Understanding Childhood Trauma Exhibited in Adulthood

Once again, continuing the theme of “300: Rise of an Empire” I found a third subtheme in this movie.  Although not really impressed with the movie as a whole and how Hollywood has distorted history and also added a completely fabricated and unnecessary sexual scene to this movie, I thought it had some deeper recovery-related gems.  For those that don’t know much about this movie (and I don’t expect those early in their recovery to watch the entire movie) here is a summary from Wikipedia:

Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield-on the sea-as Greek general Themistocles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. This film pits Themistocles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

Nevertheless, in watching this movie, I did pick up on  the recovery-related themes.  Maybe it was me trying to find some sort of redemptive quality in a poorly made movie, or maybe it was the Holy Spirit saying to me, “use this material, men will ‘listen’ when you speak to them through these films.”  I don’t know which one it was, but I’m hoping it was the latter.  The third subtheme I saw in this movie is that of a violent and vicious female naval commander, Artemisia, who shows no mercy and destroys her enemies.  What we see in 300: Rise of an Empire, is a discussion that takes place between Themistocles and his generals discussing Artemisia and her childhood.  Here we see a child who was severely traumatized, through no fault of her own, and who grows up to be, to put it bluntly, a psychopathic killer.  This movie does a good job establishing the connection between childhood trauma and the acting out of that trauma in adulthood.  There are many in recovery who experienced a tremendous amount of childhood trauma, even to the extent of what is shown in the film, who have medicated the trauma by acting out in a variety of ways. Understanding this childhood trauma and how it affects those around us is important because we begin to feel empathy for the individual and not hold on to our resentments against them.  Trauma does not excuse the acting out, it only allows us to understand why the individual is choosing to act out in a very destructive ways; ways that show a need for safety and self-preservation.  I hope you enjoy watching this film as much as I enjoyed making it.  It’s amazing how many recovery themes one can find in the average Hollywood movie.  I encourage you to look deeper in to the media you watch and see what the Holy Spirit is telling you about that media.

Disclaimer: Although tempted to watch the original movie from where this clip was taken, a person new to recovery should consult their therapist, sponsor, and/or accountability partner on whether to watch this film.  It has a sex scene with some partial nudity that could sexually trigger the individual. Also, the excessive violence (some of which I removed from this clip) can be harmful to your recovery if you are like I was early on; prone to medicate the viewing of violence and associated guilt.
As always, take what you like and leave the rest.
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