Everybody carries some kind of personal trauma but how they respond to that trauma differs. There are two reactions: anger and sadness.
Those who respond with anger lash out at others, not just those directly associated with their trauma, but anyone within striking distance. These angry people are often fearful. They live in a dangerous world. They can be dangerous to themselves and others.
The second kind, those who respond to their trauma with sadness are often withdrawn, possibly sullen or simply quiet. They are resigned and usually kind to others. To them, the world is filled with sadness and, in their view, we are all suffering separately but in similar ways. We can do little for each other but commiserate.
I’m odd. I’m both. I can be reassuring or terrifying. I can shock with violence or shock with unexpected sweetness. I’m psychotic not just because I can behave badly but also because my actions seem inexplicable. Even though I’ve just explained them to you.
I’ve been institutionalize by my “beloved” family. They’re giving me drugs here but not the kind I like. “Hector,” they tell me, “you are a lovely man but you can’t be trusted out in the world.”
But who can?
After the incident, they finally understood me. Sometimes telling isn’t enough. You need to demonstrate.
I heard a screech. Escaping my handlers, I ran out front of the main building where I had been working on a crossword puzzle. She was sprawled in the middle of the road bleeding badly. I lifted her head gently and we looked into each other’s eyes.
“You’re hurt,” I said softly. “I’m so sorry you’re hurt.”
I looked down the road but the car was long gone. Cowardly drunk bastard. I’d have run him down and killed him if only I could have found him.
I looked down at the woman again. I cradled her in my arms. She was in bad shape. She wasn’t going to recover.
“I love you,” I said. “We all love you.” I twisted her neck sharply and she was done. Instantly.
Now I’m in solitary. Feeling angry and sad.