Not enough room for nuance

Writing daily has been an interesting and rewarding experience, but I regret the lack of nuance present in my posts.

I recently wrote about how “the dark“ doesn’t sway me as much anymore as it did before, needing only a little help “to find the light”, but this is an incredibly myopic view of my life as a whole and the situation I was in and could find myself in again.

It’s not like I’m suddenly at peace because I sought help for my issues.

No.

I feel rage coursing through my veins every minute of every day, and it doesn’t take much for that rage to start leaking, to the detriment of everyone around me. That’s just one aspect of living with severe trauma that makes daily life hard to navigate even with all the progress I’ve made in therapy.

When that rage turns inward I get depressed. When it turns outward I become unpleasant and terrifying to be around. I don’t get violent, ever, but you won’t feel at ease either. I can spew words that cut deep, especially when my rage erases the person I’m targeting. I don’t see you as a human being anymore when I’m enraged but something I need to destroy to ensure my own safety. No amount of “light” will negate the decades of conditioning that led to the basal “fight” response ever present within me.

There are no guarantees that you can even escape “the darkness“ when it finds you and swallows you whole. Life isn’t a fairytale in which a good ending is guaranteed; life itself has no concept of good or evil. You’re one unlucky decision away from living the rest of your life in pain. For me it was my parents’ decision to put me in school early because they thought that graduating young would be an advantage that I could leverage in my teens. I stayed back a year as a result of my traumas, thus graduating at the same age as everyone else in my cohort. All other things being equal, their decision caused me an incalculable loss of life, wealth, and health without conferring on me the benefit they thought I would have. Who knows what horrors will befall me next? Perhaps I’ll now live a life free from devastation and further ill health. Perhaps my life will be brutish and cut short. Nobody knows.

Bruised, battered, scarred and angry I navigate this life with every ounce of kindness and bravery I can muster. It’s not “light” that pushes against the “dark”. Life can’t be reduced to a dichotomy. We brave the world alone; within us an amalgamation of experiences dictating how we behave today. Through that lens we try to make sense of who we are and our place in the world. It would be an insult to everyone coping with life’s challenges to suggest that adding a little “light” to their lives is all it takes to escape the pain of living with scars on our souls.

These blog posts provide a running commentary on the challenges I face, which includes fleeting and incomplete thoughts, but it would be a grave mistake to forgo nuance altogether. I need to make room for it whenever possible and perhaps properly label unnuanced thoughts to make sure the conversation stays true to life.

Created on July 31, 2021
Published on July 31, 2021