And rolled beneath a deep blue sky
Didn't have a care in the world
With mommy and daddy standing by
When "happily ever after" fails
And we've been poisoned by these fairy tales...
When you're looking for clues as to why you turned out the way you did, all you have to do is look to your childhood to get the answers you're trying to find. Almost everything can be traced back to your childhood.
I can pinpoint the start of my anxiety attacks to a specific day—a specific event—from when I was only six years old. What was supposed to be a nice afternoon out with my father turned out to be a traumatic day, one that left me in tears and filled with sadness.
It was a beautiful sunny day, and I was dressed appropriately in a yellow dress, white sweater, and brand-new white sandals. I kissed my mom good-bye as she headed off to work, and I left with my father. A father-daughter day. Just perfect!
We were about to see a really fun and cute movie about a little deer and all his friends.
We were about to see Bambi.
The movie started, and of course, I loved it at first. Bambi was born to two lovely parents, and as Bambi started to grow, his mother would take him out, exploring the world around them, loving him, playing with him, and explaning to him about the dangers of the world.
Bambi's mommy was killed. By hunters.
"Your mother can't be with us anymore," Bambi's father tells him, gently taking him back home after the tragedy.
I remember staring at the screen with my mouth wide open, then bursting into tears.
"Bambi's mommy died? Bambi's mommy died?" I was sobbing. I was so crying hard, in fact, my father and I had to leave the theatre, so I could run to the nearest pay phone and call my mom to make sure she was still alive.
And so it began. My complete paranoia that at any given day, one of my parents were going to die and leave me alone. Whenever they went out at night, I would stay awake, praying in my room for their safe return. If my mother was ever late to pick me up from school, I thought she was dead in some terrible car accident. Or maybe shot by some hunters. These are thoughts no six year old should have.
After I saw Bambi, I lost a huge part of my otherwise innocent childhood.
I wonder how many children end up in therapy because of Disney?
Although I consider Bambi to be one the saddest movies I've ever seen, (I've since watched the entire movie, and although it has a happy ending, I'm still scarred for life over the fact that Bambi's.... mommy... dies.... sniff, sniff...) almost all Disney movies like to pull at your heart strings.
Sure, I wanted to be a princess when I was a little girl, but not really a Disney princess. After all, these girls had it rough growing up! In the end, they all live happily ever after (of course, only after their prince comes to save them) but still—I didn't really want to be Cinderella. All that cleaning and scrubbing she had to do for her evil step-sisters? No thanks.
And poor Snow White! Her mom just wanted a baby, a daughter with skin as white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair as black as ebony. Of course, once her beautiful baby was born, she dies. When Snow White becomes a teenager, her evil step-mother, who is not the fairest of them all, sends her to the forest to be killed. Luckily, her life was spared, but she spent years living alone in the forest, where she ate mushrooms all day long and hung out with dwarfs.
And The Lion King? When poor little Simba is nuzzling up to his dead father? How heartbreaking was that movie? Sure, it was funny and happy during certain scenes, but I coudn't get over the fact that little Simba had to come to the realization that his daddy was dead. Why, Disney, why?
What about Finding Nemo? That movie crushed me. Poor clownfish Marlin had to watch his wife and their 400 eggs get eaten by a barracuda! Only one little egg survived, and Marlin becomes a great (and very over-protective) dad to little Nemo. Then, of course, Nemo disappears, and Marlin has to spend his days and night searching for his only son. Sob!
Parents are always missing or killed in Disney movies. Like in The Little Mermaid, The Fox and the Hound, and Lilo and Stitch. Or children are tragically taken from their parents, like in Tangled.
Even if parents aren't dying, Disney will get you in other ways. Just try watching the first ten minutes of UP without breaking down. The opening scene in that movie destroyed me!
I still haven't seen Toy Story 3, but I have been warned that I'll cry like a baby.
Although Disney movies are amazing, and although I do love them all, they also make me very depressed. Ever since my world was shattered after watching Bambi, I'm always thinking 'worst case' scenario.
Now as a mom of two, I get anxious when my boys watch certain Disney movies, because I worry about how sad they'll be. I couldn't stop talking to my five year old during Tangled, when Rapunzel was kidnapped. I kept explaining to him that eventually, everything would be okay, but I could tell he was still a little upset.
Did Disney traumatize you when you were a child, too?