COVID and unsubs

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After my wife recovered from COVID, she realized she had some lingering symptoms. Like many of you who have had it, she doesn’t have the taste and smell she once had. Furthermore, she experiences bouts of insomnia.  

One evening as we were winding down after dinner, she excitedly told me about her new addiction. It is a show called “Criminal Minds.” Excitedly, she told me about how interesting it was and how good the episodes were.  

So, of course, I told her she should turn it on. As I was still buzzing around the house getting some school work ready for the next day, she settled in and clicked on the episode.

I walked through the living room and realized something sinister was going on. A man was burying people in concrete while they were still alive. Another episode showed a girl, infatuated with snakes, who wore special contacts and had cut her tongue to “become a snake” and then proceeded to kill what she called “pretty people.” Still another episode showed a killer clown  wreaking havoc on unsuspecting families.

After binge watching a few episodes, I stared at my sweet little wife in horror and disbelief. Surely this was not the same woman who cries at sad movies, who is the nurturing mother, whose friends call her sweet and kind.  I could not wrap my head around the idea of her being a fan of such a violent and disturbing show.

I continued staring at her as she talked, a wild look in her eye about other episodes she had watched. It seemed she had watched several seasons during her late night insomnia sessions.

I could see the attraction to the show. Being a counselor, her job is to figure people out and analyze situations. Watching FBI agents try to figure out the minds of, well, criminals would be something that is in her wheelhouse, somewhat. I mean, she surely doesn’t have serial killers as clients. But the process of figuring out crimes and analysis of the “unsubs” appeals to her.

Still, I struggled with wondering if I really knew the person I had been married to for 26 years. Was she secretly a fan of studying serial killers and their crimes? Did she really have the stomach for such things? Did she have a double life?

I mean, this is a girl who doesn’t like surprises. She has a long list of fears that I sometimes roll my eyes at.  Loud noises frighten her.  At times, she has gotten me up in the middle of the night to check on a noise she heard. Skittish, jumpy, nervous are words that can describe her at times.

It’s hard to think of her being up late at night in a dark house, watching a show where dead bodies come up out of the water or where people are poisoned and bleed out of their eyeballs. I still can’t believe that she watched the episode where a masked man, lurking in the shadows, was jumping out and attacking people in the park at night.

When we went to bed one night, I closed the bedroom door slightly to block out my daughter’s nightlight from across the hall.

“Will you leave the door cracked a little? Since I’ve watched ‘Criminal Minds,’ I get a little spooked at night.”

Whew! She’s normal, after all.

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