Reality Of Perspective – Now You See It, Now You Don’t

by Sherry Riter in Communication,Perception,Self-Development  

A person’s perspective or point of view can change quickly. You don’t always see what you think you see.

starfish shells sand beach sunshine

Going To The Beach

Since I am so fair skinned, going to the beach during the hottest months of summer is not something I do often. Actually, I don’t do it at all anymore because it is a miserable experience to stay completely covered from head to toe while everyone else is laying around all bronze. Not only does it make me physically ill from the heat, but I have a hard time quelling the feelings of jealousy for tanned skin.

I go to the beach during the cooler winter months. It is relaxing as I pick up shells and listen to the crashing waves on the beach. Seagulls usually fly low because they eat crabs and other sea critters that have washed onto the sand. I’m usually bundled up in a thick sweatshirt and jacket to keep warm. There is something almost holy watching the sun rise or set on an empty beach. I get the same feeling when I am on a mountaintop all alone.

My perspective of the beach is probably very different than yours. You may long for the hot beach when you look at the picture of the starfish, sand, small yellow child’s bucket and shells. On the other hand, you may not like the beach at all. Maybe you haven’t ever visited a beach, so my picture and description doesn’t cause you to feel anything.

So I posted the picture I took of the yellow bucket in the sand. You may wonder when I went to the beach, who went with me to the beach or how many other pictures I took at the beach. I could tell you all about the beach, but since you were not with me when I took the picture, you would only be able to imagine the experience.

Your perspective of my beach picture could be totally wrong. If I asked you ten questions about the experience I had while taking the picture that you see at the beginning of the post, do you think that you will get at least one of the questions right? Let me give you a few bites of information and then I will ask you the questions to see how many you get right.

I took the picture Saturday, January 12th. I don’t work at my outside job on the weekends. The beach is only two hours away.

Okay, now I am going to ask you the questions…

  1. Was it the middle of summer on the beach when I took the picture?
  1. Was it raining?
  1. Was the sun shining?
  1. Were people tanning on the beach?
  1. Was the sand scorching hot between my toes?
  1. Was the ocean icy cold?
  1. Did I use the small yellow child’s bucket to build sandcastles?
  1. Were there a lot of large rocks and shells on the beach?
  1. Was there only one starfish on the beach?
  1. Did I go to the beach?

So you’ve answered the questions in your head and you have your own thoughts about my experience with the beach scene in the photograph. From your perspective, based on the picture and how I talk about loving the beach in the winter, you probably think you got most of the questions correct.

I think that most, if not all of you got all the questions wrong.

With my words at the beginning of the post I led you all in one direction. I wanted you to have a particular perspective. We do that everyday with other people. In order to “feel good about our self,” we have to put on a “good face” and be strong. I think that is why when someone asks, “How are you?” we simply say, “Fine.” Even if your child threw up all night, your mother-in-law rearranged your entire kitchen while you were at work, your spouse was fired, the car got a flat tire on your way to work or you are having a very bad PTSD moment, you STILL say, “Fine” when asked how you are doing.

Yep. That’s what we do.

So now you have a vision of my experience with the beach last weekend. It is in your head and clear. It is also real because I painted the picture for you and then provided a photograph. You see me walking, gathering shells and snapping pictures, don’t you? Those things you are sure of and it is enough to have a solid picture in your head of my visit to the beach.

Well, now you see it in your head and now you don’t because I’m about to shatter your perspective with another picture that I took right after snapping the first one…

starfish shells sand glass globe

I have a decorative glass beach scene ornament.

You may be thinking, “Whoa! You said you went to the beach!”

Nope. I never said I went to the beach this weekend or that I took the picture while at the beach. Your perspective of my reality was completely wrong.

Unfortunately, most people’s perspective on the realities of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is incomplete, ignorant or wrong. That’s why I’m writing a book. I want everyone to have a clear perspective of the realities of PTSD. I want to be understood and I want to help other people who are touched by this terrible disorder.

The next time you want someone to understand you, but you make no effort or very little effort to help them have the full picture, don’t blame the other person for saying or doing all the wrong things. If you want to be understood, you’ve got to share it and say it. You might even have to say it over and over again before they see the reality of your perspective. Don’t give up. Good communication is the key to lasting relationships.

You and I have a relationship. I’ve shared the worst moment of my life with you. It took courage for me to open up that much. Many of you come back every day to read my next post. A few of you make comments and I get to know you. By the way, thank you. I love your comments. Eventually many of you will read my book and it will open your eyes even more to who I am, what I’ve suffered and how I’ve overcome the biggest challenge of my life. I look forward to sharing my book with you just as much as I enjoy sharing my blog with you.

By the way, I might go to the beach this weekend. LOL No, really! I’m thinking about going to the real beach. Oh! I almost forgot to ask! How many questions did you get right on my ten question test? LOL


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joan January 16, 2013 at 6:55 am

I’m gloating because I got all 10 questions right! Really I did! 🙂


2 Sherry Riter January 16, 2013 at 7:46 am

Really? I thought I would trick everyone!


3 Joan January 16, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Why ask really? Of course really. I am a steady reader of your blog, (duh, like you couldn’t tell LOL). I think you said it best when you wrote, “You and I have a relationship. I’ve shared the worst moment of my life with you. It took courage for me to open up that much. Many of you come back every day to read my next post.” It is true, I do come back every day to read your next post, (even if I don’t always comment), so I feel like I have gotten to know you through your writings. And, yes, I do feel like you and I have formed a relationship, even though we have never met physically. That’s the wonderful thing about the Internet. You can form relationships with people far beyond your own inner circle of friends. As a writer myself, I admire your writing and how prolific you are, turning out a new post every day. I truly look forward to reading your book on PTSD when it is published or for that matter any book that you write. Obviously I am a fan! 🙂


4 Sherry Riter January 16, 2013 at 8:16 pm

😀 😀 Thank you Joan!!!! 😀 😀 I truly appreciate your comment today and all the comments you have made before…all 340 of them! 😉


5 Making Our Life Matter January 16, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Hmmm…..when I first started reading this post I had one certain way that I *thought* the post was about. But when I truly READ it, it was totally different. You brought up a great point how one person’s normal isn’t, well, normal. THanks!


6 Sherry Riter January 16, 2013 at 8:15 pm

You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed it!


7 katlupe January 20, 2013 at 5:33 pm

As a person who lives with someone who also suffers from PTSD, I can tell you that I never see things the same as he does. I know he had two very bad tragic moments in his life and I will never know what they felt like. As a couple we usually share everything, I can’t exactly share in this incident because I wasn’t with him when it happened. Sometimes I know, I am mad at him because I think this is effecting him more than it should. Then I read what you say, and I am more understand and easier on him. I give him some slack, I guess. Keep writing! I will be buying your book when you get it published.


8 Sherry Riter January 20, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Thank you! I’m glad you have more patience with him. 🙂


Leave a Comment

"How rare and wonderful is that flash of a moment
when we realize we have discovered a friend."

~William E. Rothschild~

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
I respond back to all comments.


Previous post:

Next post: