30 March 2010

How to deal with the consequences?

Few weeks ago I got a verbal compliment about the strength of my character that showed in ways I choose how to deal with the situation during the war. I was pondering why did I choose such way, although many people around me did not.
I still do not know.
Last weekend something happened that made me ponder again about all of that. I met a man who was in those towers during that attack on 11th September in US; almost a decade ago. He is in financial business so I’m actually the one who started the conversation asking him how come that he’s on a west coast of US when internationally recognized financial centre of the US is on the east coast. And he then explained. With a rather nasty reaction. Some other girl in the our company, American, asked him additional questions, and he rudely stated that he does not wish to talk about it and even left our table for good 15 minutes. That really made me pondering.
I saw such reactions, usually from the soldiers on the leave that came home after first serious battle they had. What was interesting those same soldiers had completely different reactions later, when they went trough several battles. They were talking about everything they saw and experienced, as I would discuss seeding flowers for the garden. I still remember a man we called Julko talking about the incident when he was having a bite with his mates in a trench, and some stray bullet (high calibre one) hit one of his mates in the head, made the head explode and splatter bits of the brain all over them. Julko said that he and the rest of the soldiers who were sitting there just continued with the lunch.  And someone who never been in the war situation would get sick only at hearing him talk about it.
I noticed something similar with me. I have rather relax attitude towards death comparing it to average person who never been in the war. Recently, two of my uncles died in less than year apart from each other. One from stroke, other from cancer that was developed bunch of the metastases before he was even diagnosed with it. I told about it people who surrounding me. After all one of my uncles was dear to me. And I had feeling that they, especially my boss, overreact a bit in attempt to give me a support. So whole situation left me in rather uncomfortable situation because I was not sad. For me, death is something normal, a part of life. And I considered that the uncle who died from stroke got rather lucky in that respect because he went fast, without much suffering. Other uncle was suffering for almost a year after diagnosis, and even there, all what happened from my side was row with some members of the family who did not wish to respect his wishes not to go to a chemo therapy (which was pointless anyway because cancer spread so much that doctors could not tell from which organ it started!). But that’s another story.
Anyway, it is interesting how it seems that one brutal event can make more damage to someone that series of those. Of course loads of the things depend on the fact what kind of personality someone had before the event. Maybe the reactions of the person at the brutal event or events are perfect indicator of the soul?
If I go with this, then this man I met is easy to understand. He was scared to the death during event, so much that he run away further he could and probably ended up also ashamed of his fear and reaction on it. Because almost decade later he still have reactions appropriate for the time just after events. To me that indicate that he never tried to work on that and solve it. Rather strange, considering that in US, which is basically in some kind of the war since WWII, one can find true experts in dealing with post-traumatic stress.
And perhaps therefore there is this difference between us. I know I went trough worse than he is. Approximately, there is a same time period elapsed, but when I compare myself to him, I can see that it was truly right decision to try to work on myself and try to sort out the consequences of the brutal events I went trough.
Wow, I just realized that I almost completed a healing process. That is such encouragement to continue with it.
But what about that man? I might meet him again. We belong to the same club. The trouble is I know that he needs to work on himself, but I do not know how to tell him that. I cannot give him advices because he does not allow himself to heal. Actually, I do not know how to give him advices. And I know, from experience with other people, that I cannot force anything on him. Not even descriptions of my own experiences. The one thing I learned so far is that one cannot help others. First and foremost, person needs to be ready to accept help. Otherwise, everything is pointless and colossal waste of time and effort.