I saw it at a friend’s birthday sleepover back in 5th grade. I knew it was about scary demons and such… but NOTHING could’ve prepared my sweet and innocent 10 year old mind and heart for the absolute atrocity that is The Exorcist.
The Exorcist is a movie from 1973 about a bubbly little 12-year old girl who was possessed by a freakin demon… and the rescue mission pulled through by her mom and two Catholic priests.
Words alone cannot express just how this movie traumatized me for most of my life. The screaming, maniacal laughing, taunting, projectile vomiting and OMG… the spinning head.
To make matters worse, the Catholic school I attended at the time had a resident Exorcist from Sri Lanka… HOLY SCHNIKES. I had questions and you bet I asked them all. And the answers and explanations I received made it even more difficult for me to recover from the movie.
The theme song from the damb movie would randomly play in my head… and get stuck on loop.
And years later, I hear it all over again in one of my favorite Anime series Death Note.
I’m convinced that movie is the single reason I avoided horror films for pretty much all of my life. I never wanted to experience that level of fear again.
Then it happened.
My son asked me about the movie when he was in 5th grade – the very grade I was in when I saw this horribleness. I made it clear to him that we are never to speak of it and there is no way in hell I’m going to sit through that most frightening of films again – EVER.
Years passed without images of projectile vomiting invading my thoughts.
But after Joshua graduated from high school in May 2019, he asked me… again.
J: Mom, I’m 18… I’m just gonna watch it myself.
C: OMG, it’s the single most frightening experience in the history of EVER! Don’t do it!!!
J: It’s ok mom…
But then I got to thinking…
You know what? October 2017 was the beginning of the most painful and horrendous life experience I had to live through and overcome… it nearly killed me, but I was able to fight through it.
To be honest, at this point, I no longer scare easily. Perhaps I should face this fear from childhood and get it behind me too.
So I watched the bloody movie with my teenager.
As expected, I had a reaction to it… but it wasn’t what I expected at all.
My heart felt for the little head-spinning girl with vomit all over her face. She was trapped… something scary took over her entire life… she wanted out but didn’t know how.
Then this scene…
She was still in there… but this disgusting demon completely violated her existence and refused to let her go and just be the adorable giggly girl who loved spending time with her mom.
I got that.
I remember feeling trapped and hopeless. Trapped in the false love and empty promises of someone whose intentions were far from honest or loving. They used me to fulfill their own selfish agenda… and when I refused to follow their timeline, I was immediately replaced like I didn’t matter… it was like what we had never even happened.
I reached out for someone to help me, but most couldn’t see the writing.
I just wanted to be happy… focus on raising and enjoying my only child and live my life without having to manage or cope with the pain, fear, and confusion.
OMG… I went into fighting mode. Cheering for the little girl and the few people who hung tight to rescue her. One, even sacrificing his life to save her.
The movie ended… my son looked at me with curiosity and asked,
J: What did you think about it this time around?
C: I didn’t feel afraid at all… so weird. But I did feel horrible for the little pee-on-carpet girl… and I felt so much anger and aggression towards the monster that possessed her.
J: So you’re over your fear then?
C: Yes, but now I feel like I need to protect people from demons.
J: Awwww… my adorable mom.
Perception is a funny, but powerful thing… you can change your whole life by adjusting your interpretations.
Little did I know, I’m the interpreter and creator of meanings in my own life.