Sunday, 15 March 2009

Update: A Doll in the Pram...



You know how you can sometimes see something that completely freaks you out?

Well, I saw something which did do just that about a week ago...


I was out in the town when I passed this middle-aged couple with a baby-pram, and you know how people on the streets usually comment on how cute a baby is, or coo to babies? Well, it happens here too, and if the wind is not too cold, some parents will even carry their baby out for you to play with...

This couple, however, drew no such reaction. People walked pass them as if they didn't exist...


I was curious...The place where I live is very small and cosy, so most people seem to know each other, in some way or another...


And as I walked pass, I looked into the pram, and nearly freaked out...

Inside...was...a doll...A doll that was dressed just like a baby and covered in a blanket very much like you would tuck a baby...




I must have jumped, cos this middle-aged lady behind me patted me on the shoulder and lead me by the arm and whispered that this couple has been going around with the same pram and 'baby' for quite a while now...



And just a few days ago, we were discussing mental illness in the community, and the professor made brief mention of this exact couple, and I remembered this shudder going down my spine...I have met people with so many different disabilities and illnesses that not that much fazes me anymore.


In fact, on the way to the hospital for work yesterday, I met a man with Schizophrenia and chatted with him throughout the way. Contrary to popular belief, people with Schizophrenia are NOT violent. Only a very few are, and these cases are blown out of proportion by the media, which serves to perpetuate the myth and stigma...


Do you know what is the main cause of violence in society? Substance abuse!



But this whole incident with the doll in the pram really threw me off course...It just reminded me of the Living Dead Dolls collection.

For those who are not familiar with this collection, suffice to say all the dolls died in some way (drowning, murdered, butchered etc), and all have porcelain skin, with horrific deathly features, like gored out eyes or completely white eyes, and all come with a death certificate. You can even purchase coffins for your dolls!

I kid you not! I can't belief there are people who would pay between $600-800 for these collector items...



*Note: Do NOT click the link to the Living Dead Dolls if you have a weak heart and have no stomach for anything creepy...



***


Update: I chatted with my prof and it turns out, the couple in the story above could not have kids and that hurt them so much they started pushing a doll pram around with a doll in it. I don't know how far the story is true.


Whatever it is, just in case people start labelling them as 'freaks' (drawing from my story), let me point out that just because the doll freaked me out, it does not make the couple freaks. They have a story behind it. And I freaked out because I was reminded of the Living Dead Dolls collection--I don't know, it was just the idea of how something 'dead' was actually 'alive', but the 'death-like' features were still so prominent--and the retrieval cues freaked me out!

I was also strongly reminded of this movie of how a lady wanted a child so much, she actually started getting 'pregnant' and then had a baby. At the end of the movie, the camera panned-up close to show the 'baby' for the first time. It was a doll, whom she bathed, talked to, cuddled, dressed etc.



Sorry, I had to make that clear, because I think some of the comments posted have been misintepreted as labelling the couple as freaks (and I'm sure you guys just worded it ambiguously--it could be a label, or it could be an active expression of your own feeling). Remember, me 'freaked out' is a feeling I have. It's very different from labelling them as freaks, which is a stigma we apply.





23 comments:

Clarisse Teagen said...

just maybe cause i didn't watch the movie...
what's wrong with having a baby in the pram?

Anonymous said...

holy shit!! a doll in a pram pushed by adults?? holy shit!! that is creepy. it's like the couple from this show, i can't remember what, who can't accept their kid died and goes around pushing, feeding and dressing a doll..

Ms B said...

daph,

Everyday on my way back home, I pass through a lady selling newspaper and with her, there is a pram with a doll. sometimes the doll will be placed on the table, with her own 'chair' of course.

I got used to the whole thing.

Salt N Turmeric said...

They did a documentary on this not too long ago. 1 word Daphne, "FREAKS"!

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

i actually clicked on the link but since the loading took eorever, i decided to abort it. i wouldnt use the word freak, sounds a little harsh. until its confirmed the couple have chronic mental problem, i'd settle for weird.

WP said...

Oh gosh, I am SO glad I read on before clicking on that link. I do not want to see those dolls!

The couple with the doll sound kinda sad...I wonder what happened...

zorro said...

Whilst teaching in Singapore in the early 60s, some community service time was spent in Singapore's Woodbridge Hospital. I made it a point to spend my last hour with X. He was 45 and I was 23 then. I was always impressed by his intelligence and vision of the future. On one particular visit, I asked him to sit down with me as a sprained ankle did not encourage a walk in the grounds. He looked at me, frightened and just said...I cannot sit on cement benches....I will break like glass. I continue my visit for another two years and truth be told, I learned so much from him.

