Some of you House fans might recognize this as the title of the twelfth episode of season 3. I don't think it's really a spoiler just to say that House has a clinic patient who was raped. A lot of the episode consists of philosophical discussion about religion and abortion. I've already talked about my views on abortion here and here. What was more interesting to me from this episode was when the patient (who insisted on House as her doctor) and House talk about the "why?" of the event and the "why?" of the universe: why the Event happened to her, why things happen.
It made me think about my own situation and if I ever came to terms with why it happened-- or if I even cared. I don't know, truthfully. My parents, being some corrupt version of Buddhist, decided it was fate. They said they were told by a monk or a fortuneteller-like person that something bad was going to happen to me (because of something I did in a past life), and that this was it and they were glad it wasn't worse. That went in one ear and out the other; once I stopped living with them, I stopped having to put up with their version of religion. I would rather believe that bad things happen at random or because of my own bad choices than accept that my "past lives" dictate much of what I experience this time around.
After rejecting the "Buddhism" I grew up with, I don't think I ever came up with my own belief system, though. I still don't know if I'm atheistic or agnostic. I don't know if I believe in Fate. After the Event happened, it didn't occur to me to ask about why it happened when I was more worried about how I was going to get through the day or if there was anything worth getting through the day for.
If I hadn't seen this episode of House, maybe I never would have really thought about this at all. It's not a question that really bothers me. It happened. It wasn't the first time, but hopefully it will be the last. Why did all of it happen? *shrug* Therapy says the easier, or better, question to ask is if anything good came out of it. I suppose so. The event my senior year pushed me to get therapy for it and all the other previous events that I never talked about. The gravity and reality of mental illness finally touched my parents' consciousness, penetrated the Great [Asian] Wall of Denial and Disbelief, and they let me see a therapist and take medication. After the event happened, I turned into someone who lived day-by-day, which gave me a better appreciation of the little things in life once I could start to appreciate anything at all. I found purpose. I found an issue I really cared about, and I became an activist for women's rights and an advocate for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. When therapy helped me see that I didn't have to let being raped affect my whole life in order to validate my experience, I decided to become a veterinarian instead of a human-doctor because I finally saw how much animals meant to me, how much they helped me, and how much I wanted to help them. A lot of things happened because of what happened in the early, early hours of March 26, 2008. Some of them were even good. Does this mean the Event happened for a reason? Can I actually answer the question of why it happened to me? *sigh* Even after my rambling, I'm still left where I began. Uncertain about the answer, and unsure I even care.
It was part of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program D* and I did at the VA Hospital. The last unit wanted me to make meaning of the trauma. I guess when I was still deeply entrenched in the aftermath, I did spend some particularly bad times asking "why me?" out of bitterness and pain and despair. I didn't expect an answer then, nor do I think an answer would have helped. Come to think of it, maybe it was a rhetorical question for me, just an outlet for pain and self-pity.
I've always had some version of the Just World fallacy in my head, where good people always act good, good things happen to good people, bad things happen to bad people. I still blamed myself then for what happened, even though I wanted to believe that it wasn't my fault. I thought since I wanted to believe it, it must not have been true. It doesn't make sense to actually wonder why something happened when you think it's your fault. Therefore, I must not have really been asking why it happened, and so my question was rhetorical.
I feel like I've rambled myself in circles and not really come up or come out with much. Maybe I just needed to write something because the TV episode numbed me and I wanted myself back. Maybe the numbness explains why I don't actually care about why it happened and why I'm not really emotionally connected to this post. I wanted an epiphany, but either I couldn't find it because Fate says it wasn't meant to be, I couldn't find it because I'm not good enough, or I couldn't find it because it's not there to begin with. Regardless of why, I still don't have an epiphany.
I think the conclusion I've been able to reach is that the concept of Fate confuses me. The alternatives are believing that my actions determine my life or that events happen randomly. If I believe the former, then how do I reconcile that with believing the rapes weren't my fault? Does this mean that I have to believe I have no free will in order to exonerate myself from my trauma?
Also, is it weird that I can write all this yet not really... care? Maybe it's just the numbness. I don't know. It's a little unnerving to have written a whole blog post yet not really feel any emotional involvement at all.
So far today I have had edamame for breakfast, watched House, and hugged cats. I think it's time to reboot my day and start over.