Wednesday, 13 July 2016

PTSD traumas: a fake world to believe in

What is the point of suffering a trauma? It sounds like a silly question, perhaps. Yet for countless people it is a question which dominates their lives. After everything is over and done with, the dust has settled and normalcy returns, with (possibly) justice served, nothing seems as poignant as the question of why one had to go through all of that.

Never will one be able to shake off or forget the feeling of rough hands grasping one's body, the smell and pulsating warmth of living entrails, the humiliation, the pain and the ease with which a life is snuffed out, with just the look of surprise left on a buddy's face as the sniper's bullet tears through his brain.

Suffering a trauma like that rips away the lies we are told and keep telling ourselves. It shows humans to be just lumbering machines of flesh, blood, bone and entrails. It reveals the machinations of human society and its politics to be the laughable yet very deadly game of children at a playground carrying live weapons instead of toy guns.

After the trauma has been suffered and the traumatic events officially concluded, there are the mutterings of sympathy from others, and the involvement of so-called professionals who have read books about trauma. Yet none of them will ever feel or experience what it is like. To see through the eyes of those who have seen too much. Those who have crossed the line of childish naivety and have seen what lies beyond.

Why did any of us have to suffer these traumas? In hindsight the answer is obvious: because this world of childish naivety and the playground games is the imperfect illusion, with cruel reality regularly savaging the innocent lamb. It is then up to the lamb to give up and die, or to turn into a wolf. It is the ultimate life's lesson.

With naive innocence cruelly slaughtered, there only remains the embracing of reality and the rejection of naivety. Human society is cruel and unforgiving. Humans can rarely, if ever, be trusted. Always expect the worst. Living is about survival. One can only rely on oneself and fellow survivors who found themselves in the same situation.

Many in human society live out their lives in this naive innocence and belief in humans as some kind of characters in a real life play. As if any of them actually matter. As if anything which happens in this make-belief world of humans actually matters. Yet reality isn't that kind. This is a tragicomedy in which everyone dies in the end.

Amidst all of this we are still expected to live and function as if nothing has happened to us. To pretend that we are still happy little lambs living our useless lives in completely naivety of the bleak truth. Any attempt to communicate our true thoughts and feelings are ignored, as regular people's brains are wired to blank out and ignore anything negative or unhappy. They are as likely to understand trauma as a fish can learn to breathe air.

And thus we remain; either we condemn ourselves to a life of lies as we pretend that indeed nothing happened to us, or we accept reality without the lies. The only survivable path there is a lonely and traumatic one. Yet it beats what awaits us on the other path: slow, cruel death through cancerous lies.


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