Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Each year, the 16th is the hardest day. It is so, so arbitrary; the calendar is a social construction, not and there is nothing inherent about this day. And yet, things feel harder. Partly, it's a function of the date being a mnemonic, as I've discussed before. But partly, it is the silence. 

For so many other life-altering events, people are attentive to anniversaries. A year since an accident, or ten years since the death of a loved one, if others know the significance of the date, is likely to bring kind words, even cards and flowers. 

I have little use for cards, and there isn't one for this occasion (happy birthday to your PTSD?). Flowers are potentially poisonous for my cat. What is hard is that even though several of my friends and family know why this date is so difficult for me, I can count the times when anybody has extended any sort of particular support. They probably lack the words, or are afraid to bring it up in case I am not thinking about it (understandable but not the case; odds are that given the contours of my analytical brain that reads so much significance into dates, places, and other arbitrary indicators of experience, the history of this date is likely not for from my mind, and it already emerges in my mind each time I read the date on a newspaper or computer screen). It's not that people don't care, but that there is no social framework for this. The silence, each year, is deafening. 

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