Disturbing psych class

Discussion in 'Rants, Musings and Ideas' started by attack_amazon, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. attack_amazon

    attack_amazon Well-Known Member

    Kind of a funny thing about me is that I'm depressed, but I'm actually about 2/3 of the way through a degree in psychology. Now that I've gotten into some of the real meat of the coursework, it's actually helped me improve a little, because it helps me explain things to my therapist and understand what she's talking about and I'm starting to learn how to detach a little and look at what I'm doing and thinking objectively. But I'm taking a class on crisis counseling this summer and yesterday's class really pushed my buttons big time.

    We were talking about various types of loss and the steps of grief and recovery, and the instructor showed us this picture from the French airline crash not that long ago. Some of you may have seen it on the web, but basically what happened is that almost right before the main impact, some guy managed to take two pictures on his digital camera and they recovered them on his memory card. They show a bunch of people, literally probably less than half a minute before they all died, sitting in the plane with their oxygen masks on. You can see blue sky behind them from where the plane broke in half. You can see the looks on these people's faces, knowing they're about to die. The second pictures shows one guy in mid-air as he's literally being thrown out the back of the plane. It wasn't in the least bit gory or anything, but it was just...disturbing on such a fundamental level that it was almost worse than if it had been bloody. The point of showing us the pictures was to sort of drive home the reality of death, that it happens in everyone's lives, and that it's almost completely random. One day your brother or husband or wife is going to Paris on a business trip, twelve hours later, their dead. It's not their fault and it's not the universe punishing you, it just is.

    It was the image of the guy getting thrown out in the second pic that did it. I've attempted suicide three times over the course of my life, and beyond that I've nearly died accidentally twice. When I was 18, I went white-water rafting with a friend and his friend who supposedly "knew the river", but the water level was down that year, so it was different, and the boat flipped on a particularly bad rapid and the strap on my life preserver broke. I remember trying to swim for the surface while protecting my head so I didn't knock my brains out on a rock, but not being able to find it or even really see light with the water kicking me around like it was. I hadn't really gotten a good lung full of air before we went over, so my breath was running short and I was still trapped, and I remember thinking "This is it. I am going to die. I never thought I would die this way." and it just suddenly felt calm, like it was out of my hands and it was decided. I didn't die, obviously, the rapid kicked me out and I managed to find daylight and kick up towards the surface before I passed out, but nothing in my life has ever compared to that one moment of perfect clarity. Even when I was trying to kill myself, it wasn't like that, it was more of a frantic, numb feeling.

    I started wonder if the guy on the plane felt the same way, whether he had that one moment of total serenity before he died, and not only did that get me to wondering (again) if it happened for T, my significant other, when he died in his car accident or whether it was too quick, it dredged up the horror of everything else surrounding the corrolary experience for me all those years ago. I can't really talk about that, not yet, but suffice it to say I sweated through the rest of class and had a panic attack in my car before I started home. I haven't even gone to sleep because I know there are nightmares waiting for me.

    Anyway...I don't know what the point of that was, I just needed to get it off my chest.
  2. Stranger1

    Stranger1 Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend

    I had a similar experience the first time I tried to commit suicide..As I was swimming to the surface of the water I felt totally calm because I knew I wouldn't make it..To this day I don't know how I actually survived that one because I had already started breathing in water in small gasps..My next two attempts I felt nothing because of the means I tried I ended up passing out first..