I’m thinking about portrayals of trauma and phobias in fiction. (Well, because I was recently reading one specific one, but the details aren’t really relevant.) The thing is, I found myself feeling really unsympathetic towards this one character, even as I recognized her reaction (to something that reminded her of a near-death experience) as both a Serious Trauma Thing and similar to how I sometimes react to things related to my phobia.

So I was wondering about why I felt that way, and I came up with a couple of things.

1. She doesn’t describe what happened in detail

2. She doesn’t describe how she felt/feels about it in detail

3. She reacts in an avoiding/shutting-down sort of way rather than a straightforwardly fearful or hurt or sad way

And like. Those are all things I do, but apparently they still strike me as unsympathetic and overreacting when someone else does them, so that’s educational I guess.


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