Train wrecks. The media loves them, viewers love to watch them and people love to observe one in action. Why the obsession with this? Why the demand to know?
It is as if it is ‘better’ when there is a train wreck with devastation, dismemberment and death. Better yet if it all unfolds right in front of them! Even better if there is a survivor to pick at. Questions will pound at their skin as each one is determined to penetrate the tough exterior. Why? What happened? How do you live with it? Why did YOU survive? Over and over and …over. Even a writer who has blatantly gone against the grain can see these are attempts at personal trespassing. Ever since I made the decision to speak out and write about all the secretive stuff and, yes and..experienced the punishment for speaking out too, I’ve discovered something. No one wanted to see me heal, to get better. It’s so much more entertaining to see someone stuck in the non healing place. They never ask how are you getting well, what have you done to get past all you’ve been through?
It is always..”What happened to cause your PTSD/TBI?”
Does no one understand what a personal trespass this question is? It is not your ‘right to know’ as so many of us cannot share the information to begin with. In spite of writing about what I had through it was still not anyone’s ‘right to know’ exactly what ‘caused’ my PTSD,CPTSD or the TBI.
What matters is I have worked hard. I have worked through the long years of never leaving my house and yet still making a life for myself within those four walls. I endured having to relive moments I wished I could forget. Never sleeping at night is something I wish I could have set aside. Choosing to get well really wasn’t an option. Or at least I never saw it that way. It was a have to. I HAD to get well. I had to reclaim the me I was before all this happened and to try to make some sense of my life.
I had to rediscover my sense of purposeful living.
Sometimes, most times, I feel frustrated as I wait and wait for the one question I can answer. Not the ones about the PTSD, CPTSD, living with chronic illness or the TBI. Not those questions.
Yes, I seem to be ‘ok’ and “you’d never guess” etcs. But interact with me for more than the polite interaction and you’ll know I am not exactly ‘ok’. Yes I work hard to appear to be social when I really only want to stay at home and hide away in the safety of my room. There are in fact days on end I do not leave the house and will look forward to the one social activity I will choose for the week.
But the one question I always wait upon to be asked varies from month to month and sometimes year to year. Some days it merely is to be asked out for breakfast or lunch or to take a walk. Most days all I really want to hear is “I won’t ever understand what you went through, but I’m really glad you survived it.”
So instead my questions to you are these. “Do you, a stranger to me, have the right to know the details of what I survived?” Why do you feel you have the right to demand knowledge about the details of something you have no right to hear? Do you really believe you are the first to attempt to ask these questions?”
Personal trespass happens all the time and as much vicarious ‘fun’ it can seem to view the train wreck it isn’t as fun to have been in one or survived it. Nor is it ‘fun’ to be poked at in the secret hope blood and guts will spill out unexpectedly.
Believe me, I have learned to be much harder than I appear in all my bubble headed softness and I have learned how to deftly deflect all the arrows which get slung at me daily.
They still sting and cause irritation inside my spirit. But I now know the day will move on, I will move on because I’m not going to allow some random arrow to make me stumble.