Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #159: Antwone Fisher
March 13, 2010, 8:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday I was in a crowded room while listening to a trauma expert speak.  In her speech, she showed the movie “Antwone Fisher“, and there was a terrible scene of child abuse.  I had already read the book years ago, but the movie’s scenes were horrific.  I, of course, wanted to cry and gasp.  But I was in a crowded room and I didn’t feel safe enough to emote, so I comported myself as though watching this terribleness meant nothing to me.


In the movie, we see Antwone’s foster mother beat him unconscious with a towel.  The next scene is him in the navy.  Some asshole is joking around with everyone, and he is obviously bothersome, but Antwone acts like he doesn’t even hear him.  The guy comes right up to his face and says some shit to him.  Antwone still acts like nothing is wrong.  The guy gets a towel and snaps it around jokingly.  Antwone punches him in the face. 

The whole time I am watching, I am stone-faced, as if watching children get hurt means nothing to me.  As if the hurting of me as a child has not formed everything that I am now.

The trauma expert stopped the movie there and said “Did you notice how Antwone didn’t react at all even though this guy was bothering him?  Traumatized children generally have a hyper-startle response to things that the rest of us don’t even notice.  This is because their cortisol levels have never been normalized and they always stay at high alert.  However, noticeably reacting to things makes them vulnerable.  So they become very very good at hiding their hyper-reactions to things.”

I almost started to cry then, right there in that room full of people.  Because, of course, she was describing exactly what had just happened to me.  If people see that I am reacting, they will know I have a personal connection to it.  If they know that, they will know I was abused.  And then they will think I am crazy for reacting like that to scenes that they can somehow callously watch without any reaction.  This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids. 

I am not crazy.  I am abused.   And even if I weren’t, we should all be reacting terribly when we see people hurting kids.

11 Comments so far
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That’s really touching.
I worry that I am overreacting to scenarios around me as well. For instance, I recently heard a child crying that to me sounded like she was being raped as she was saying “no”. It really worried me, and I was not sure if I should be calling the police. I am responsible for this child because I am her neighbor, so I am still on a kind of alert. If I ever come home early again, will I hear this terrible cry again? Will I ever have the chance to knock on the damned door and say something again? Or am I being paranoid and making something out of nothing?

No, you’re not crazy, and in my opinion you are very responsible for yourself. Being able to refrain from crying is just as brave as crying in public. You are holding yourself together against all odds, against all the anger and suffering you have held back. And that is not only sane but intelligent and extremely difficult. It sounds like this woman trauma expert, of all people had the most potential to notice you and spot the other people in your classroom who might have been this deeply affected by her speech. I hope she was able to give you a moment of solace with that.

Comment by sandma1half

i am so glad i found your blog today. i came over from here in my world. i completely understand what you have written here. i get it. the way i react to things,…and the way i DONT.

i am going to blogroll you today. blessings.

mile 191

Comment by mile191

Hi Mile 191,

Thank you for your kind words. What is your blog’s website address, please?


Comment by butterflysblog

this is so right on….frozen…I never heard of this film. I don’t think I could even watch it. thank you so much for sharing this….for putting it out here….

Comment by gentlerecovery

[…] Reason #159: Antwone Fisher […]

Pingback by Reason #160: Secret window into my soul « Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Wow butterfly. Thank you so much for sharing. I really needed to hear this. I need to go back and help my children understand this concept. Wow I am just blown away, it fits exactly with what my therapist was trying to get me to understand yesterday. Blessings to you.

Comment by vickiinaz

The sick part of this, the thing I’ve run into.. Is that there are some people who are eager for the reaction. Maybe it’s the excitement. Maybe they’re survivors too, and want to see someone flip out because it would give them permission to as well.

But there are times when someone makes a rape joke, when something is on the screen that twigs me, when sexual assault in the military comes up in conversation… And I see people watching me. They watch me as if they’re a little keyed up. Nervous. Excited. They want to know what I’ll do.

Every time it happens, I stare straight ahead. I blink normally as if I didn’t even notice. I think… I think this actually needs some consideration in my own blog. Thank you.

Comment by oniongirl13

Hi Butterfly,

I have always tended to be the emotional one, the one that does show a reaction, that it is obvious I have a history of abuse. That can be a drawback, especially when in public, and when others are drawing conclusions about me that make them see me in a vulnerable position. It took me a long time to get to the point where I could cover up a reaction and then even longer to decide what my boundaries were and when I would show my emotions and my reactions and when I wouldn’t. But I still get triggered into showing reactions sometimes. And it is disturbing, difficult, and rarely healing. I haven’t seen this movie yet. But it sounds as though I will have to when I am feeling up to it. Good and healing thoughts to you.


Comment by kate1975

[…] there is the possibility that their brains are wired differently than the rest of ours.  Yet, that trauma conference that I went to last month said that when you traumatize kids, their brains get wired differently […]

Pingback by Reason #175: Columbine « Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Hi, Butterfly. I found your blog two hours ago, and have been reading it since. Many, many entries have hit home with me but this is the first that made me cry.

I can remember being in school when I was young, maybe third grade and someone came to talk to the entire school about stuff. And they talked about what you should do if someone was doing inappropriate things to you – and I remember sitting there trying to remain as still and emotionless as possible because someone had already done bad things to me and if I reacted everyone would know.

I just wanted to tell you thank you for all of your writings. I’m a survivor that has done very little exploring of what happened, and I am afraid to even start talking about it because I’ve “survived” by pretending nothing ever happened. Your blog makes me think that it might be okay if I did start talking about it online where I don’t have to see people’s reactions or have them know it’s ME. So thank you.

Comment by midnightbeliever

Hi Midnight,

Thank you so much for the kind comment and I think it’s absolutely awesome that you are beginning to explore your survivorhood. Every time one of us speaks about our abuse, we break the secret for everyone.

– Butterfly

Comment by butterflysblog

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