Sharp Objects on HBO

I had seen previews of this show and read online that there would be triggers in it so caution should be taken when watching it. That got me curious, but I ultimately ended up watching it last night because I saw that Chris Messina is in it, along with Amy Adams, who I love. I am a fan of the two of them as husband and wife in the movie Julie & Julia, so naturally I had to watch this.

The show is very dark, and initially I thought the triggers would be brought on by the fact that the main character is an alcoholic. It doesn’t just show her drunk, but shows the act of drinking–rearranging bottles, buying liquor, pouring alcohol into a water bottle so she can drink while driving, etc. I don’t have a history of alcohol abuse, so this part of the show didn’t affect me. It wasn’t until the last scene that I realized that there was another aspect of the main character that was troubling. She is a cutter. With closeups of her bare skin while taking a bath, you see the pink scar lines on her shoulders and arms. It’s obvious that these are self-inflicted because the word ‘vanish’ is cut into her arm. The show ends after this is revealed.

Seeing this is not a trigger for me like it may have been at one time, and for that, I’m very thankful. If anything, it brought back memories. Throughout the episode, it is clear that it’s the summer in the south, as most of the characters are in shorts and short-sleeved shirts. There is even a large circle of sweat on the back of the lead detective’s shirt. And yet, Amy Adams’ character is always in long-sleeves and pants. I did that. When I was a cutter, I wore long-sleeved shirts out in public during the sweltering summer months. I had to hide the cuts somehow. But oddly, I never cringed when I looked at my cut-up arms. Even now, remembering the blood-red lines running parallel up and down my forearms, it doesn’t make me upset. Those cuts were a big relief to me then, and even beautiful in my mind.

The other thing that I got from the show is a reminder of why I will never again live in the town I grew up in. The main character on the show had a very disturbing childhood and is now having flashbacks of those times, now that she is an adult having to revisit the town to cover a story as a reporter. So many terrible things happened to me in the town I lived in from the age of 12. I can’t stand going back there. I really never have a reason to. In fact, they recently built a by-pass around the town so that when I have to travel north, I don’t even have to drive through the middle. The one time I had to actually go to a place in the town, I was quick to get out. I dropped off something that I had made for a friend and could not wait until my husband and I had driven out of the city limits. I am Facebook friends with a few people who still live there, and I just don’t get how they can stay. But then again, I didn’t live there my whole life. Maybe if I had, things would have been different.

In any case, the show only just premiered last night. I’m pretty sure I’ll watch the whole series. Like I said, the triggers that viewers were cautioned against don’t affect me. They are not making me want to cut myself again. Nothing will ever make me do that again. But I know that I will have to mentally prepare myself to watch each week. The show is seriously dark, definitely worth watching though.

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