Movie flavor of the month for my daughter, frozen. Its got princesses, a snowman and a reindeer so kylie is happy. I don’t mind, I love the movie, great music, amazing cast, wonderful storyline….except one thing I noticed the other day (oddly for the first time). In the beginning when Elsa is dealing with the “problem” of her magic the trolls tell her and her family that she will need to learn to control it. 👏🏼 Yes I agree with this, trying to find that healthy balance of acknowledging, embracing and using the power with responsibility. Then as her power inevitably grows it becomes a bit more unstable. The words in the song change to “conceal, dont feel, don’t let them know, make one wrong move and everyone will know” …. my heart broke hearing these words. Again, not quite sure why this time out of all the times I’ve watched this movie these words hit home but ….wow. (I would like to side note, I’m not judging the parents on their choice to parent… of teaching her to conceal this. I would like to think that they were doing the best they thought they could offer to their daughter, after all The phrase is “hindsight is 2020” not beforesight or duringsight) anyways, as the movie progresses you see that Elsa struggles to control her power even after she sings the beautiful “let it go” song. In fact she struggles the rest of the movie until she experiences an act of true love that allows her to feel safe and therefore increase the stability of her powers.
More importantly I feel like the topic of Elsa’s powers seem to be a huge reflection of mental health and the misunderstanding of those with mental health diagnosis like anxiety, depression, etc. When Anna meets Elsa at her ice castle it reminds me of what a panic attack can feel like. There’s a sense of losing control (Elsa), a sense of never regaining that control again, and a feeling of isolation/wanting to isolate. There’s the person on the outside trying to help but not knowing what to do (Anna) and they can sometimes get caught in the unintentional “crossfire” of the panic attack. In the end they realize that love can melt the ice, and when Elsa finally embraces her powers the ice is shown as a beautiful thing.
As many of you have listened to my podcast episode on Adult Conversations and have read my blogs you know I tried/still try to “conceal, don’t feel” all the grief for a long time. But just as it happened to Elsa in the movie I had little outbursts of the pain at “random” or “spontaneous” times. I held it in for so long that my “Diet Coke bottle was ready to explode” (inside joke on the podcast). So by concealing and not feeling the “problem” it didn’t just go away it actually grew and caused further issues down the road. Now, I’m not saying you can’t get away with concealing and not feeling for a time (and occasionally it’s necessary for your life circumstances) but listen to your body, if you are paying attention your body will tell you when it’s had enough.
I want my message to be clear, wherever you are at in your healing/grieving/hurting phase please don’t conceal and dont feel. Instead reveal, feel and let someone know so that you don’t have to feel isolated or feel like you have to retreat.