong about this show or this character. Stories are a form of art, and art is subjective. I’m not trying to speak to what the creators/writers intend, I’m trying to explain my own mind.
Also when I refer to trauma, I’m using it as defined by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk in his book The Body Keeps The Score. If you haven’t read it, there’s a super high chance you’re working from some other definition. I recommend reading his book to get the full explanation.
Trauma: Quick Overview
Fight-flight-freeze is the midbrain chemically disabling the higher brain functions; like logic, reason, the ability to keep track of time, and so so very much more. This switch breaks when it is set off too often. That causes a person to exist like that way more often than needed (in some cases nearly constantly, and in others just constantly). They become trapt in the past without even knowing it. This manifests in countless different ways, from ADHD to depression, from social anxiety to anger, to you name it. I’ve written a lot more about this in my (very messy) Therapy Notebook.
So why Raven…
I’ll say this: it is crazy how much Raven is such a direct (at times almost literal) metaphor for the way I was abused growing up. It’s also crazy how much I latched on to her when I was a kid & a teenager. Back when I was just a minor. Back when I didn’t even know I was being abused.
When I was growing up, I didn’t believe I was abused. And yet some part of me still knew something was wrong. That something wasn’t right. That loving families didn’t work the way my family did. That what my parents called love was somehow broken.
I can remember how much I connected with her, and I still have music video edits I made with windows movie maker of Raven set to various songs by bands like Linkin Park. I used to think I had no happy keepsakes from my childhood; I got rid of pretty much all my old things because they had so many terrible memories. But one day I was rewatching these videos again, and I realized the videos themselves are keepsakes for me. I connected to Raven so much that I expressed myself via making music videos about her. Well, that is after I taught myself how to do basic video editing while I was in middle school.
I’ve chosen to use this character because of how much I connected to her back then. Plus how much I had myself a little light bulb moment and the pieces just all sorta fell into place for me. Over the next few weeks I’m going to dig into individual episodes, so stay tuned for more.