I think that we were all shocked to see what happened in Boston this week. And while everyone, including me, is quick to count our blessings that we, or nobody that we know, was affected by the bombing (I hope). It certainly puts things in perspective though. Whatever seems to be a crisis in our lives right now is probably never as traumatic as what those people are going through right now in Boston.
I really thought about what the people who were involved went through. Did they think: if only I had run faster or if I had been slower, I would not have been there when it happened. And what about the people at the side of the road? Did they wonder why they had chosen to stand in that particular area? Did they think that they wanted to buy something to drink but would wait 5 minutes and then they were injured because they waited those few minutes.
One of the most difficult things about dealing with trauma is the “what if?” question. You can and will spend hours thinking about what you could have done differently or what would have happened if you had made a different decision. Because you feel that for whatever reason, the decision you made was the wrong one.
The thing is that we don’t actually have any control over these things.
Constantly questioning yourself and your decisions, although very normal and appropriate when you are traumatised, is not going to help you to overcome your trauma.
It happened. And you wish that it didn’t happen but it did. And no amount of questioning or rationalising or over-thinking it is going to rewind the past.
I’m not sure if things happen for a reason. That would be the easy answer. We don’t know why things happen, and specifically why bad things happen but they do happen.
And it takes time, and sometimes a long time, to get over the trauma of your experience. The experience never goes away.
But eventually you quieten down the thoughts and the questions and you realise what an amazing survivor you really are.
You can do it and you will do it!
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected in any way by the Boston tragedy.