Sunday, 18 March 2012

March 11 - A Year Later

I was just looking at my readership chart, and I noticed a peak on March 11.  I stayed away from my computer on March 11.  My boyfriend took me to the park and we hiked.  I needed to be outside and away from the news.  I guess for me, because I wasn't there as the country was picking itself up and putting itself back together, March 11 is a day of destruction.  I don't want to see reminders.  I don't know why the news glories in showing now-and-then pictures.  We know what it looked like.  I haven't really been able to look close enough at the pictures to see the "now," but it's good to know they're rebuilding.  Still... it's hard to think about.  I wonder how many of those who checked my blog were checking last year's posts about the earthquake.  I find it a little morbid, but I can't fault anyone for being curious.  And it didn't hit me until a couple days after the quake, so I'm sure my post sounds like a complete different person.  I haven't read it since.  My thoughts turn back there and it's like a door slams down in my mind, my chest tightens up, and I start to cry... so I just don't.  I wish I could have done something in remembrance... I wanted to, but I couldn't bring myself to.

Sometimes I wonder if I would still feel this horrible about it if I had stayed longer and been a part of the rebuilding.  When I left Tokyo, a month after the quake, there were still power shortages, radiation warnings, and earthquakes every hour or so.  I was still in survival mode and angry at everyone who was worried about the city and safety.  I was mad at the expats who were taking off and embarrassed that, because I was leaving so soon after, people would think that I was just leaving because everyone else was.  I still feel guilty about that.  I didn't mean to leave all those people behind.  It's not like I could have done much... but that doesn't make me feel less guilty.  I wanted to go to Sendai and help out, but I was in the middle of moving and accumulating debt just to get home... but I still feel guilty for not going to help.  It's stupid really.  My bosses at Iriso thought three months should have been enough time for me to get over all of it, disciplined me for going home early the day Michigan had an earthquake and I had a flashback.  Maybe it should have been.  It's been a year, and I'm a little more in control than I was when I moved back last April, but only because I've kept myself too busy to dwell on anything.  I'm not constantly clenching every muscle in my body anymore or raging and freaking out at traffic, but the last time I got caught in a traffic jam in January I got to my mom's house, hugged her, and cried.  Improvement is improvement, but I feel like I should be improving faster.  I feel like the world has moved on, Sendai is still that far off place, and scientists are more interested in the robots used at the power plant than anything else.

I wonder if things will ever be like they were a year ago, if I'll ever go a day without some kind of reminder, if I'll ever let March 11 slip by without thinking about what happened... if I'll ever be able to think about any of this and not cry.  I miss my friends.  No one I know directly died in the disaster, only one acquaintance of one of my friends, but I did lose a couple of good friends afterward.  I was angry, and maybe they were too.  We were probably all scared and didn't know it.  I've tried to get in touch with them again, but I guess it's not meant to be.  I miss them though.  It's selfish to say, but of everything that's changed in my life since then, even how messed up my health has been, that's what I hate the most.    I want my friends back.

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