Maybe my life has been too easy. Maybe I haven’t seen enough pain. When I hear about terrible things happening, I can’t stand it. And when people make light of terrible things, my world seems to implode.

Today in chat someone pasted a joke he’d seen on Something Awful or somewhere. It basically put the events of the Scott Petersen trial into an Oregon Trail scenario. I could easily go into my chat logs and reproduce it here, but if I did I would have to look at it until this blog post gets pushed off the main page, and I can’t stand to look at it.

I was in a pretty good mood before that. I was excited, actually, about writing some stories. I finally had an idea that seemed interesting, and I was already writing. They weren’t anything I could get published. They were just going to be vignettes about my old AMRN characters going to see a psychologist/ship’s counselor about their issues. I thought there was plenty of potential for depth and humor there, and I was eager to explore it.

But then I read that joke, and now I can’t seem to will myself to write. I feel like the whole idea was trite, that I was taking real people with real issues lightly. That it is self-indulgent to worry about “issues” anyway, when people die every day. When people are murdered. When helpless children have their lives ripped away. And here I am happily going through my complacent blind little life, ignoring the pain all around me.

I feel like I don’t have the right to enjoy writing about people’s pain, even if they are fictional. I feel like I wouldn’t do real pain any sort of justice.

The logical part of me realizes that this is a mood, and it will pass. But until it does, I’m helpless. I can’t write, and I can’t even stand to be logged into chats. I feel like the only way is to just get my mind off it, to watch something or read something, or even just go to bed.

I also want to eat something.

I’m angry at myself because I’m so weak. I feel like I should be able to handle things. If I can’t see the humor in a dark joke like that, at least I should be tough enough not to let it cripple me. I would prefer not to see the humor, to be honest. I don’t want to lose the part of myself that refuses to dehumanize. But in order to remain open to pain, do I have to then let it control me?

Oddly enough, writing this all out has been cathartic, and I’m feeling better now. Maybe that’s all there is to it.