Triggered by good things
I’m triggered by good things sometimes.
Like yesterday, I was watching a movie on Neflix, I Am, about what’s good and bad in the world how we can change it.
It came to a part where there were people talking about how small acts mount up and can become social movements.
Think the solidarity of people refusing to sit on the back seat of the bus. Martin Luther King.
Well, it applies to kindness too, and the movie stated it.
Basically, we can all change each others’ energy into something positive if we’re kind to each other.
It reminded me of Portland, of course.
But instead of going back to the trauma,
I went to the places where people treated me well.
A woman pointedly saying, “You have a good day,” looking deep into my eyes, after I was about to tell her that I had been thinking about killing myself. That I was trapped.
But you just don’t say that to any ordinary stranger.
It still makes me cry; her reaching out and helping me in a way that she knew she could.
Or after some people chased me off the train from Gresham (the blue line), saying, “Fuck Off!” to me, really angry. Months before, I would have just rolled my eyes, but I couldn’t take it anymore. I was going crazy.
I walked down to where the Green Line was, about 3 blocks down, through Chinatown and past the social services offices where I wouldn’t be served in the red brick buildings.
I was still steaming, my chest heaving, ready to pour.
My eyes gleamed with hate.
One guy, getting off the Green Line, saw me standing there, crying, and walked up to me. “How are you?” he asked.
Get away from me! I glared at him.
I couldn’t trust him; I couldn’t trust anyone.
But that simple act of kindness, of reaching out when I needed it, is something that still makes me cry.
A better cry than my trauma tears, a cry mingled with uplifting of my chest.
I Am calls this uplifting. A feeling in the chest that makes it expand outward, a heaviness that is close to tears.
It’s the same cry that people cry when they see a dad, thought to be deployed in Afghanistan, come into his little son’s school classroom and surprise him.
The tears trauma workers feel when they’re helping others.
I’m going to remember these good tears because they touched me just as deeply, maybe deeper, than all of the coldness that stabbed me.
Because I can remember. And cry.