Just dropping by to say HI.

zorro said...

Surprised some of your readers called them FREAKS. They are not.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Clarisse,

The Living Dead Dolls is not a movie. It's a collection of 'dead' dolls, who 'resurrected', still haunt the earth, are thought to be dead but are trapped, or something along those lines.

The doll in the pram reminded me of the dolls. It was like it was a live person trapped in a doll's body the way she was being pushed around...

Funny, huh? When a child does it, it's cute. But when adults do it, I freak out?

wanshana said...

Daph,

I can somewhat understand if there was only ONE person alone pushing the pram with the doll. But, a couple?!

There must be a valid explanation to the whole thing.

By the way, hope you're feeling much better now after your terrible flu, dear :)

Salt N Turmeric said...

Like I said, I watched the documentary. All of them did not lose a child or anything like that. All of them (in tht documentary) simply loves the attention that only mothers with little babies would get from other people. That is what those people want. And they dont want to have real babies because real babies grow up and cry and have to be fed and cleaned and so on so forth. For that, they are freaks.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

reminds me of chucky. woooo...

but i'm sticking with what i stood earlier- weird. but i wouldnt call them weirdos though because again, i think that word is a little too harsh.

J.T. said...

I feel sorry for the couple, actually. We do not know what has affected them, if they are doing this as a result of a trauma.
However, if they are simply doing this for show - just to see how and if they can freak people out - then I would tell them to find another hobby. :P
It is different when a child plays with her doll and the pram (she is emulating an adult - well, I think so just like how we pretend to 'masak-masak' as kids) but it is a little weird for an adult (make that two) to be doing it.
We live in an interesting world, don't we?

Daphne Ling said...

Darn, I completely forgot about these un-answered comments...Will get back to it soonest! ;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Anon 07:51,

I know, that's why I felt a chill going down my spine...The show you talked about sounds like something I've watched before too, but I can't for the life of me remember the name! *Shudder*

I guess it's just their way of coping with loss.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Ms B,

I wonder if the lady selling newspapers is using it as a gimmick?

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Farina (I'm answering both your comments together),

Er...I'm sorry, but I can't agree with you there...Alot of people do alot of things that we find unpalatable, and alot of it is very attention-seeking in nature.

And if you really delve in deep, you will find there is usually some problem/issue etc that triggered it.

Look at people with Narcissism! They walk around expecting people to worship the ground they walk on, but they usually have very low self esteem and need the constant approval.

I cannot call them a freak. But yes, they need help. Which is why you have things like 'Mental Health Association', 'Psychology' and 'Psychiatry' etc. To reduce stigma and to help.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kerp,

The link has a lot of graphics, so would take long if the connection is low!

I'm sorry but I cannot agree with you either. Even if it's 100% confirmed the couple have a mental disorder, they are NOT freaks. Nobody chooses to have a mental disorders, just like nobody chooses to have cancer, arthritis, or any other physical disorder/illness.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi WP,

Haha. You're like me! The dolls do look creepy if you look at night, or if you're chicken like me...;)

As for the story behind the couple, I can't confirm for sure, but I'm with you. It's sad...=(

Daphne Ling said...

Hello Uncle B,

Thanks for sharing X's story...

I'm with you too. They are not freaks. Like I said above, nobody chooses to have a mental health issue.

It's amazing how much society stereotypes against people with mental disorders. The stigma is just so great.

I have met quite a bunch of people with various conditions which are covered under the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Anxiety, Phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Hypochondria, just to name a few...

In fact, I sit in class with so many of them. And to hear their struggles first hand, it's like *WHAM!*...

They're very much like us, just their minds work differently.

I've learnt alot from them too!

Daphne Ling said...

Hello Kak Shana,

Yeah, it's a couple. I feel very sad to look. Takut with the whole doll-in-pram, but sad also...

The flu has struck twice! But I'm better now...And keeping fingers crossed it will remain that way!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kerp,

I didn't see this comment. The behaviour may be weird, but we shouldn't call them weirdos, because we don't know what's going on. Yeap, that I can agree!

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Jacqui,

Yeah, I feel sorry for the couple too. From what I hear, it's not for show. Definitely some sad story behind it, according to my prof.

I know what you mean re child pushing pram. We all think it's so cute, ain't it?!? And we will even encourage it, and pretend along the baby is real!

But there are behaviours that is just not considered appropriate for adults. Like we're accustomed to seeing kids throwing tantrums in malls, and even regard it as 'normal'.

Try and enact a scene where an adult throws a tantrum in the mall when he/she doesn't get a bar of chocolate, and see what people around you will say!