You have to understand, Bones is one of my absolutely favorite TV shows. Just, a note for those who watch the show, and may not have yet caught up to the current season, I will have a LOT of spoilers behind the Read More link. So, if you don’t want spoilers, I suggest you stop reading this post right now.
OK, now that I have warned other lovers of the show, now I can speak a little more clearly.
For those who don’t know, Bones is a police procedural drama, with more of an emphasis on the practical lab-work side of the job. The heroine of the show (and the reason behind the series title) is a forensic anthropologist who works very closely with the FBI.
However, this season, one of the show regulars – Dr. Hodges – was fairly recently paralyzed below his waist. He was injured, not only from an explosion, but also by one of the FBI agents (the one who saw the bomb about to explode) not only pulling him out of the way, but covering Hodges with his body to protect “the civilian.”
While they initially thought he was absolutely fine, the next day after the explosion he collapsed at work. Essentially the nerves controlling everything below his waist were severed.
This TV show has a habit of showing not only the active parts of trauma caused to those whose job is to catch criminals, but often also shows the whole process of dealing with those traumas from start to finish. It’s part of the reason I like the show. It’s dealt with the main character dealing with abandonment, the troubles of living in the foster system, and frankly continues to show the problems related to having forced herself to grow up as a person who ONLY looks at facts, and ignores the emotional impact of things. In some ways, she reminds me of me – except I actually HAVE social skills, unlike that character.
But, the shit with Hodges, I’m struggling with. I don’t want to stop watching the show, because it has been something I have appreciated for as long as it’s been running (show started in 2005, so we’re on the 11th season).
He continues to verbally abuse his wife, the lead woman’s best friend. Unlike what I did, she’s not hiding what he’s doing from their close-knit set of friends in the lab. He continues to hide behind his injury, and use it to justify the abuse.
It’s a total opposite of the kind of person he was before the injury. He was happy, slightly odd, and extremely compassionate. Now he’s abusive, and hides behind his injury as an excuse to be whatever he fucking pleases.
This is the SAME exact attitude my ex did, except his excuse was PTSD from hideous forms of abuse in his childhood. He had this radical change too. But his was more of a sociopathic issue (particularly a narcissistic sociopathic issue), rather than “just” a pure sociopath. The change happened AFTER we were married.
He went from being charming, smooth and funny to being this abusive, narcissistic jackass. Except, the more I found out about his childhood, the more excuses I gave myself and others about his choices. I lied to myself about him for YEARS, defending someone I viewed as an “innocent victim,” from the hatred and misunderstanding of our overall culture. I fed right into his victim profile.
I’ll admit, I’m forcing myself to watch it, because perhaps by seeing it happen to a set of fictional characters, I can teach myself EVEN MORE about how not to be that victim (or match that victim profile) in the future.
But, I still have to stop watching it when it starts to trigger my own cascade of memories. While I’m forcing myself to watch it, I’m also trying to have compassion on myself.