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Mental Health

Movie Characters and Why I Wish I Was One

Country of Origin: England

I wish that I was traumatized like people in movies are traumatized

I wish that other people could escape into my sad story to hide from their own

I wish that I was sardonic, I wish it made me funny

I wish that I was haunted not by entire years of life but by one single soundbite, a few flickering frames of film, something small enough to lock away and forget

I wish that the memories were in third person, distant, not seen through my eyes and made inescapable by perspective 

I wish that it was precise, I wish I could remember each word well enough to repeat inside my head until it turns into a prayer

I wish that I woke from nightmares and sat bolt-upright, panting in bed with glycerine sweat on my brow, disheveled but somehow sexy as well

I wish that the nadir of my downward spiral was me crying and punching my own reflection in a bathroom mirror

I wish that emotional music played over the rock-bottom scenes, two thirds of the way through the movie to kid the audience that it’s all going to end right now

I wish that even as I cut into myself and the corn-syrup blood spurts from little tubes hidden under silicone skin, as artificial tears roll down my cheeks over ersatz bruises, my face would be stony and still like a statue of a saint 

I wish that I would be rushed to hospital in a haze of red and blue lights and that my rescue would be medically accurate and miraculous

I wish that people around me would care

I wish that at my lowest point a manic pixie dream girl would take my hand and teach me to love life again, as if the issue isn’t what life has done to me but my attitude towards it

I wish that years of trauma could be negated by minutes of happiness

I wish that the parts of me that are trauma-formed were simply layers that obscure who I really am, that they could be shed like a snake sheds skin it no longer needs

I wish that they weren’t inseparable from me

I wish that those around me would be endlessly patient and understanding as I make my slow but steady progress, because they can see the good in me that is there for the benefit of the audience

I wish that I would have only a single setback in my recovery, and that my misery and fear would be resolved with a pep talk and a hug

I wish that I would take some minor but symbolic baby-step at the end of the movie that shows it’s all going to turn out okay

I wish that it would go the way the audience wants it to go

I wish that the ending of my movie would be happier than the start

Thank you to Apurva Makashir for their inspired edits on this piece and everyone else on the Mental Health team.

If you are interested in submitting a piece to the DG Sentinel, please visit our submissions page here.

S. is a 21-year-old writer, filmmaker, and artist who is studying creative writing and wishes to be a screenwriter and author. He has experience of living in care homes and adolescent psychiatric hospitals, and often uses themes of loneliness and instability in his work.

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