Even with my post deadline looming ominously, last week’s recap wasn’t especially inspiring – until I got to my notes from talking with Hope. A dear friend for decades, Hope inspired What Next’s theme and much of my writing.
In another state (and by other names, of course) she is a live-in health care provider, presently for a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder, a severe, often disabling mental condition.
I’m fascinated with the subject. I studied and wrote a paper on D.I.D. in school. What’s more, over the years I’ve learned that while comparatively rare, it is more common than we want to think about. A form of PTSD/CPTSD, the fact that something otherwise unimaginable (consistently extensive, prolonged abuse) happens, causing the mind to shatter and recreate itself. I have the utmost respect for such victors (commonly considered victims).
I am often amazed by stories Hope can share with me without violating any confidentiality. Living with so many others, all contained in one physical body is mind-boggling. It’s a life most of us cannot imagine. I especially admire the rare individuals that excel at helping these particular victors as they pursue healthy, productive lives. Even with boundless compassion, extensive education, training and experience, not everyone is good at it. That’s our Hope.
In the fallout of the recent Orlando tragedy, and locally another young woman is in heaven early over an ended romance, I can’t shake something Hope said.
Referring to an episode she experienced where an over-worked receptionist made a mistake with Randy’s scheduling. After her charge (we’re calling Randy) pointed out the error, the receptionist became defensive, and then dismissive. Hope, like most people would have reacted strongly, but Randy graciously stepped up, handled the situation aptly and sensitively, actually calming the atmosphere so the upset receptionist could refocus on the tasks at hand and then sincerely apologized to them both profusely.
Describing her awe at how well Randy handled the situation, humbling her, Hope said,
“Seriously, I’d rather be multi-minded than minus-minded.”
Life seems crazy for most of us. Compound that by pain and confusion that can stop us in our tracks – and multiply that times infinite agony. That’s life for someone living with D.I.D. Many of us can’t imagine life for a PTSD survivor, more over D.I.D.
Many of us have suffered some kind of loss that bent our world sideways – at least for a season. Talk to anyone who suddenly lost their home, their job; worse a loved one or themselves.
When we become minus-minded, when we forget that people today function at maximum overload constantly; the emotions, concerns and burdens quickly spin us out of control. At those points we too easily minimize the value of individuals. In my neighborhood I see it often, mostly with the street people. Without adequately processing loss, anger, pain, confusion and fear individuals silently disappear in plain sight at an astounding rate.
At such a point any one of us, even the most devout, righteous souls can take a seriously bad turn that affects everyone near us.
The world is moving so fast in so many areas, keeping abreast of potential threats is challenging. Maybe my sons being first responders makes me more aware, more vigilant than some. And maybe I’m simply getting old. I don’t worry about it all too much, but I’m not stupid about protecting my information, my family and my loved ones either. If that’s hard to understand, just ask around Orlando, San Bernardino, Columbine, Newtown, Killeen, etc.
“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:14 (NLT)
“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Philippians 2:4 (NLT)
*Image courtesy, HAVOCA
** Image courtesy, ABSFreePic