After the shooting I was very sensitive. You could say it was like I was a big walking bruise, poke me and it hurt. One thing that I was extremely sensitive to was people saying things about wanting to hurt others. It was startling to me to hear people say things like, “I’d like to choke them” or “Couldn’t you just kill them” or my personal favorite, “I could just shoot them”. It bothered me that people would play video games that involved killing others or watch movies that glorified killing. It bothered me that people couldn’t see that saying those things, playing those games and watching those movies wasn’t acceptable. It bothered me too much. I was hypersensitive. I took it personally when people would make comments marked with violence. I couldn’t understand why people couldn’t figure out that when they said those things it triggered a response within me that wasn’t pleasant to experience. It bothered me that people would play games that involved killing and would watch movies that glorified killing because I thought they should realize that those things were wrong and not entertaining. The fact that people could be entertained, by something that had caused me such pain, offended me and frustrated me. “Why don’t they get it?” I would ask. Then I realized, why would they get it?, and should they get it? These are things that are a part of our culture. We’ve been raised with these things being said around us, we’ve been told what is entertaining, we have been taught to accept them. I had never been a fan of violent video games or movies, so it was already hard to understand why people were drawn to play and watch them. It was okay for me not to agree with it but I realized that my expectations were not realistic and I had to stop being personally offended when people said or did things that triggered traumatic feelings within me. It wasn’t intended to be personal so I had to stop taking it that way.
It still bothers me when people say things with violent undertones but it doesn’t bother me in the same way. I understand that it is not intended to be personal. I understand that it triggers memories and thoughts for me that it wouldn’t for other people. I don’t expect people to know what it does to me and because they don’t know, I can be happy for them and not personally offended. I’m sure I say and do things that aren’t intended to but do offend others, I can only allow others the same.
Sometimes people are insensitive but they aren’t trying to be, it’s best to not be offended by it. Sometimes people are insensitive and they know it but they don’t care because it makes them feel good and they don’t care about how anyone else feels. It’s best not to be offended by it. I have had experiences with people like this. I have realized that usually these people are selfish and weak and I have learned to feel sorry for them because at some point life is going to kick them in the head, hard, and it’s going to hurt.
I guess, in short, I could just quote Confucius, “He who takes offense when none is intended is a fool. He who takes offense when offense is intended is a bigger fool.”