top of page

Entry date: 4-21-2022 - Bonus blog about something that happened today - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

This morning Tom and I went on our usual 5:15am walk. We had Bailey and Luna with us and as we were approaching the corner of my street, we both noticed a woman who was walking down 21st Avenue, in the same direction we were. She was muttering to herself as we approached, loud enough for us to hear, but I certainly wasn't clear on what she was saying.

When she noticed us, she turned and looked directly at us. It was dark, and from the distance we were separated, it was hard to make out any features, but she was a good sized lady. Tall, square shoulders, and Jackie Brown-esque hair (if you've seen the film). At first she said something along the lines of a warning: "You motherfuckers stay in your own lane."

Sadly, she must have thought that Tom and I could pose some sort of threat to her. I understand this as much as I can. Walking around in the dark by yourself is never fun and I can only guess what it is like for a woman of color.

We were happy, of course, to stay in our own lane, but her tirade continued. She decided that we were gay and started telling us, "Your dogs hate you. You know that, right?" This went on for at least 15 seconds. She also dropped a few n-bombs in our direction and we picked up our pace so we could cross and go down the next street like we usually do without having to meet her at the corner.

We laughed about it, but I also had that thought, as were walking, "I wonder what happened to her?"

Of course, I know what happened to her. Trauma happened to her. She wasn't mad at Tom and I, but she was definitely angry. I'd be angry, too, if I was walking down the street at 5:15am with no particular place to go. That is an assumption, sure, that she didn't have a place to be, but I'm probably right.

Trauma impacts everyone's life. For the person who was yelling at Tom and I, telling us Bailey and Luna hated us, she has clearly not gotten the support she needs. I'm not surprised by this and neither should you be. The simple fact of the matter is that our society, the one here in Phoenix, Arizona on April 21, 2022, is not interested in truly dealing with trauma or is there the funding to properly help everyone who could use some support.

Dealing with trauma is often like trying to hit a moving target while blindfolded.

Think about that for a second. The trauma of our youth, adulthood, right now, whatever it is and whenever it took place, plays a role in our lives. For the woman who felt the need to yell at us this morning, her trauma was activated already and Tom and I were a couple of easy targets to hurl a vindictive or ten at to help ease her pain. We were her release, for a minute, maybe more, from her fear of dealing with her trauma.

That sounds more harsh than it is intended, but it's true. We are really good at finding ways to avoid dealing with trauma. Drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, video games, TV, movies, reading, knitting, walking the dog, writing blogs (well, no, not that), cussing out strangers, road rage... you get the idea. Anything that keeps us from thinking about what happened to us or what is going to happen next or what we've done or might do or don't want to do or wish never happened.

As I said goodbye to Tom and Renee (who had joined us during our walk), I started thinking about this woman who yelled at Tom and I this morning. I wish I could just tell her that it's okay and whatever happened wasn't her fault. I also started thinking about how I could easily be here. A few twists and turns here and there, a couple of different decisions and whammo! I'm on the streets, too, looking for someone to yell at or hide from or worse.

Time to get to work. Be kind today. You never know who you might help with a smile, kind word, or just by moving on down the road so they can feel safe.

20 views0 comments


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page