I Can’t Unsee That

A friend of my husband’s, knowing I adore history, especially women’s place in history, recommended that I watch Outlander. So I did. I have binge watched Season One and enjoyed it a lot. This afternoon I started watching the last two episodes of Season One and now I am really upset.

I’ve been Highly Sensitive my whole life. (If you end up following the link to the self test, I answered every question in the affirmative.) In addition to being HS, I am also an Empath. I don’t tell you this to gain admiration. Honestly, it really sucks most of the time. It’s incredibly draining. Being so aware and affected by surroundings and then being super aware of other people’s emotions is exhausting. Last week, and you probably won’t believe me, I was going into a client’s home who was having an asthma attack. Within a minute I was feeling short of breath. If you are an Empath and have experienced something similar you will understand. If not, you will think I am either crazy or a hypochondriac. Or both.

Have you watched Outlander? Well, the torture scenes were too much for me. I felt ill, physically ill watching them. I tired of power through, you would think that I would know not to watch violence by now, but now I have these horrific scenes playing in my head. I will probably have nightmares tonight.

It does beg the question, is something wrong with me or is something wrong with a society that feels okay after watching torture? If you have watched the scenes I am talking about you know that nothing was left to the imagination. Understand, I am not uneducated about historical events and I guess I can’t fault people being interested from that standpoint but have we really gone so far as to be able to watch shows like that for entertainment and not be affected? Have we watched so much violence, real and pretend, that we have grown cold in the face of brutality? The 6:00 news is watched everywhere. We see the faces of children being carried away in flood waters as rescuers try in vain to rescue them. We watch a young man being gunned down for no reason other than having his hands in his hoodie. We stare into a screen and watch young people sick and dying on the streets, addicted to drugs. And if you are wanting more? You can watch it all over again on the 10:00 news! When I go into the homes of some of the people I care for, they have the news on all day. All day! Is it an addiction? Why do people take such interest in the misery of others? Why? It hurts my head to think about it. I have told myself in the past that people need to be informed of the world’s events and we absolutely do but I don’t believe that is the reason why we are so glued to violence and horror. The thing is, I don’t have any idea what the reason actually is. There is no way I can begin to help even 1% of the worlds problems. I can’t even help 1% of the problems in my own small neighbourhood.

Anyway. I didn’t intend this post to go this direction. It was supposed to be about watching a stupid show on Netflix and how much it upset me. I do know this. If every person stopped watching the news and went out into their community and helped for one hour a day the world would be a hell of a lot better.

30 thoughts on “I Can’t Unsee That

  1. I’m not a fan of violence in shows either. I usually do something else until it’s over then watch the rest of the show. Have you read the books? I loved the books.

    • I haven’t. Are the books violent as well? From historical standpoint, the series is so well done. I really want to keep watching but unless someone can edit out the torture scenes I can’t watch. I don’t mind the sword fighting or even the general violent way people lived. But the gratuitous torture scenes were way over the top. It felt like they were going for some award to make it as horrific as possible. In my overly sensitive brain, they could have reeled it in a lot and it would have still made a strong point.

  2. My Rare One and I love Outlander. We’re gearing up to start watching Season 3 in a couple of weeks on TV. But I agree, the final scenes of Season 1 were pretty graphic and horrible to watch. But I think they were intended to be — so that people understand the full horror of what happened. They were not meant to invoke a jaded or ho-hum response from viewers. What struck me most about those scenes is that such depictions in TV/film/art virtually always involve women as the victims and that was not the case here — a very, very rare instance indeed.

    • I love geneology and have a lot of English in me. It makes me wonder if any of my relatives were like that. I have a question. Does it keep being violent? I really do want to know what happens and was enjoying it a lot until the torture/rape scenes.

      • Hi Birdie — No, the Season 1 finale is the worst it gets (at least so far). Although Season 2 does have some gory battle scene stuff but still, it’s not as prolonged an exposure to violence as the torture/rape scenes were.

      • Well, I wrote a reply and it’s gone. Harrumph! I think I will skip through the really bad parts and continue watching. I don’t mind battle scenes too much so it’s should be okay. Let me know if Season 3 will give me nightmares!
        Have you seen the new Netflix show called Disjointed? Kathy Bates! Oh, my heart!

  3. Kind of dick to admit, but I can dissociate from a lot of real life blood and gore (my own included). As soon as it’s friends or family, though, forget it. I guess human nature is kind of dick like that. (Unless you’re an empath.) Also, sorry it turns out my human nature is also kind of crass.

    With you on the news front. It should come with a toxic label warning ala Mr yuck. (Do they have Mr Yuck in Canada?) Hm, we might not even have Mr Yuck here anymore…

    You’re neat. Hang in there.

