Your perception of things change with age and experience. My parents’ nickname for me when I was younger was the prosecuting attorney. I always wanted to be a district attorney so I could have the privilege of sending the worst of people to prison for whatever despicable acts they committed. I never believed in temporary insanity and I never believed that a person’s past has any impact on crimes being committed in the present. I know that people do and would act a certain way because of an experience they have had, but I never believed it should be used as an excuse. In addition, I used to be very judgmental. Not in a “oh you aren’t wearing designer labels” kind of way, but I never really took the time to understand why a person would say or behave the way they did. With the election coming up and my newfound political excitement over the past year or so, I have watched the news a good amount. I never did before. I never took the time to understand any of it so I always just thought it was boring.
However, even though I think the whole political process needs an extreme makeover, I have figured out a lot about myself because of it. I always thought I was a hardcore conservative who didn’t believe in helping the needy because I did buy into the whole “well why should working peoples’ tax money go to help those who are too lazy to find work themselves.” Since I have had all of the experiences I have shared on this blog, along with countless others, I am both ashamed and happy to say that my entire perception of the world is extremely different. It is almost the opposite from what I was like ten years ago actually, and even five years ago. I used the word “ashamed” because I see how only a person that is living in their own little world, surrounded by their own friends and family, almost in a protective bubble, can have such a warped view of the world and what we as human beings are all about.
I never understood how someone could not be emotionally able to work. In my mind, if I didn’t see a wheel chair or an obvious deformity, there was simply no excuse to not step up and be a productive member of society. I used to watch law and order and criminal minds with my eyes solely focused on the victims. Now, I find myself making excuses for the predators. I found myself looking up every tiny bit of details about the shooting in the Colorodo Theater because I felt bad for James Holmes, the shooter. I actually felt bad for him! These are words I never thought would even enter my head, let alone enter and stay with me long enough to share it with the world.
Although, I am not yet ready to say how thankful I am that these past 12 years of hell happened to me because it made me a better person, I am thankful that it made me a more understanding human being. I went from someone who was always so hard on people, where most things were black and white, wrong or right, that I never took the time to understand the reasons why people did the things they did. I was never the human being I always hoped to be. About a year after I was diagnosed, I stopped wanting to be a district attorney and focused on thinking about potential jobs that were in the medical field. Or really, just anything that would allow me to turn my negative experiences into helping others who were suffering. I don’t know if I would have had the enormous compassion and understanding that it would have took for me to be helpful to others if I hadn’t gone through so much pain and suffering myself. So, for that reason only, I can say that I am glad I have experienced some of the things I have because it took me out of my protective little bubble that I had been living in for 13 years, and turned me in to one of the most compassionate people I know.