The Thing About Dumbo

I watched the movie Dumbo again recently. I hadn’t seen it in years. I’ve seen it several times in the past. Each time I react the same way.

I cry at two places in the movie, each time I have seen it. I was thinking about this before I saw the movie again. It is the kind of crying and tears that just comes over me without thought and hits me hard. It is not the kind of tears that I could control or stop. It is more of an unconscious sadness and aloneness that comes over me.

I cry when Dumbo is reunited with his mother, in the middle of the movie and at the end. The first time he just sees her trunk and she is in a trailer and cannot even see him. He reaches for her and she reaches for him. She cradles and rocks him in her trunk while a song is playing. It gets me every time. And then at the end of the movie when he is flying and slides right into her trunk for an embrace.

I don’t see the movie very often; it makes me cry. Seeing it again made me realize that I hadn’t watched it since having flashbacks about mother-daughter sexual abuse, which makes sense why I didn’t put it together why and what I was crying about. I was in the middle of the movie this time and realized it.

I cry because I feel that level of sadness and lonliness that Dumbo feels from being away from his mother’s love and I cry specifically when Dumbo is reunited each time, because that is something I never had and will never have, a mother who loves.

6 thoughts on “The Thing About Dumbo

  1. I sometimes feel the same way about my father. I will see a man walking and holding the hand of a small child and I will start to tear up.

    Kate, you were and are so deserving of a mother’s love. I am so sorry that you did not receive what you are worthy of.


    • Hi Hope,

      I understand that feeling when you see the father and child. I feel the same way. It is very hard for me to see.

      Thank you sweet Hope for your kind words. I am loved by my system and my friends and that is a very healing thing. I hope that, in time, seeing a mother’s love doesn’t trigger tears. Until then I will work on being a good mother for myself.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.



  2. Even though I had a good mother and a good childhood, I still cry at the tenderness of a child in a loving mother’s arms. It is almost impossible for me to understand how a mother could deny her child that love. I know it’s true, I’ve seen it. My niece is a survivor, but I cannot wrap my ” mother brain” around it. It just does not make sense in my world. I guess I hope it never does. Sweet Kate, I know the mother in you loves you, adores you, accepts you just as all mothers should. So please feel that love and adoration, no matter where it comes from. You deserve it!

    With all love, Granny


    • Hi Granny,

      “My niece is a survivor, but I cannot wrap my ” mother brain” around it. It just does not make sense in my world. I guess I hope it never does.”

      I understand what you are saying about a mother’s brain. I sometimes have trouble understanding abuse and tolerating abuse as well and I figure like you, I don’t understand, I never will, and I hope I never do. I have been told by other survivors that even though they experienced it, they still don’t understand and think that the understanding is beyond them and that that is a good thing.

      Good and healing thoughts to you and those you love.



  3. I have certain movies that are hard to watch because they bring up feelings about my (non-existent) relationship with my father, and then the tears start.

    I am sorry that you will never have a mother who loves. You deserve better than that.


    • Hi Tracie,

      I can understand that. I’m sorry that you didn’t have that relationship.

      I think that the love of our parents is the basic foundation that all humans use to go out into the world. Not having that is a deficit we as survivor of childhood abuse all have to deal with and learn how to fit that pit up for ourselves. I feel as though I have come a long way in filling the emptiness, but what I never had will still bring me to tears. I’m not sure, right now, if that is a bad thing or if it is okay, since I still have some need to mourn that non-existence in my life. Thanks for your kind words.

      Good and healing thoughts to you and those you love.



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