The hotel came with a complimentary brainwashed amnesiac supersoldier assassin.
1. Trauma permanently changes us.
This is the big, scary truth about trauma: there is no such thing as “getting over it.” The five stages of grief model marks universal stages in learning to accept loss, but the reality is in fact much bigger: a major life disruption leaves a new normal in its wake. There is no “back to the old me.” You are different now, full stop.
This is not a wholly negative thing. Healing from trauma can also mean finding new strength and joy. The goal of healing is not a papering-over of changes in an effort to preserve or present things as normal. It is to acknowledge and wear your new life — warts, wisdom, and all — with courage.
2. Presence is always better than distance.
There is a curious illusion that in times of crisis people “need space.” I don’t know where this assumption originated, but in my experience it is almost always false. Trauma is a disfiguring, lonely time even when surrounded in love; to suffer through trauma alone is unbearable. Do not assume others are reaching out, showing up, or covering all the bases.
It is a much lighter burden to say, “Thanks for your love, but please go away,” than to say, “I was hurting and no one cared for me.” If someone says they need space, respect that. Otherwise, err on the side of presence.
3. Healing is seasonal, not linear.
It is true that healing happens with time. But in the recovery wilderness, emotional healing looks less like a line and more like a wobbly figure-8. It’s perfectly common to get stuck in one stage for months, only to jump to another end entirely … only to find yourself back in the same old mud again next year.
Recovery lasts a long, long time. Expect seasons.
4. Surviving trauma takes “firefighters” and “builders.” Very few people are both.
This is a tough one. In times of crisis, we want our family, partner, or dearest friends to be everything for us. But surviving trauma requires at least two types of people: the crisis team — those friends who can drop everything and jump into the fray by your side, and the reconstruction crew — those whose calm, steady care will help nudge you out the door into regaining your footing in the world. In my experience, it is extremely rare for any individual to be both a firefighter and a builder. This is one reason why trauma is a lonely experience. Even if you share suffering with others, no one else will be able to fully walk the road with you the whole way.
A hard lesson of trauma is learning to forgive and love your partner, best friend, or family even when they fail at one of these roles. Conversely, one of the deepest joys is finding both kinds of companions beside you on the journey.
5. Grieving is social, and so is healing.
For as private a pain as trauma is, for all the healing that time and self-work will bring, we are wired for contact. Just as relationships can hurt us most deeply, it is only through relationship that we can be most fully healed.
It’s not easy to know what this looks like — can I trust casual acquaintances with my hurt? If my family is the source of trauma, can they also be the source of healing? How long until this friend walks away? Does communal prayer help or trivialize?
Seeking out shelter in one another requires tremendous courage, but it is a matter of life or paralysis. One way to start is to practice giving shelter to others.
6. Do not offer platitudes or comparisons. Do not, do not, do not.
“I’m so sorry you lost your son, we lost our dog last year … ” “At least it’s not as bad as … ” “You’ll be stronger when this is over.” “God works in all things for good!”
When a loved one is suffering, we want to comfort them. We offer assurances like the ones above when we don’t know what else to say. But from the inside, these often sting as clueless, careless, or just plain false.
Trauma is terrible. What we need in the aftermath is a friend who can swallow her own discomfort and fear, sit beside us, and just let it be terrible for a while.
7. Allow those suffering to tell their own stories.
Of course, someone who has suffered trauma may say, “This made me stronger,” or “I’m lucky it’s only (x) and not (z).” That is their prerogative. There is an enormous gulf between having someone else thrust his unsolicited or misapplied silver linings onto you, and discovering hope for one’s self. The story may ultimately sound very much like “God works in all things for good,” but there will be a galaxy of disfigurement and longing and disorientation in that confession. Give the person struggling through trauma the dignity of discovering and owning for himself where, and if, hope endures.
8. Love shows up in unexpected ways.
This is a mystifying pattern after trauma, particularly for those in broad community: some near-strangers reach out, some close friends fumble to express care. It’s natural for us to weight expressions of love differently: a Hallmark card, while unsatisfying if received from a dear friend, can be deeply touching coming from an old acquaintance.
