Safety is Not For Sale. You Cannot Buy Peace of Mind

(JJ Heller–In The End)

This is going to be one of my all over the place not very focused blog posts because I have been writing it in my head for a while and therefore have so many directions that I could go that I can’t write about all of them, but a lot of the details and connecting bits have gotten lost so it’ll be kinda disjointed…

Sometimes life don’t go the way it should (Britt Nicole—Still That Girl). I wish there were a price I could pay to ensure that everything would go the way it should, but you can’t purchase safety. Peace of mind is not a commodity that can be bought. A lot of life seems out of my hands (Home—Christa Wells), but day by day I make it through.

We can talk physical safety—today I walked to someone’s house for a meeting and she kinda freaked out that I didn’t drive and made me get a ride back…to me I feel like that is excessive…I didn’t have to walk much further to get there then I walk the opposite direction on a regular basis to get to my favorite spot to park…and I live back to back with a pharmacist and pharmacists are professionals so they can live wherever they want so this must be a reasonably safe place to be, and I went down the fire escape so almost half the distance was in the alley between my apartment and her house anyway…but if it makes someone else feel unsafe and takes away their peace of mind for me to walk back home I won’t fight the ride back.

This is something I am not sure that I have really talked about much on here, but I have been thinking that people get dead a lot. I know that is a really strange way to phrase it…but that is the way it came into my head a few days ago…and every time I have said that to myself I have told myself that I am wrong. First of all, people don’t “get dead,” they die. Also, they don’t get dead a lot. They either, to use that phraseology, get dead or don’t get dead…they can’t only kind of die and therefore they can’t get dead a lot. Finally, they do not get dead a lot, they get dead once and then they are done…but anyway, back to the point, over this break, three people I was connected to in some way died. Luckily this year the people who died were names that I could not instantly put a face to, and the way each of them was revealed to me allowed me to distance myself enough from them to not be overly affected by the deaths, but I think it has really made me face and embrace that you never truly can know what tomorrow holds. I can try to prepare myself for the future, but in reality I don’t even know what will be going on in the next five minutes, much less what will happen next week, next year, or next decade. I also had a cousin get a TBI in a car accident over break, adding to that sense of not knowing what the future holds and needing to learn to roll with the punches. So umm yeah, I think it was a few months ago now that a teenager from my high school went missing/ran away from home. Right around the time I was finishing my semester he was found, presumably having died of hypothermia. I had known about that but not really been able to place the name with a face or anything, and the elapsed time and seeing it from a distance softened the fact that he had died. Someone I kind of knew was kind of close to the family, but the connection wasn’t strong enough to really hurt me, and this girl did not talk about it with enough emotion for me to be drawn into the pain to a great extent. Someone at school apparently also died. This one was also cushioned really well by distance both physical and temporal. This death occurred shortly after my semester ended, but was not announced until the break was almost over, so something that occurred so far away and had happened so long ago was so removed from my reality that it didn’t really turn my world upside down. This one I could picture the mother, and to be honest, talking about death is something I can do here but is something I am not so comfortable with in the world that is not bound by the plastic of my laptop screen and the duration of my battery life, so that did stir up some emotion in me, but I don’t want to live in that pain…I don’t know how to approach that situation, but for the moment it is working just fine to act as if nothing happened, because so far I have not had an opportunity to even choose if I will interact with the mother. The third death is the most recent. It was kind of hinted at on facebook so I was kind of halfway prepared when it was announced at church. I felt somber, but to be honest, that one was someone I didn’t know and didn’t even look familiar in the picture so it was hard to feel connected to that. It touched my world, but it hasn’t toppled my globe…and I don’t wanna write about this right now anymore so suffice it to say that although there was one more death than last winter break, I think I am probably less affected since last time both of them were closer to my inner circle…

I don’t want it to seem that I am callous towards death and don’t care; I do care, but being torn apart by it doesn’t help anyone. It won’t bring the person back and it will ultimately just hurt me in the end to get worked up over it. Also, as a healthcare worker, death is something that is routine, and if I were torn to pieces by every death then I’d have a major problem. For a health care worker it is simply part of life that it eventually comes to an end, but I recognize to others my every day is their once in a lifetime. I understand that death hurts for the survivors and that it can be an intensely emotional experience, and I am certainly not negating the pain and loss—I have experienced loss in ways that did feel real and were intensely painful, but these particular deaths this winter break just did not rock my world too much…or at least they haven’t yet…occasionally with things like this I just don’t process it at first and a few days later is when it hits and crushes me, but I think as far as I can tell that I am pretty stable right now.

