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.