Sunday, 15 January 2017

Trauma and our blurred perception of the world

Perception is what shapes the world for each of us. It's our interpretation and assigning of value to parts of the world around us. Just how we perceive the world is coloured by our experiences and thus also any traumatic experiences we have gone through.

As I'm typing this I know that I'm trapped, doomed to a horrible death of which only the details are missing, yet it's a death which will be drawn out and horrific.

I also know that nothing of that is true. Not at this point in my life at least. I know it to be just a collection of feelings, flashbacks and sensation of terror originating in my post-traumatic stress disorder. Having been there in that situation once. Having experienced those terrors for real have made it into reality.

Yet I am trapped in this prison cell. It has a small television built into the wall with a few channels on it, showing pictures of a world I can only dream of. A world in which people live their lives, have fun, fall in love, making friends, get to feel relaxed and bored, and enjoy themselves. I have a small shelf with a few books and other knick-knacks which I treasure and which keep me somewhat from going insane.

I occasionally get taken out of this cell for more beatings and interrogations, even if I do not know or understand why they keep doing this. I don't know anything. I just want to escape. Live a life like I have seen on TV.

I remember living a life like that, many years ago as a child. But that was a different life and a different person. Now a room and an apartment isn't a home, but just another prison cell. Moving apartments is just being relocated to a different cell block.

Freedom is one of those things people like to use a lot. Happiness, too. I barely even know what these words mean any more. At the very least my own association with them is what one feels when one manages to ignore the daily beatings and pain. A temporary, blissful moment of ignorance.

Even though I am often aware of the way my PTSD distorts and colours the world around me, I do have to admit to there also being very good reasons both for me thinking this way and for me being traumatised. Human society is one of the most cruel and unforgiving environments humanity has created for itself, outperforming its world wars and making nature look like a petting zoo.

I guess I have to keep living like this. Because I have to. Because.

Why again?


1 comment:

Tunde Ogunjimi said...

Dear Maya,

That's the world we live in. Things are not likely to change. Not any time soon. Freedom and happiness are not something external to us. They are within us. I remember reading a book something ago. Can't remember the author, but it's titled "It's All in Your Head". You are right about everything being our perceptions and backgrounds.

The life on TV is fake. I've stopped believing it a long time ago. They are acting things out. They give an impression of success and happiness. It's all lies, they are aching inside. They are miserable when the cameras are not watching. No human is free from this sense of emptiness. Physical states do not change it. It doesn't matter where one is in the world. That's not to say it's not sometimes good to change locations.

I've met people, who by every human assessment should be miserable. I am an African, we see these a lot. But this people seem to be happier than most who possess everything that should make them happy. They are content. It's an irony of life.

I was once living an unhappy life too. I thought my life would be a whole lot better if I came from a rich family, or was born in a better country. Looking back several years now, I can see my folly; I was completely wrong.

I found something that really turned my life around. People call it religion. For me it's a way of life. A different way of thinking. I found Christ, or better still, Christ found me. I became 'born again' in my early days in the university. My whole life has changed ever since. My surrounding circumstances no longer determines whether or not I am happy. It's something that flows from within.

I think you should try it too. It's very simple. The invisible being called God, whom the world tries to deny has made the process very simple for us. Simple as ABC:

- Acknowledge that you are sinner - We are all born into sin. All humans. Have you ever wondered how a child learns to lie without being taught?
- Confess every sin you know to God.
- Ask Christ to come into your life.

It's that simple Maya. Please give it a try. Please...