Friday, September 9, 2011

On Anniversaries

You know, every year around this time I start to worry a little about the state of my soul.

Maybe it's the constant, politicized reminiscing about Sept 11th in the news. Maybe it's the op eds that try to explain what happened and how, sometimes occasionally placing the blame on us as a nation rather than the murdering bastards who committed the crime in the first place. Maybe it's the sudden worries about various groups or individuals who might try to duplicate the tragedy of that day, simply to make some kind of political point, alongside the distant memory that things didn't use to be this way. We used to live without worrying about having a major terrorist attack each year at the beginning of September, we didn't use to have airports that acted more like screening centers than travel hubs, and we didn't have an anniversary to commemorate quite possibly the worst day in recent American history. Or maybe, as I half suspect, I just have a particular emotional trauma associated with the whole thing that has simply refused to heal.

So I end up being angry half the time, for no particular reason. I hate hearing about that day, dislike reading op ed articles about it. In fact, I've started avoiding most articles that have to do with it around this time because I just know by the end of them I'll be enraged. The frustration just sort of sours and festers and sits for as long as the collective 'celebration' of the 'holiday' lasts, until it passes and we can get on with life as usual. At least we can until next year when we do it all again.

In the beginning I kind of tried to deal with it with bitter, sarcastic humor. I would make jokes about it, as if by mocking it I could deny how much it hurt. That wasn't too healthy, but just chaining it up and soaking in the anger doesn't seem to work either.

At some point I started to wonder if all this anger is really just something wrong with me. That I just haven't healed the way some people have and it's my fault that I keep nursing the grudge or whatever that causes it in the first place. I wonder if I have someone I need to forgive in order to get past it, and then I wonder how to forgive someone who uses what happened to get political gain, or to sell tickets to a movie, or to sell newspapers? Or how do you forgive the people who originally did this in the first place? I still haven't found a way, and I wonder if I ever will.

This year it was kind of especially bad. Probably because it was the tenth year since the attacks more than anything else. I just wish that some day, somehow, I can manage to get all the way from August to October without once having to say "crap, it's that time of year again." Or even better, if I could look back on Sept 12th and say, "Oh yeah, I guess yesterday was the anniversary. Huh."

Someday, right?

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