The movie, "Precious", is opening tonight in various major cities. I don't think it's playing anywhere near me. I've been listening to bits about it on NPR, on Oprah and it was reviewed on the evening news. It's based on the book, "Push", written by a woman by the name of Sapphire.
Needless to say, it's been getting a lot of good reviews in spite of being a very graphic and painful film to watch.
The thing is, I'm not sure I really want to see it.
And I wondered, as I watched an interview with one of the cast members, "what does the fact that I don't want to see this film mean about me as a music therapist?"
I work with a lot of traumatized people. People who have intellectual and developmental disabilities have often experienced severe and chronic trauma. I hate that my clients have and continue to suffer this way. I hate that anyone suffers, frankly.
It made me wonder, "Am I obligated, as a music therapist, to go and watch a film that portrays a young woman who is brutally abused by her family?"
It's not as if I'm in denial that people are abused.
I guess it's pretty obvious I'm having some ambivalence (and guilt- ah, yes, the ever-present guilt) about my decision to not see this movie.
The best explanation I can give (not that anybody was asking for one) is that I can only bear witness to so much trauma. I have a larger obligation (if we're talking obligations here- and I seem to be) to not expose myself to so much trauma that I can't even function as a therapist to my clients.
Anyone else want to weigh in on this? Or am I the only one who obsesses about such things?