Discombobulate: To rearrange or put something back together so it makes no sense. To confuse. To disconcert.
Isn’t discombobulation a wonderful word? You don’t even have to know what it means to get the drift of it. It means to puzzle, confuse, disconcert or bewilder. You know when you’re in such a state that you don’t know if you’re Arthur or Martha and even if you did, you probably wouldn’t remember how to spell your name? Even the act of saying the word may put you in a state of discombobulation. That, my friends, is the state I currently find myself in. I’m a bit like a Rubik’s Cube that has had the stickers pulled off and put back on the wrong way and now can’t be solved.
I’ve written many times about my struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the way it affects me. Well due to some extreme things going on in my life right now, I find myself in a heightened emotional state which of course impacts my state of mind. I can usually talk myself back onto an even keel but I’m having more difficulties right now. No, I’m not crazy or delusional. I’m not jumping up and down, screaming and crying at everything. I’m just not able to focus or clear my head.
You know how if you pour a glass of dirty water, you can’t see through it, but if you give it some time to settle, you still wouldn’t drink it, but the muck settles and you can see through it, albeit from the top half of the glass? That’s pretty much my brain right now. I can’t manage to think clearly and leaving it time to settle isn’t working. It’s still cloudy and mucky.
Unfortunately, when I’m in this discombobulated state (I’ll find any excuse to use that word) everything acts as a trigger. And until you’re actually experiencing it, you don’t realise how things you could normally overlook become a massive hurdle and can dredge up old memories that you had hoped were buried in the mud at the bottom of your brain.
Facebook, is one of the classic examples of how things can affect you. The horrible photos that are constantly posted on social media are often so distressing that I have to block them within seconds. I don’t report them (unless they are really disgusting) but I do block them. Then I see people complaining because someone HAS reported what was, in their opinion, just a bit of fun. Well, obviously to someone, that wasn’t fun. Someone found it distressing enough to take the time to report it. They didn’t find it funny, they found it highly offensive. I once deleted a woman on my page who made, what she obviously thought, was an hilarious joke about a violent rape. I don’t think she understood why I reacted so badly to it and I don’t understand how she could ever have even cracked a smile over it. It was appalling.
We all have differing levels of what’s acceptable and what’s not. We also all have a myriad of experiences so we’ll react differently to things. For instance, a lot of people I know post photos of snakes. I despise snakes. I’m terrified of them. My skin is crawling right now, even thinking about them. But, if someone posts a photo of a snake, they’re entitled to do that. I’ll simply click the “I don’t want to see this” button. You may think I’m being overly sensitive, but every time someone likes or comments on that photo, it brings it back to the top of my page, making me feel queasy every single time. I won’t mention it, I just don’t want to see it, but everyone has a right to post it if they want.
People or animals being mutilated? I don’t see these photos really have a place on social media. It’s funny isn’t it? I see photos of people being injured and mutilated being posted as humour. I seriously question the entertainment factor here. The same as the photos taken of random strangers in the street who don’t conform to society’s image so we shame and humiliate them as if they don’t deserve to have feelings as they are fat or badly dressed. I don’t understand how it’s funny to see another human being humiliated or in pain. It’s interesting then, that animal cruelty is put up to spread a message but human cruelty seems to be a joke. Priorities I guess. But even the graphic photos that have an important message hit the wrong target market. Any pathetic excuse for a human being who would mutilate an animal isn’t going to be affected by these photos. Their brain is already twisted to find it pleasing in some way. So the photos are only there to preach to those who are already converted.
What these graphic and violent photos DO succeed in doing, is putting someone who has been affected by a similar event, into a state of distress. It’s fantastic to see social media being used for good causes, but I believe there are less distressing ways of getting the message out there without using disturbing pictures that will impact on someone. I often see car crashes posted on social media to serve as a warning to not text, speed, drink etc. I get that this is an important message but let me tell you this. If I ever saw the scene of the crash my daughter’s life ended in, I would be so distraught that I would have to be hospitalised. Or if I found the person who posted it, they would be! Every time someone posts a photo, do they stop to think, hey, that’s someone’s family that were affected by this event? So while I understand the motive for posting some of these photos, personally, I believe they are completely misguided and push vulnerable people to the edge.
I can’t dictate what people post on their wall, but I can choose to not see their posts. If I find someone continually posts the same sort of thing that I have to keep hiding, I will eventually delete them. Not because I dislike them, but because I choose not to be upset by something they think is acceptable. In cases where someone can make a joke about a violent rape, dead babies, suicide and other serious and unfunny subjects, they don’t deserve to be part of my world. We have nothing in common and I’m happy to delete them from my circle.
So currently, I find myself being more and more distressed by what is being posted on social media. Some of it is, I believe, completely unacceptable and regardless of my state of mind, I would find it disgusting. Other things are probably distressing to me due to where I currently find myself. Regardless of the reason behind it, I am distressed by them. I could, of course, just not go onto social media but when I’m in the state of mind that I am right now, I need people more than ever. Unfortunately, we’ve become such a lazy society that social media, to a large degree, takes the place of friendship. A like or a comment takes the place of a phone call or a visit. I’m also guilty of this so I’m not accusing but I’m struggling with it right now.
Friends whose calls I have taken at 3 am when they needed someone to talk to, don’t have time to make or take a call because they may miss that comment or like or text message if they tie up their phone. I know I sound anti ‘social media’ at the moment, but I’m truly not. I love it. But I do know that if I wasn’t on Facebook, I’d probably lose touch with 95% of people in my life because all “off Facebook” contact has stopped. My dilemma is, how much of my disappointment is deserved and how much is due to the highly emotional state I find myself in? It is a question I currently don’t have the answer to.
I know this post is a little bit discombobulated and all over the place which is why it came with a warning that my brain is experiencing technical difficulties. I guess what I hope to achieve by writing it, is to get it straight in my own muddied mind. Also to encourage people to stop and think how the photo or joke you post may be perceived by someone on your friends list. I know most people are kind and would not intentionally hurt others but perhaps just stop hitting the share button quite so readily. Ask yourself before you hit that button if someone might find it upsetting. You probably know enough about the people on your list to know if they are going to be upset by a post you make. Just take the time to stop and think. That extra 5 seconds you take to think about it, might mean you make one less post per day. Trust me, the world will survive without it. And your world might just be a nicer place to be in as a result.
Happy discombobulation.. Dowager Livvy xxx