I am not ok today, and the reasons why are really throwing me for a loop. It just doesn’t make sense except as a trauma response. Apologies if this article is messy and disjointed, but I’m trying to sort this out.
I’m grieving y’all.
Spoiler alert: I’m going to discuss the end of Dexter: New Blood.
They fucking killed him. I was afraid this was going to happen, and was so anxious starting this episode I had to take meds. I had a feeling I wouldn’t take it well, but I was not prepared for just how not-well.
I feel like a real person died, someone I cared about. I ugly cried last night for nearly an hour. I dreamed about Dexter after I finally fell asleep. I woke up still on the verge of tears and massively depressed.
I’m not fucking functional today.
Dexter Isn’t A Real Person
I just want to throw that out there. Like I’ve not lost touch with reality, I know I’m talking about a fictional character. I’ve tried to tell myself that since he’s not real I can form my own headcanon where the last 10 minutes of last night went differently.
But it’s not working. I can’t unsee the stupid twist where Harrison goes from “Yeah I’ll ditch my girlfriend and all my new friends to go kill people in LA if we can get a pool” to “You are a piece of shit who must die because you killed one dude who was nice to me for a couple weeks,” in the space of thirty fucking seconds.
You don’t decide to do something as monumental as killing your own father* who you spent months tracking down on a godsdamned whim. Even if you are probably a psychopath. After the last 2 episodes where Dexter opened up to Harrison, where Harrison felt so relieved to be understood that he helped Dexter kill someone it just made no sense.
I’m Relating Way Too Hard
*- Because I’ve fucking thought about it. A lot. I went so far as to level a curse on mine, and yeah death was a potential outcome. And yeah, it almost happened. (I need to do a follow up post about that curse, but let’s say for now that the results were mind blowingly on the nose).
But I put up with decades of abuse before reaching that point. And even then, it was how they handled my grandmother’s death that made me pull that trigger.
Is that what has me so tore up about Dexter’s death? Or is it the whole adoption storyline? Am I putting myself in his shoes because we both have adoption trauma?
Or is it because I recognize my own psychopathic tendencies? If I’m being truly honest, I’m more than just fascinated with serial killers. I’ve loved Dexter Morgan for years because he did something I’ve thought about. And he did it to people who so richly deserved it. As Harrison said repeatedly in the last couple episodes, there are thousands of people alive who wouldn’t be if Dexter hadn’t stopped a couple hundred serial killers cold.
Well… fictional people. Because Dexter isn’t real. Right?
Is this haziness between fiction and reality part of my own dissociation? Is that what that word means? Is this my CPTSD? Because damned if he doesn’t feel pretty fucking real right now. And really fucking dead.
And before we go any further, no I’m not going to kill people. Nobody reading this needs to worry. I don’t fantasize about actually doing that. I just really enjoyed watching Dex do it. I do feel like if someone broke into my house or otherwise threatened me that I could do it without a second thought. But I’m not looking for opportunities or anything. And yes, that goes also for my parents. If a curse did it I’d chalk it up to karma. But I’m NOT going to physically make it happen. Hell I don’t want to be in the same city as them much less THAT close.
We clear on that?
The Timing Couldn’t Have Been Much Worse
I have very mixed feelings about what I’m about to say.
This week is the peak of my trigger season. My paternal grandmother died 6 years ago this week. My bestie’s mom died one year ago this week. There’s other major loss anniversaries this week. Relationships. Birthdays.
The biggest is my Mamaw. That death was such a watershed event in my life. She was the closest thing I had to a mother.
So it seems almost sacrilege to mention a tv character in the same breath. But I can’t help but wonder if my brain just can’t tell the difference because there is so much loss in my life around this week?
Welcome To My Life With Trauma
A brain on trauma just doesn’t work the same as one without it. You never know what might trigger a flashback, what might make you feel like you’re back in the bad times.
Even fiction can do it.
I try to be very careful what I watch. I’ve been recommended the show Maid as something that might be cathartic. But I know I can’t watch any depictions of domestic violence and abuse. I spent too many nights as a small child hiding while my 6-foot-five hulk of a dad went on drunken rampages.
Other times, I don’t know what causes a trigger. In The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks there is a scene where Ms. Lacks’ adult children are standing at her grave. I have no idea what else was happening or being said in that scene, but when I watched it I lost my shit. I was hysterical for hours and I still don’t know why.
I’m not sure why Dexter Morgan’s death feels so very real and painful to me, but it’s very likely got something to do with trauma. I thought of adding him to my ancestor altar, but I think my real life ancestors might not appreciate it. We’ll see what happens and how I feel over the next few days.
Have you ever reacted like this to a fictional character? Or are you a fan of Dexter and want to discuss the ending? Tell me about it in the comments!