Learn common mistakes people make in their relationships when they’re dealing with PTSD symptoms.
Jean Grey begins to develop “incredible powers” (which I’ll refer to from here on out as PTSD symptoms) that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world.
I just so happened to be in LA the weekend of June 7 when Dark Phoenix premiered in theaters. There was a lot hype— the bigger than life Jean Grey billboard smack dab down the center of one of the tallest buildings I’d ever seen an ad posted on. Plus, grown men were dressed up like super heroes and villains in the middle of the 89 degree day.
But maybe that was normal.
I thought “Who does that? And who’d even want to see some superhero turn evil and go on a killing spree?”
My fifteen year old nephew.
He’s the Marvel Legend watching, comic-book reading junkie who wanted to see his first 4DX movie. And of course! the only 4DX movie that week was Dark Phoenix.
I don’t know much of anything about how X-men are supposed to act so this isn’t an actual Dark Phoenix review. I do know, for many–Dark Phoenix was a straight bust. There was so much disappointment about the flat storyline (nobody really evolved), the cheap makeup, and the cheesy dialogue and costumes.
One critic wrote, “Not an F, but this movie doesn’t deserve any enthusiasm whatsoever.”
I realize there’s also a boatload of other negative reviews from angry fans, which is probably the main reason Dark Phoenix had the biggest second weekend box office drop not just for an X-Men film, but for any superhero movie ever.
But I gotta say after leaving the theater, I luuuvvved Dark Phoenix…but for all the allegedly-wrong reasons.
First, Ororo Monroe/Storm, played by Alexandra Shipp, had the most memorable quote and was badazz ah-mazing. Plus, that ombre blonde/black chic (yessss, honey) cut was ah-ma-zinger.
Second, I wished I had a blue speeding bullet friend like Nightcrawler, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, to bail me out of foolishness.
Third, being in a 4DX theater left me on the edge of my seat.
And last, but best of all, it reminded me of some of the couples I work with.
With that said, I’m a romantic comedy/drama/psych thriller-type therapist—I don’t know how many stars or rotten tomatoes it deserves, but I’d give Dark Phoenix four out of five stress balls for therapeutic appeal: it’s among (this year’s) best movies about PTSD and relationships.
Hiding in plain sight are nuggets of truth about how PTSD symptoms can ruin your love life faster than a speeding Nightcrawler.
PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is an anxiety disorder that happens after a traumatic event, sometimes life-threatening event. Although the person is a victim, they almost appear to be a survivor because they escaped physical death. The issue is that they can look completely “normal” but there’s still an emotional and many times spiritual death that happens because PTSD shifts a person’s memories and beliefs about themselves, others, and the world.
In DP, Jean’s traumatic event (not gonna spoil it) led to some of the classic PTSD symptoms, including:
Here’s some stuff I noticed in Dark Phoenix.
Unfortunately, DP didn’t think she needed fixing. The more they tried to “fix” her, the more she fought and pulled away.
Miniature Spoiler Alert: My favorite scene was the street fight in front of her dad’s house, when the team tried to calm Jean down. Chile, please. That pissed her off and started the whole killing spree.
Ugh, I hated the ending of Dark Phoenix because this is exactly what happened. DP realized how her “incredible power” was hurting everybody, especially the love of her life and she basically bounced, superhero style. Not gone give it away, okay?
Heal. There is no other way around this but to stop avoiding it (avoidance is the #1 way people try to cope with PTSD) and get you some counseling. You could do individual therapy to process the trauma BUT if you’re in a long-term committed relationship, then Gottman Couples Therapy offers couples therapy to treat the relationship that is suffering because of PTSD. I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor and Gottman-trained to help couples heal from both trauma and affairs (little known couples counseling fact: being cheated on can cause PTSD).
Here’s another great resource and chance to connect with a Gottman Therapist in your area. Click here if you live outside of Mississippi.
What key takeaways did you get from this article? Has PTSD caused issues in your past or current relationship? Leave a comment below and let me know.
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