Emotional and psychological damage caused by media

Inspired partly by this thread and a recent conversation with another doper.

Christ, I hate this keyboard…

Give me a few minutes and I’ll actually post something that makes some sense.
…well, perhaps not, but at least it will make more sense than that.

First of all, can I get a Mod to change the title of this to: ‘Emotional and psychological damage caused by media’?

I am one of those people who never get much sleep when I am alone in a house. I have friends that say they can nod right off without reserve, but most of my friends are men who are constantly in a state of projecting a macho image and I refuse to peek in on them through their bedroom windows at night to find out if they are lying or not; I am not like my father.

I have this theory that being exposed to certain media (mainly certain films but also television and print) over my life has frigged me up, and is the cause of this irrational fear of what happens in my mind when I close my eyes at night. I think my exposure to certain intense scenes in film particularly have had far too much of a hand in shaping me as a person. I also think that the effects of this exposure are permanent. ‘What’s done is done and can’t be undone’ as my Irish relatives are fond of saying (which proves what assholes they are!).

Now, it isn’t so much the supernatural side of horror that bothers me (though any scene in a movie where nuns are gliding down halls without actually moving their legs freaks me right the hell out!) as much as scenes where people are hurting one another without thought or care of that person’s pain. Joe Pesci’s characters in Casino and Good Fellas are prime examples of this. Every scene that he’s in puts me on edge. I’m 6’4" and weigh in at about 270 pounds and have never backed down from a fight, but that little fucker frightens the bejesus out of me.

Rape scenes are bad. I know what you’re thinking, ‘they’re bad for most people, jagoff’ or ‘oh, rape is bad? thank you, Dr. Insight!’ but what I mean is that scenes like this really stick with me, far beyond the length of time it takes the final bit of celluloid to pass through the projector path. Months even. That scene at the beginning of The Crow or that movie with Jodie Foster really make me ill. It is very difficult for me to get through. The rape scene in Thelma & Louise, not so much, and I can’t figure out if it’s because it is stopped before it gets started or that I just can’t bring myself to care about Geena Davis.

The very brief scene in JFK (a few paltry frames actually) where Eladio del Valle is hacked to death in his car with a machete left me sleeping with one eye open for a few nights and other scenes of torture and brutal execution in the media are probably the sole reason I absolutely cannot sleep alone in a house unless I am facing the door of the bedroom.

Oh, oh! here’s one that is guaranteed to flush my day down the toilet: The scene in The Getaway where Jennifer Tilly’s character is cranking down the kidnapper (Michael Madsen) in a hotel while her husband is tied up in the next room. I find it far too east to place myself in James Stephens’ (the husband) emotional mindset and the feeling of betrayal does not fade away easily throughout the next couple of days. My Og, she’s on top! She’s not being raped, she’s loving it! That scene has probably contributed greatly to my inability to be completely trusting in relationships.

So, what scenes in books, film, television have possibly damaged you in some way, and what has that damage amounted to in your daily lives?