I went to see the movie, Saving Mr. Banks, last night and thoroughly enjoyed this uplifting story. I was also deeply touched by the lessons that were embedded within it for anyone who has grown up with a parent who has a mental illness.
The movie clearly and poignantly illustrates the impact a man’s alcoholism had on his family and in particular, one of his daughters, who was very attached to him. It is so difficult watching a parent deteriorate, unable to overcome a deadly illness such as alcoholism. Each family member is impacted differently. The sensitive child is especially prone to becoming attached to the ill parent, even when that child is negatively impacted by the illness. This kind of attachment has a lasting effect on the child and can easily be carried into adulthood.
The movie also shows how a person can overcome painful experiences through creative expression, as P.L. Travers did with her book, Mary Poppins, and Walt Disney did with the creation of his park and animated characters.
Through creative expression and sharing experiences, we are able to make peace with our pasts and provide hope to the many people who are or have been in similar situations.