You know it’s a passion when you feel absolutely drained after you’ve completed it. This happens a lot with my writing, but this time around it happened in creating a video, the most recent Lynette’s Law video (below), specifically. I’ve been helping Heather Sinclair with her Lynette’s Law movement (http://www.lynetteslaw4maryland.com) since just after the time of its inception and this time she asked for a video underscoring how rampant sexual exploitation by mental health professionals and therapist abuse has been while using the powerful “Lux Aeterna” score by Clint Mansell. This also needed to be completed at least a few days prior to the HB 33 hearing on January 28.
I suppose you can call this a post-production developer’s diary. I wanted to make sure this video drove its message home. It wasn’t just going to be a few pictures and screenshots of articles. No… I wanted to bombard the viewer with as much as I could find. The problem was I kept finding… and finding… and finding. Articles about therapists exploiting their patients are not that hard to come by, actually, and while that’s scary enough what’s even scarier is that most of these cases don’t even end up in the news. Hell, 80% of victims don’t even report what happened to them. So with that perspective in mind I wanted the viewer saying, “Holy crap.”
Keeping with the tempo and the beat, article after article is offered up. There is some graphic imagery as well, and I highlight a couple recent cases in Maryland, disclosing segments of their public documents. The one about Andrew “Clint” Stees is particularly noteworthy since the case document actually does a very good job of stepping through how he groomed his victim… and started moving on to the next one when he was done with her.
All the while as I was piecing it together my heart was being torn. The searing orchestra coursed through my veins relentlessly hour after hour as I meticulously edited each clip. I’ve done heavy editing of my own paranormal show with splashes of special effects, but this was, by far, the most challenging video I’ve yet done. Timing was essential as I tried to emotionally capture the viewer while I was also battling my own emotions. And the content… was gut-wrenching. The video focuses on the headlines, but personal stories behind the headlines are absolutely tragic.
I can’t tell you how many lives and families were destroyed, the number of children that were sexually abused (about 1 in 20 of these cases are minors, but it seems like more). There were delusional statements from a female therapist who intentionally destroyed the marriage of a couple she was counseling so she could sexually exploit the husband and told him, “I made you a man,” and an 18 year old victim of her therapist rapist of three years who she had started seeing for depression and suicidal thoughts telling him, “You made it so much worse.” Others were repeat offenders or were trying to hide behind their religion. There’s far too much to go into… just look up the headlines from the video if you really want to know.
It took me a couple weeks to get it all together, but the next morning after completing the video I was emotionally wiped. It didn’t help that I’d had a strange dream during that night as well, but my heart was heavy. Mixed with a sense of accomplishment and pride was an emotional let down that lingered around me throughout the day. I was certainly glad that Heather was happy with the video and she kept watching it, and others chimed in with positive feedback. That helped me smile through the thick murk that was surrounding me. If this truly helps Heather and Lynette’s Law on Tuesday and throughout the rest of the legislative session, then that’s fantastic. One part of Lynette’s Law passed in Maryland last year, now the rest needs to pass this year. If this is what it feels like after just making a video, I can’t imagine the emotional trauma of those that have suffered through the real horror.
So voice your support with a letter to Lynette’s Law or at the hearings this session!