After a long couple of days as I sat on my bed much too early this morning to fold three or four week’s worth of laundry, I put the newest Hunger Games movie release in and started watching. It’s not the first or even second time I’ve seen the movie, but it is the first time I am watching it alone in the comfort of my home. I’ve read each book at least twice, but when a line catches me, it is usually the audible that gets right into the deep part of my heart.
The opening scene of the movie is Katniss hiding out, reciting memorized facts about herself to help with her PTSD: “My name is Katniss Everdeen. I am seventeen years old. My home is District 12. I was in the Hunger Games. I escaped. The Capitol hates me…”
Shortly after, Katniss is brought to “command” of District 13 and is asked to be the face of the revolution; she freaks out and leaves and Plutarch says this: “No one else can do this but her.”
No one else can do this but her.
No one. Else. Can do THIS. But her.
I don’t know why that line caught me. But then Coin’s response: “She is not the girl you described.”
This had me feeling a bit defensive of Katniss. OF COURSE she isn’t the girl Plutarch described: she has endured trauma after trauma and is just trying to remember what her freakin’ name is half the time! Of course she has changed! Of course she isn’t “that” girl anymore. Look where being that girl got her!
I couldn’t help but relate this to my own situation, or to any situation where someone is experiencing or facing something incredibly painful and difficult. As fortunate or unfortunate as it is, the person experiencing the turmoil is really the only person who can change it. The person experiencing the damaging inner dialogue is really the only person who can shift that. There are people who can provide great wisdom and insight on how to do this, but nobody can do the work for the other person.
Nobody can do this work for me.
Nobody can write these words for me.
I am alone in this.
And of course I am not the person I used to be. And pretending to be that person, which I do do sometimes, exhausts me. It is detrimental. It dangles something in front of my mind that my mind cannot possibly attain.
I was irreparably changed, and nothing can change that. Nothing can makes events not have happened. It cannot be changed.
I am not saying that I can never be happy, or “better” or “over it”… maybe I can. I don’t know. Is this something you get over? I think not. But I can be free from it. I have that hope and faith.
But I won’t be the same. I can’t be. And that is just a fact.
The last dialogue from this scene is also something I need to take to heart: “Remind her who the real enemy is.”
I am not the enemy here.
People I fear hearing my truth are not my enemies.
My family members are not my enemies.
My secrets aren’t even my enemies.
Just as Katniss believes there is only one enemy in her story, there is only one enemy in mine. Or there should only be one enemy in mine.
It’s not me. It’s not my family. It’s not my friends. It’s not society.
The enemy is clear. I know who the enemy is.
And it isn’t me.
Alas… if only the world were that cut and dry.
Katniss thought she knew exactly who the enemy was too.
It wasn’t until many events worked together that Katniss had a major epiphany and realized she had more than one enemy.
And in the end, she chose the enemy she knew over the one she didn’t.
Sometimes I am the enemy. I self-sabotage. I let myself spiral. I force myself to spiral.
I can be the enemy. Because I choose to be.
And sometimes, I think my choice to see myself as the enemy is like Katniss’ choice to shoot Coin instead of Snow: she is choosing to face the enemy she knows over the one she doesn’t.
I know how to control myself as my enemy. My other enemy? I don’t what cards they’re holding at all.