Because I really don't feel like I can talk about it. Sometimes I may say things. If the tornado sirens go off in class and I'm freaking out inside, I might mention to one of my friends after class that I hate tornado sirens. But if they show any kind of concern, I quickly say, "Yeah, it bothers me, but it's okay. I'm fine." And I put on my cheerful face. When a friend was in an accident and nearly died and dealt with post traumatic stress, I knew what she was dealing with before she did, and I recognized the way she talked and processed. I'd say things like, "Well for me after the tornado . . . so it makes sense that you . . .." But I tried to never let on that watching her trauma made me think of my own, and I actually felt badly that the tornado could still bother me so much, that even watching someone else deal with trauma could make me relive the tornado as if my head had turned into a giant movie screen and I was stuck in the red velvet chair. I felt badly that I could not focus my entire attention on her and what she was going through. I felt stupid that I was still so bothered by the tornado three whole years later.
This was before 2011 officially became the year of the tornado. Thankfully, a few weeks before the Alabama tornadoes, I had gone and talked to someone about it and we agreed that I was still "officially" dealing with PTSD. That was helpful. But then Alabama happened. Then, this past Sunday, the sirens went off. My grandparents, aunt, and cousin were here, so that meant sitting in the basement surrounded by people who didn't get that talking about tornadoes a few miles away was not the most helpful thing for someone who was almost killed by one three years ago. And then I found out that the tornadoes tore through the neighborhood I lived in from ages 2-8. And that that same day tornadoes may or may not have touched down in North Liberty. And then Joplin happened, and that was even more fuel to the "everywhere I turn, there's tornado coverage" fire.
I guess I feel like I can't talk about it because I don't get why tornadoes still bother me. Logically, I think about it and say that I'm fine with the fact that I almost died and that I almost lost many of my close friends, I'm fine having lost most of what I owned--I really don't get sad about losing everything and hardly did even a few months after the fact, and I'm not really afraid that it would happen to me again because--really--how statistically improbable is it that it would happen twice to the same person. Why, then, do I want to cry every time I hear tornado sirens? Why does my heart race and my stomach knot up every time I see pictures of tornado damage? Why do I still get angry about the tornado emotionally when I'm not angry about it in my head, logically?
I know it doesn't make sense and that it isn't suppose to make sense. I probably need to worry less about how I'm *suppose* to be and learn to be okay with how I am. I just am so convinced that everyone else from Union is perfectly better now and that something must be wrong with me for me to still be dealing with it. And that's just silly. I wouldn't be surprised if many people still feel the way I do but also feel silly for expressing it.