Imagination Connoisseur, Lazer Tron, shares a story about how watching a movie about dealing with trauma has helped point the way toward personal recovery.


First time letter writer here (I’m Lazer Tron in the chat). I hope this doesn’t stray too far from your field of interests (yes, I will get to science fiction eventually). This email is quite personal, so it’s not necessarily intended for publication/on air reading…but if you choose to do so, I would appreciate it if the final paragraph be edited out.

I’ve been depressed for as long as I can remember. Maybe it’s because I was abused as a child or bullied throughout my school years, or perhaps it’s the fact that damaged people tend to attract people who are looking for victims, but I don’t recall ever being truly happy. I’m now in my 40’s, and the idea that I am an ugly, worthless mistake is so ingrained in my mind that I can’t escape it. Due to a traumatic event in my youth involving people in the mental health field, I have resisted seeking out professional help and tried to make my way through life alone. I’ll be honest with you in saying that suicidal ideation became a daily part of my life that was increasingly difficult to fight.

Recently I watched a new indie sci-fi film called STARFISH, which stars the exceptionally beautiful and talented Virginia Gardner (Marvel’s RUNAWAYS, 2018’s HALLOWEEN, etc). In the film, her best friend dies, and after attending the funeral, Gardner’s character visit’s her friends apartment to feel connected to her one last time. When she wakes up the next morning, the world has been taken over by inter-dimensional beings and pretty much everyone else is gone. Fortunately, her friend left behind a series of mixtapes around the city that, when played, just may save the world. I won’t spoil the film, but the story is about trauma, grief, regret…and trying to find the inner strength to “save” your own world by taking brave steps to move on from your past into the unknown dangers of the future. 

Side note, but I LOVE this movie and Gardner is fantastic in the role. STARFISH and MIDSOMMAR (another genre film that deals with trauma) are my current favorite movies of 2019.

After watching the film, I couldn’t shake this strange feeling. I saw myself in the lead character…and realized that I have let my trauma define my entire life. I was inspired by the film to take the steps needed to get help…was diagnosed with anxiety and dependency disorders and have been in therapy and doing other things (mindfulness/meditation etc) in the few months since. I’m not completely healed and don’t expect to ever be completely rid of my issues…but the fact is that a movie helped change the course of my life and I am in the process of recovery.

My background is in music, and I’ve always been aware of the impact that music can have on fans, but it had never really occurred to me that movies can have that kind of impact. I find this incredibly fascinating and would love to know your thoughts on the subject. Obviously movies are a source of distraction and entertainment, but how do you feel about the deeper personal/societal impact that they can have…whether it is changing minds on social issues or helping someone like me recover from personal trauma.

Anyway, thanks for reading,
– Lazer Tron