“Things are not what they seem.”
This is a triggery phrase for me. I didn’t realize how triggery until yesterday. I was watching a show on TV when one of the characters pronounced this line. It’s important to note that it’s a little different than what people normally say. The usual line is “Things are not always what they seem.” A one word difference. By removing the word ‘always’ the sentence becomes a statement of fact rather than a philosophical pondering.
Let me explain what this trigger is about. For yes, I do actually know what hides behind this one. I was talking to my therapist back in hometown about high school one day. Just sort of random memories, what it was like what I was like, how those years affected me etc. I mentioned a specific teacher and suddenly remembered a conversation we had when he pulled me aside after class one day. It seems he knew I was having great difficulties with a court case that was happening against one of my perpetrators. (Another teacher from elementary school was prosecuted for one incident that I, me, myself remembered) Anyway, my high school teacher told me as sort of an afterthought to this conversation, as if hesitant that things are not what they seem. I had no idea what he was trying to tell my little teenage brain. I thought maybe he was just trying to convey some conventional wisdom about life in general.
However… saying that phrase years later in therapy awakened a strange sensation. Almost a knowing inside. I discovered that this teacher was likely trying to tell me that my life was a little more complicated than I realized. I believe now that the teacher knew there was something more going on with me. Now whether he was on the side of dark or light, or merely a bystander, I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps he was on dark and then saw the light, I don’t know. What I do know was that his message was to obscure for it to trickle down to where it needed to go. He told me something that day that would not come to fully realized until 15 years later.
I wonder what life would have looked like had I seen then what was actually happening to me. But wisdom tells me that I was not meant to know until I knew. Life unfolds as it should. Do I really believe that? I think maybe I do. Even if it leaves a sour, bitter mix of poison in my gut. Do you believe you were meant to suffer? Do you believe you were meant to be tested? Were you worthy enough to survive? You did survive, so maybe yes?