They say that one of the symptoms of trauma is unbidden thoughts coming to one’s mind. Like, memories of the traumatic event, or thoughts of similar types of trauma. I’ll walk around the streets of New York and, out of the blue, I’ll have an image of getting hit in the head, sometimes with a bullet, sometimes with a blunt instrument. I used to worry about those thoughts, used to worry that I harbored secret desires for suicide. Except now I know that they’re just echoes of trauma. Not that I was ever bludgeoned in the head… no wait a minute. Yes I was. Remember The Butcherwoman of Phoenix? That was a blow to the head. Well, there you have it. Echoes of trauma. And that’s just the way it is when you’ve survived stuff like that, and I’ve come to know it now.
But what I want to write about today are thoughts that disturb me still. Sometimes I wish people were dead. And no, I don’t wish that they actually were. I only long for the peace that I suspect their disappearance would bring me. Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t be any more peaceful. But it’s nice to blame something outside myself for my unrest, isn’t it. It’s weird when these thoughts come unbidden, because I don’t have the same reaction to death that I suspect most people have. I don’t wish death on anyone as revenge. In many instances, when I think of someone’s death, I think how much happier that person might be if he didn’t have to deal with what plagues his conscious life. Of course, I know that death is not my decision to make, and these thoughts are NOT accompanied by ideas on how to bring about anyone’s death. But they ARE accompanied by guilt because I’m so entrenched in the world, that something inside me says I MUST feel guilty for wishing for someone’s death. Even though I don’t feel like death is a bad thing. It just is, like being sick with the flu, or like the color of one’s hair – pre-ordained, immutable and/or inevitable. So why the guilt? If death isn’t a bad thing, why should I feel guilty wishing it upon anyone?
We fear the unknown. And despite all science’s advances, we are still no closer to understanding what exists beyond the life we know here. It is the unknown we fear, and it is the unknown we judge. If we don’t know it, it must be bad. And I’m as caught up in all that illusory thinking as anyone else. Certain people, I would miss if they were to die. But I don’t think anyone close to me who died would really be that far away. And I’m old enough to stop caring what other people might think were they to catch me talking to a dead loved one, say, in my kitchen while baking muffins. They talk about carrying one’s loved ones in one’s heart even after they pass. I’m a little more literal. Someone may be in my heart, but that doesn’t mean that particles of his life energy aren’t still floating around this plane of consciousness after his body has been discarded. Call me crazy if you want. It’s okay. But don’t call me on my guilt. I’m sensitive about that still.
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