<--- Look at that foxy man! Gotta love the hat and
At my internship, we have a wealth of crazy individuals all with different backgrounds. Side note: For those of you who don't know about my internship, I'm currently doing outpatient therapy in a place located in Lebanon, PA- more commonly known as Bumfuckandnowhere. Without breaking ethics and going into too much detail, we have a client at our location who is 20 years old and has brain damage due to a recent motorcycle accident. I'm not saying this guy was the most normal person on the planet before the accident, but it hit me- this kid's life will never, ever, be the same.
It's kind of ridiculous that I realized this now. Psychology classes (at least the ones I've been in) are huge fans of showing extreme/bizarre cases then discussing the human mind and behavior in relation to those cases. Like Phineas Gage, this perfectly normal and healthy man who got a rod blasted between the hemispheres of his brain and lived (which is pretty impressive since it was around the turn of the 20th century). After the blast, he turned into a royal asshole and harassed the local women (scandalous!). Lesson to pull from this? You know, besides the fact that dynamite is a tricky bitch. The structure of the brain affects behavior. Again, considering the time, this was a pretty wild concept. There's also the extreme child abuse cases we talk about. For example, the kid who was left in the woods and was literally raised by wolves or the little boy who had an unfortunate accident and was raised a girl. Obviously, these people's environments totally changed their lives.
So why did our client in BF-&N, PA hit me so hard? Because this kid had reality and then it was gone. Just like that. And unlike Phineas who had a full life and died a few years after his trauma, this kid didn't. And thanks to the glories of modern medicine, he can continue for many more decades reliant on his parents, struggling to get his GED, and attending therapy until he dies. Yea, it's better than death but man, THAT SUCKS.
And that's when I marveled at life and the universe- one event can alter the course of one person's life. Not only that but everyone around that person's life. I mean, this kid would have never affected my life and my appreciation for my life enough to write a blog which you are currently reading if he had not gotten into a motorcycle accident. Wow.
But even the little things change us everyday. And I think I pretty much knew that before I heard about this kid- I just thought about it more. We all remember both good things and bad things from our past- but what are we forgetting? Are the things we remember worth the loss of what we don't?
For example, I remember EXACTLY how I felt when a certain person (I remember who the bitch
is but I've chosen to omit her name) randomly approached me in 8th grade in the hallway
when we were all signing yearbooks and screamed at me, "LESBIAN!" I went into the
bathroom and cried and didn't get any signatures in my yearbook.
Years later I think, "Why the fuck do I remember this?" Meanwhile, I have long-since forgotten many, if not all, of the nice things my first boyfriend said to me. Why do I a) care about what someone I barely knew/liked said to me versus someone I did care about b) have a clearer vision of the far past than the recent past c) bother to remember something negative over something positive? I like to think that I'm more understanding towards the hardships sexual minorities have to go through- and even further, what it's like to be bullied for something that doesn't even make sense to you- because of this incident.
People will always say nice things to you (hopefully- ha!) but the negative things in your life are a gift. Maybe not to you but to someone else who can have deep thoughts about it and write on an insignificant blog about it.