I suppose I should add for the few people who may be reading who I told about my cousin being in ICU in a medically induced coma and unable to be taken out of it that he was released from the hospital—though one of my aunts who is a nurse notes that it seems pretty negligent to have let him out. He still is severely impaired and needs constant supervision because mentally he is really not there in a lot of ways, but medically he is fairly stable although he does have pneumonia yet insists on smoking…he is nineteen and did not necessarily make good choices when his brain was working, so why would he start making good choices now…but anyway, it seems like that has become more of a family drama story than a medical story…but it started as a car accident…I am not going to go into the details, but I know that even an experienced driver can get into accidents, and no one is immune from the devastation of car accidents…passengers can be hurt/killed as can people in other cars from the person who messed up.

I have come a long way towards acceptance, but things are not perfect, and if I could buy safety from things that would trigger negative emotion I totally would, but I can’t. My friend announced that there was a lot of chocolate and we could come with her to have as much as we wanted…and I couldn’t come with her and watching everyone else so happy and excited and exclaiming about how good it was made it really hard for me to be left out and alone and not to be melodramatic or anything, but I was close to tears. It wasn’t even really about the candy. I had just eaten sweetarts which are more exciting to me than chocolate anyway, but it was the exclusion and the isolation. There was everyone else and then physically separated there was me which led to emotional separation as my internal emotional barometer went down while theirs went up…I can (and do) buy my own candy to offset the hurt from being left out (and because sugar works well for me to control emotion…and hunger…and boredom…) but no amount of candy feels like it will ever be enough to make up for the loss, because it isn’t *really* about the candy. That is something physical that I can point to as a loss, but the real loss was the camaraderie and sense of acceptance and belonging that will probably never be the same again. It meant a lot to me that one person did bring me some, but I hate being different, and I hate people needing to accommodate me, and I hate that I can’t just be a college girl hanging out with my friends, and I hate how much this hurts me. I can buy candy, but I can’t buy friendship…I tried that in middle school and it didn’t really work—people were super nice to me when I had something to give, but when I ran out of chocolate to buy friends with I also ran out of friends and went back to being the constant target of bullying…and in a bigger sense I guess that is kind of what happened here…I came from home without treats to share and then bigger problems happened…although I am not naïve enough to really believe that someone would treat me the way I have been treated over a cookie or other sugary snack…

At school some stuff has changed which caused somewhat of a problem for me…everyone else is going somewhere I will not follow and I feel left out again…I think no big, I’ll just run up a flight of stairs run down the hallway and catch up to them at the other side…which would have been a great plan if I hadn’t run into a locked door…girlieQ is smart and goes up one more flight but remembers about all the people and stuff in that hallway and doesn’t want to interrupt nor does she want to have to explain what is going on…girlieQ gets frustrated and stops to think and remembers her back pack up four more flights of stairs…probably better not to wander back for it alone, but considering the options of pout in stairwell or go get backpack, the backpack sounds most promising…girlieQ gets her backpack and tried to wait for friend to say bye…girlieQ is impatient and rides the elevator downstairs to where friends are just finishing a conversation that she missed…girlieQ proceeds to feeling left out once again…(if you hadn’t figured it out, I have started referring to myself as girlieQ…I started with that in college I have picked up the concept of calling people “girl” or “girly” and then I combined that with cutie pie to get girlypie which then combined with curly cue to become girlieQ…yeah, it is a strange world inside my brain sometimes…) I still don’t know why that door was locked though…

I decided before prayer walk was when I was going to see friend in person and was therefore when I was going to ask to talk the next day about stuff…but then I saw friend ahead of schedule…and pretty much awkwardly stood next to her not having a conversation because that was what I was going to talk about later…haha yeah…awkward turtles…but as it turns out friend was stressed out and didn’t really want to talk the next day, so it maybe was better to not have all day to think about how other friend was wrong about friend being excited to talk…and I think the strange way I am talking about this is a product of tired-ness so I will now be going to bed…TTYL J


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