Ultimately every gesture of love, regardless of the sender, becomes a step along the way to healing. If there are beatitudes for trauma, I’d say the first is, “Blessed are those who give love to anyone in times of hurt, regardless of how recently they’ve talked or awkwardly reconnected or visited cross-country or ignored each other on the metro.” It may not look like what you’d request or expect, but there will be days when surprise love will be the sweetest.
9. Whatever doesn’t kill you …
In 2011, after a publically humiliating year, comedian Conan O’Brien gave students at Dartmouth College the following warning:
"Nietzsche famously said, ‘Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ … What he failed to stress is that it almost kills you.”
Odd things show up after a serious loss and creep into every corner of life: insatiable anxiety in places that used to bring you joy, detachment or frustration towards your closest companions, a deep distrust of love or presence or vulnerability.
There will be days when you feel like a quivering, cowardly shell of yourself, when despair yawns as a terrible chasm, when fear paralyzes any chance for pleasure. This is just a fight that has to be won, over and over and over again.
10. … Doesn’t kill you.
Living through trauma may teach you resilience. It may help sustain you and others in times of crisis down the road. It may prompt humility. It may make for deeper seasons of joy. It may even make you stronger.
It also may not.
In the end, the hope of life after trauma is simply that you have life after trauma. The days, in their weird and varied richness, go on. So will you."
When you’re thrown into something so young, you don’t think about it too much. I was an only child, so it took me a while to form friends because my stepdad was the headmaster, and I had an accent for a while, but it was still early and you just sort of suck in everything at that age.
I need to take a moment because HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. I don’t keep up with AOS news all that much because I’m still, unfortunately, waiting for the show to deliver (the later part of the season got much better so that made me happy, also anything with Triplett is gold, hence why I’ll stick around for another season).
I didn’t know this dunce Leob made that comment.
Now that I know.
I had to sit on this for a day and like, do some breathing exercises and a hour of yoga because the fact that people in charge of anything Marvel or MCU related HA V E AC TUAL LL Y SA I D SHI T LIKE THIS I JUST.
I need another moment.
FIRST AND FOREMOST. AGENCY. AGENCY. AGENCY. AGENCY IS A PRETTY FUCKING BIG CONCEPT AND I’M NOT SURPRISED THAT ANOTHER WHITE MALE EXECUTIVE FAILS TO GRASP ITS IMPORTANCE.
The Winter Soldier has committed a lot of crimes. What a terrible human being. How dare he, after being tortured, experimented on, brainwashed, frozen, de-frozen, electrocuted and forged into a shell of his former self with no frame of reference, memory, connection, structure outside of the missions assigned to him, not consciously choose not to carry out those orders. What a despicable character. And yet we’re rooting for him, according to Loeb, to come back to the side of the angels.
NO, YOU DUMB NITWIT. Bucky Barnes doesn’t have to come back to the side of the angels. Bucky Barnes had all agency and personality electrocuted out of him. They literally turned him into a blank slate every single time he showed any resemblance of action or agency that was outside the parameters they gave him. Why? Because James Buchanan Barnes kept creeping up and they fucking knew he wouldn’t do the things they were asking him to do had he had any choice. So they took that away from him.
Bucky is a fucking martyr. Bucky already paid whatever penance for his sins, such as they might be when he acted upon them without his consensus and without the cognitive ability to say no. He’s already suffered enough. At the end of TWS, Bucky Barnes breaks his own goddamn programming and guess what, the first conscious choice he makes is to save Steve from drowning.
There’s no redemption arc here. Bucky doesn’t need redemption. He needs healing. He needs to reclaim himself, rebuild his fractured mind, redefine his own persona, let his trauma heal, deal with his brainwashing and put himself back together.
My blood pressure always reaches alarming levels whenever anyone compares Bucky or Natasha (whom I’m pretty sure also has her Red Room bg in the MCU and I’m waiting to hear more on that) to Ward.
Because Ward is a villain. Like Loki, understanding their motivations and the reasoning behind their actions does not fucking excuse them. Grant Ward wasn’t frozen, tortured, electrocuted and mind wiped.He was influenced, sure; say he developed Stockholm Syndrome from his time with Garrett, okay; say he joined Shield with the purpose of taking it down from within out of loyalty to the person who ~saved him.
