Letter from a Follower-
After writing my last post, which I put up two days ago I continued to read letters that I had received. Part of my memory path was thinking about my own secrets and how I got to them, but I was unable to reconstruct it from my actual notes or concrete steps I took. However, I came across this letter and it really caused me to stop and recollect. I am not at all saying that this was my own experience but one that made me think of my own feelings and reluctances to confess my own secrets.
The actual letter said, ”…how do I ask my friends and family to accept a murderer back into their club?” I know his experience was not the experience of everyone who served in whatever War they served. It isn’t the same experience that someone who was raped, or was molested, or worked in a stressful profession, or however else PTSD entered your life. But there is a question or questions that we have or had festering in that dark inner chamber wherever that might be. I wrestled with worst secrets long ago and I’m sure I still grapple with some of them now. We are punished and re-punished again and again. We ask, “why me?”, and there is never a good answer. My theory is that we live in a cause and effect World. The principle is, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. The most common demonstration of this is a thing we’ve all seen, where there are six or so steel balls suspended from strings on this wooden square apparatus. If you take the last ball and pull it apart from the other balls and then release it, it swings back to the balls with a force and then from the other side the furthest ball responds by swinging away. If you do this experiment with any combination of balls the same equal and opposite reaction occurs. So, then what about us? What was the big thing terrible thing that I did that has caused this PTSD reaction? Why did it happen to me and not to my roommate or the next guy? Why did God choose me? As you know I am not religious, but I thought I’d throw this in for those who are religious. You see this reaction coming from someone who has survived the ruins of a hurricane, let’s say. The press interviews the survivor and they say, “I want to thank God for sparing my life” or something like this. To my thinking I don’t factor God or religion into these situations because if I did, I would have to include, “And why God, did you decide to destroy everyone’s home and kill so many of my neighbors in the first place?”
I have come to believe that we sometimes forget how infinitesimal we all are. I think about all the things going on, all over the World, every moment of the day. Things that are just random. Nothing personal about it. If you happen to be at a certain place at a certain time you will have to deal with whatever comes along. The cause and effect are still there but it simply has nothing to do with you personally, you are just like the steel balls. That same apparatus could have stood on the shelf for years with no one pulling the balls apart. It only reacted because I chose to start the thing reacting. It very easily could have been the apparatus sitting idly next to the one I chose to activate or none, at all. It was just a random act.
So, the letter from our follower was dealing with his issues and his struggle about inflicting his terrible experience on those who were unsuspecting and vulnerable. His family and friends would then be trying to understand, “Why them”, and so, the World turns. What I learned is that not every secret has to be shared with every audience. Posting and journaling is a safe place to unload without making it personal. It always eventually will make you feel better not bearing the terrible secret. But instead of doing it personally which sometimes might make you feel worse knowing that you have somehow transferred your terrible experience to others who are within your sphere of influence without meaning to. Our site is not to infect others but to heal you.