I was reading the news this morning (as I often do with my first cup of coffee), more specifically a story about a woman who underwent a horrible ordeal and how she dealt with it. She stated in the story that she would tell everyone she met of her ordeal in case anyone wondered why she wasn't "acting like herself". At first I thought, 'well that makes sense', after all she had experienced this traumatic event which probably had changed her view on life as well as her outward reaction to relating to the populous. I thought, how cathartic for her to be so open and to allow people an opportunity to glance into her world. This seemed to be a coping mechanism for this woman or just an explanation of why she was different, or rather behaving/reacting to daily interactions differently. That was my first reaction.
My second reaction (after a second cup of coffee) was perhaps she wasn't behaving differently rather that she was behaving as someone she had become as a result of this trauma in her life. Perhaps the event made her the way she is and there will be no returning to who she was before. The events in our lives shape us, right? So why would a terrible event be no different than a positive one? She is going around telling everyone she meets of her ordeal sort of apologizing for acting in some way other than 'herself'. But the truth of it is that after an experience with this certain trauma 'herself' will never be back.
This new apologetic person has now become who she is. This person who is afraid and unsocial, spilling her guts out to anyone who will listen, is her new self. Whether she likes it or not. So why must she 'explain' herself as to why she is not 'herself' anymore? Why does she just not deal with the past with the help of her close confidants/therapists/etc. in private and go out into the world as her new self? Perhaps she doesn't want to be her new self, as this new persona was created by a wretched, most unfortunate circumstance. Understandable, but what if she were to embrace this new self, cultivate it, create a stronger more resilient self? What if she took this negative event and channelled it into something positive? I know this sounds a bit like an "easier said than done" situation, but seriously how powerful is our mind?
I think I need more coffee to continue this train of thought...and I really need to get back to work...