[For several obvious reasons, there can't be details here.]
A Bad Thing happened at work. Which is no surprise; my work by definition is knee-deep in bad things, but this Thing was worse. It was really quite bad. Not to me, I was fine, but to some stranger.
I didn't cry afterwards, which was strange. I don't cry at work, of course, but when something really shakes me up I usually get in a few sniffles on the drive home or before I go to sleep. This time I did not. All I could think was "it's somebody else's problem," and I felt blank. Not "I'm in shock, everything is in slow motion and far away and much too quiet" blank, just okay. Like I'd just been handling luggage or whatever. Like I was intellectually aware that bad things happen in the world, but my day was fine except I have this annoying cut on my knuckle that catches every time I take off my gloves.
I actually tried to make myself cry when I woke up. I watched sad videos about animals until I successfully got tears, but I think I was only crying for the animals. I mean, awww, little girl lost her doggy, sniffle. That's something I can cry about.
I think the answer is that I'm really okay. I don't think I'm suppressing some horrible gush of emotion, I think I've just dealt with the Bad Thing faster and more effectively than I expected myself to. It's not my first Bad Thing and it was in no way personal for me. And this not-caring is expected and good, right? You can't cry every time a bad thing happens to a stranger, and it shouldn't make that much difference that you merely witnessed it. I'm not fucked-up, I'm adapting--for my own protection, for my usefulness to others. And everyone does. The old cliche ER doctor going "It. Never. Gets. Any. Easier!"? Not only does it get easier, it's supposed to. Does anyone want to be attended by a crying EMT?
Maybe next time I won't even care about not caring.