“I am not my loss”

Project Description:

In August 2008 my family had rented a house on the Oregon coast for the week. On the second morning of our vacation a small plane crashed into the house bursting into flames and engulfing it. I got out of the house via a window in the room I was sleeping in with my cousin. My sister and mother also managed to escape the house. My two cousins and other sister did not.

In the wake of the accident the community of my small high school rallied around and supported us. I never had to fully explain my story to people, as everyone I stayed close with through high school already knew what I had been through. Every time I had the opportunity to share my story with someone new I was crippled by the idea that it would kill the conversation or make it awkward. I didn’t want to hear the statement “I’m sorry” from anyone. I didn’t like anyone feeling sorry for me. It made me feel small again and I thought people would think of me differently. 5 years later it has become even harder to tell my story. I have made good friends thus far in a new environment but have also been unable to tell many people my story because I still feel a lot of the same emotions when I have the opportunity too.

I don’t want to be known for my losses even though I am in many ways defined by them. I don’t want to be pitied for what has happened to me either and I still don’t like people telling me they are sorry. For now there are days where I will be depressed, but tomorrow I’ll be ok.