    • Oh Alli, you are not a dick for being able to watch violence on screen. I know lots of people who can watch violent shows and they are good people. I think I am just sensitive because I saw a lot of violence when I was very small.
      We did have Mr. Yuck in Canada. I had forgotten about that. We need him back!
      Thanks for stopping by. 😁

  4. I haven’t watched it, and doubt I could. The news is more than enough for me. I can read more about violence than I can watch or hear, but it still upsets me.
    I do think that we have been desensitised, to so many things, including violence and the worship of the great god greed.
    And yes, while I have never been formallly classified as Highly Sensitive my score on that test is in the twenties. And I am an empath, and can attest to the pain.

  5. I too am an Empath. I rarely watch the news. I watched a little about Houston and had to turn it off because of the animals. The animals!! My God, people left their animals behind. It crushed me. Even the trending stories on FB are becoming too painful to read about. I don’t watch Outlander but I have read all of the books and they are excellent. Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorite authors. Maybe try reading the first book in the series. I absorb things differently and in a better way when I read about it verses watching it.

    • I have just finished reading The Empath’s Guide to Survival. Its excellent and gives a lot of tips on how to live as an Empath and not let the world take you down. If I had to wager a guess, I would have definitely have laid a lot down on you being an Empath. I think that’s why I connect with you.

  6. I just clicked on that link and scored 18, but hesitated on a few questions wondering if I should have checked those as well. Here’s a question for you. (and it’s going to sound all woo woo, but I’m going to ask anyway) Do you feel the energy of a place? Do you sometimes go to a town / village and just think that it’s a good place, or a bad place? Do you sometimes have a hard time being around certain people or in their home because the energy is too negative? I used to have to literally “shake it off” after coming from one home in particular, even had to go stand outside and just breath.
    As to the books, I’ve read all of them. Gabaldon , the author, does like to go into detail. When I was watching those scenes, I didn’t watch (covered my eyes, left the room, etc.) because I knew what was coming, having read the books. -Jenn

    • Holy smokes, do I ever! I am in and out of a lot of homes, probably close to 120 visits a month. I have to be super aware of the energy because I feel every bit of it. It’s when I fall into mindlessness that it can catch up to me. If I am aware I can do a much better job of leaving it behind. People too. I get this crawly feeling around certain people. Just a gut feeling that something isn’t right.
      However, I can also pick up on good energy. I have a coworker who just radiates light. I love being close to her. The same goes for homes. I can go into a home and feel love there. I was in a home last week of a couple and I didn’t want to leave. I told them, as I always do, that there home has great energy.
      Because I work with people who are very sick and vulnerable I have to practice excellent self care. They don’t mean to but they take a lot. A lot, a lot, a lot. I eat clean and take supplements I know make a difference (the B vitamins, probiotics, Kelp, which helps with thyroid function) I go to bed early. I exercise and meditate and practice Mindfulness. All these help when dealing with the energy vampires. I highly recommend reading anything on the Highly Sensitive Person. It will probably make a lot of sense to you.

  7. I took the test and I’m HS too. I have a big problem watching violence also. I have been wanting to see Outlander but now that you told me about the torture part, I don’t think I’m too enthusiastic about the show at all.

    • Leanna, read The Highly Sensitive Person! I think a lot of it will click with you, especially when it comes to your genre health and how you deal with pain issues. Super common for the HSP.

  8. My heart goes out to you, Birdie. We are both the same in this way. It makes me want to hide from the world, but you are right, helping is a good antidote. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping that you get some relief soon. I don’t know how to make those little heart things, but if I did I would put a long line of them here. Much Love to You!

    • πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•Sending you many little heart things! πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•
      Hope you are able to post soon!

  9. I just found Outlander this past weekend and made it to episode four before I decided it was too toxic for me…I actually had nightmares two nights in a row over it. The scene that finally did it was when they nailed the kid’s ear to a post and he was supposed to rip himself free (someone ended up saving him). Then there was another scene where a child was put through an exorcism when he’d actually been poisoned by a plant he ate….well, my church recommended my son also be put through an exorcism, and then it was discovered he was actually autistic. That shit’s just too real and I can’t handle it. I’ve noticed a lot of period dramas are way too heavy on torture and I don’t want anything to do with it.

    I did see a really good series called One Mississippi….it was about sickness and death but was *funny as hell*. Why can’t they make more shows like that?

    • Violet, absolutely do not go and further. It get 1000 x more brutal. Thanks for the recommendation. My go to for funny is Arrested Development but it isn’t for everyone.

Comments are closed.