I have a pretty weak stomach for that stuff. I remember seeing Starship Troopers at the movies with my then boyfriend a million years ago and feeling physically ill.
Over the years though, my tolerance has increased. Repeated exposure has diminished my horror. In fact as my Tweeps will know my fave show of all at the moment is True Blood, although that is a far less realistic and more fantastical brand of horror altogether. I don't get why I like it either. Let's just say Eric. And Alcide.
There have been some horrific events in the news in the past week. The avoidable and tragic death of Thomas Kelly, which has damaged many lives including that of the aggressor and his family. The Colorado shooting which is so far beyond my comprehension. We are treated to glamourised images of death via television every single day, but the reality is very far removed.
On the weekend there was a tragic accident on the road near Nagambie in Victoria. My Supertrucker was one of the first on the scene moments after it happened. A sedan drove into the path of a B-double for reasons not yet determined, and the sedan driver died while the truck driver walked away physically unharmed but with untold psychological damage.
At the time my Supertrucker went into emergency mode, helping police move the driver from the car and realising that he was in fact dead. After giving a statement he was back on the road and that was that.
But of course that isn't that at all. On the trip home the following night, my husband found himself grateful for the thick fog as he couldn't see the landmarks of the accident. What he did see in his mind's eye was the crushed car and the lifeless young man.
Unlike the television versions, this death will not lose it's impact on him once the half hour is over. Because he is a MAN and a TRUCKIE there is an assumption that he should suck it up because 'it's a pitfall of the job' and 'we've all seen that loads of times'.
Firstly, I call bullshit. If you can see something like that and walk away unmoved then you have no soul. Secondly it shouldn't surprise me, this kind of response from the industry, but it still does. And it is not good enough. I do not care how gnarly and tattooed and bearded and shaven headed a man is, that is NO indication of his capacity to love, feel and be moved. None.
A man lost his life. A family lost their son/brother/friend. Through no fault of his own, another driver must now live with the knowledge that his vehicle killed another human being. It may be a reality of the job, but that doesn't mean these men shouldn't be cared for in the aftermath just as much as the families involved.
My husband doesn't get to switch off and walk away from this. All the televisual crime scenes in the world cannot compare to being faced with such a reality.
I don't know what the long term impact will be for us. I truly hope that the company my husband works for grow a clue and offer him some kind of support. In the meantime my heart breaks for the family of that motorist, along with the police and paramedics who DO deal with such incidents regularly.
And please please, if you are tired when driving stop for a sleep. Nothing is worth losing your life for.