Helps us feel safer

When something happens that is “unthinkable”—so inconsistent with our view of the world that we can’t imagine it—we do predictable things to make sense of it. We deny it, assuming we misunderstood or interpreted incorrectly. We find some explanation that helps us feel safer—if we can decide we were responsible for the event, then at least we have some control. We try to push it out of our minds in some kind of voluntary forgetting. The problem is that in our efforts to make this event “logical,” we must maintain our role as victim (i.e., there was some reason why this terrible event was supposed to happen).

Andrea Barnes
qtd. in Between Vengeance and Forgiveness