Before another long, late-night conversation with an old friend last night, I knew what the topic was going to be for my next blog post. I had been giving it a lot of thought for a day or two. I hate to use the word perceptions again, since I already have one post from last summer about perceptions, but there’s really no other word I could substitute with the same meaning. Now I actually have two separate posts to write about perceptions, which I hate, but again, there is no other word that works.
So I’m going to start with the second post. This is because right now, it’s all I can think about. I have to try to work it out in my head to get around it, because it’s like the elephant in the room. I need it gone so I can think clearly again.
Ok, so imagine you’re in your mid-forties. Your first true love was when you were seventeen. And the love was so strong it has always stayed with you, though of course it has dulled with time. You know, like it’s supposed to – it’s always going to be part of your heart and part of your story, part of what makes you who you are.
So one night you’re talking with an old friend, who was the best friend of your first love. And he’s one of your best friends in your life, and potentially more. And as you’re rehashing this ancient, failed romance, as you do from time to time (mostly because you always learn new kernels of information which put things in perspective and make you think differently, which is a very interesting and wondrous thing.
Now, when you were dating this first love of your life, you were a high school senior. He was twenty and in the army. You met him and his friends through the friend you’re talking to, whom you met when you were out with friends from school (and he’s your age). So you’re talking to your old friend, who starts to point out things that you had accepted as normal way back when, but which don’t seem normal when they’re pointed out (at first, because of the fact that they are pointed out, which makes them stand out). And there are more of them. And then your friend mentions PTSD. And you ask the innocent question about why they would have PTSD since they were stationed stateside and unless there was awful hazing taking place, it wouldn’t make sense. Now, you know all about PTSD and what causes it and what it causes, because you happen to have it from two separate traumatic incidents in your own life – you’ve been battling it for half of your life now.
So then other things are pointed out that should have been red flags for you back then (in fact, your old friend asks didn’t it seem weird to you, didn’t we seem different after we came back) but being seventeen and naive and trusting and in love you had accepted what had been told to you at the time, and never questioned your beliefs.
Being modern, you Google the dates and OMG. Your world flips upside down because suddenly what never really made sense now may have other reasons. Ok, your world doesn’t really flip upside down, but half of your brain does just because this is THAT BIG. So after you stop Googling you send a message with a couple of links to said friend. And when he responds the next afternoon, he tells you he loves you, but you have to delete those messages. The NSA wouldn’t like the mentions made and the connections drawn. There was a reason these guys you trusted completely didn’t tell you the truth way back when. So you ask more questions and are told to ask the guy you were once in love with. Which you can’t. You just don’t have the nerve.
Now after spending half the day pondering this, you know you have to put it to rest and let it go. You have a lot to do in the next few weeks and you can’t be dwelling on how such a crucial part of your history may have just been re-written in several ways. Well, ok, not really your history, but the reasons behind WHY that part of your history ended the way it did.
Sorry I can’t be more clear on any of this, but when my friend mentioned the NSA, I didn’t want to take any more chances. Who knows, maybe some day I will be able to sit down and find out the back story in more detail. Until then I will try my best not to spend any more time pondering this…after all, now I have all of you wondering what the heck I’m talking about, so there is no need for me to dwell on this further.
After all, as I used to tell my grandmother regularly, if I have someone else worrying about something (or wondering, in this case), there’s no need for me to worry (or wonder).
Live, love, laugh….it makes it all worthwhile!