All of that? However badly influenced, was his own choice. He was his own person. A very fucked up person, sure, but with agency nonetheless. May I also add that he left behind the abusive environment where he was constantly under Garrett’s thumb, and he was then surrounded by a remarkable group of people who he befriended (with the purpose of betraying later). Environmentally, Ward had a shot to sit and think real hard about what he was doing and figure out if he actually wanted to do it, but he didn’t — or if he did, he decided that following Garrett was the way to go. Point being, it was his decision. He did all of this whilst being his own person.At any point, he could’ve made a different choice, but he did not.
He knew what Garrett was planning, he knew what Garrett would do, and I believe he had at least the mental ability to take a look at that and go hmmmm, hey you know what. Buddy I know I sorta owe you my life but … this is a little extreme, yeah? At no point at all that crosses his mind, ever. No, not even when Garrett is clearly losing it, he still follows him. That’s like, Crossbones levels of devotion, my friend. And I’m actually okay with it — I thought having Ward turn into a villain was the most interesting thing they did with the character, but then I see shit like this, frm the people in charge of the show, when they even pair up Ward and Bucky in the same sentence and I get an aneurysm.
Bucky never had a choice. Ward did, and look what he did with it.
I don’t understand why Loeb can’t fucking grasp this concept and it actually terrifies me that he’s involved with AOS or the MCU at all.
The other thing that Loeb seems to have conveniently forgotten is that Bucky was a POW. Ward and Loki were never POWs, never victims that were tortured. So there is ABSOLUTELY NO COMPARISON!!!
I go apeshit every time someone either compares Bucky to Ward & Loki or refers to Bucky as a villain. Just immediate nuclear meltdown.
*** temporarily resurrects ***
THIS. THIS. ALL OF FUCKING THIS.
Okay, please do not compare Bucky to Ward or for God’s sake, LOKI. They are not even close. Not even in the same FUCKING UNIVERSE.
As the lovely ink-phoenix has pointed out, the key words here are AGENCY. And CHOICE.
Bucky Barnes is NOT a misunderstood Draco-in-Leather-Pants Woobiekins Bad Boy in need of REDEMPTION.
He was a GOOD MAN, to begin with. This was a man who chose to look after and support his sickly, asthmatic friend, despite the fact that they were living in a period of American history where it was understandable that every man would have been looking out for their own interests. But from Steve Rogers’ own words, even when he had nothing he had Bucky. I repeat, this is a GOOD MAN.
Maybe he’s not a saint, maybe he’s not perfect, but good? Definitely, hell, motherfucking yes.
So why are we rooting for Bucky Barnes? We’re not watching for his “redemption arc.” Bucky doesn’t need “redeeming.” He needs RECLAIMING. He needs to get his AGENCY and his CHOICES back and FUCKING HELL YEAH I WILL SCREAM WITH JOY the moment the MCU-verse shows us that moment when Bucky reclaims all of himself - the boy from Brooklyn, the swaggering, charming sergeant of the Howling Commandos, the Winter Soldier and Steve Rogers’ best friend.
#101 in my REASONS TO NOT READ MARVEL COMICS and just stick to MCU universe and pick and choose from COMIC CANON WIKI because RAGEQUIT FEELS RISING
*** goes back to being dead of EVEN MORE BUCKY FEELS ***
So we missed our flight by minutes. Next one is six hours later. Hashtag divergence point?
Oh hey look, a 12 year-old just grasped the main concepts of The Hunger Games more accurately than most media networks.
But hey bucky barnes.
(sorry I had to.. (i changed the background of this one for no reason.
Headed out to SDCC shortly!!! I’m the Steve Rogers to luckyfilbert ‘s Bucky Barnes, so I’ll be wearing some assortment of red, white, and blue all weekend and running around like a dork with this strapped to my back :
So if you’re there, gimme a holler!
(also I might mainly rely on luckyfilbert to post stuff cuz I’m a lazy butt, but when/if I DO post, I’ll tag #otterpop goes to sdcc)
THIS IS HAPPENING PEOPLE
I don’t have a cute me-as-Bucky picture because I was up till 3am finishing the arm and look like. well. Like the Winter Soldier.