Our childhood/other traumas creates/molds our adulthood. Or does it? It paves the way. It creates memories and triggers for us. What it’s supposed to do is create happy memories and lay proper foundations for a person so they can live their life in society with others in a decently normal fashion with happiness. Honestly, how many people have had absolutely nothing horrible or traumatic occur, events they wouldn’t hesitate to share with someone, really understand or appreciate what Survivors are living with in the aftermath? They read the stories and see events happen to people. How much empathy, compassion and concern is there? Do they feel?
There could be a myriad of emotions on their side. They could have pity. They could be non-believers, thinking the Survivor is simply being dramatic. After all, if their life was so picture-perfect-white-picket-fence how could someone else’s life have been so bad and no one saved that child or woman? Or they think you just write a great story. Or they get angry because they have a vested interest in you and don’t want to hear anymore because they can’t bear to listen to the injustices. It hurts them, too. Or they simply don’t get it. They just don’t understand because it’s too mind-boggling to them. They’re too closed to open up to understand anyone else because they don’t understand themselves.
We as Survivors tell our stories because we have to. Sometimes the stories just spill out at inopportune times. Sometimes we’re asked about a particular moment in time so we must explain. Other times, there’s a trigger, and again, an explanation is due. The reactions may not always be positive, in fact, they’re sometimes negative or just shocked faces. Oh well. They asked, we tell.
Recently, a newer acquaintance asked me some questions about something in my past. I answered the best I could. I’m an honest person and have nothing to hide. My mantra is if I don’t tell any lies I won’t have to remember them. So we’re having this conversation and I’m attempting to explain to her what she’s asking. Suddenly she tells me that she thinks I obsess too much on the past and that isn’t any good for me. I started to laugh. I told her that wasn’t true at all. I said that she had asked me questions so I was answering them. She had brought up the past, I didn’t. How was that obsessing about the past if she was the one that had initiated the discussion? She couldn’t answer because she knew I was right.
I don’t sit and think about traumas and all that went on before. Believe me, my PTSD does that for me. It brings my memories back as triggers when I least expect them. I have one dear person I do talk with when I want to about things from my past. We share our stories when we’re in the mood in a healthy way trying to sort things out.
But Survivors are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I do know we understand each other. When you find another, it’s like finding another soul. Another soul who understands we’re people who might like to look out the window at nothing, who has eyes that are deeper than anyone’s you’ve ever known and someone who has more layers than an onion.
Keep those Survivors close when you meet them. They’re special people. The pain they know and have felt is intolerable to most but they’ve survived and surmounted it. They’re people who can climb mountains now simply because the mountain is there.
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