A super storm, a hundred year storm, the Frankenstorm, Sandy, whatever you want to call it, It wasn’t supposed to happen.My kids were supposed to Trick or treat this week and there are no houses to trick or treat at. This wasn’t supposed to happen.
That’s what goes through the mind of someone in shock, not even aware of what the destruction of this storm really will mean. Who will pay the bills, how will we get to work, is there still a job where I last left it, is my kids school still standing or at least useable, is everyone I love still alive. It wasn’t supposed to happen.
When traumatic events, ”unexpected catastrophes” occur it is more than we can comprehend. How do we recover? How do we ever feel safe again? Will we be able to sleep at night? Will our children ever not fear leaving our side?
Yes this will happen with time, support, comfort, renewed environments or new housing altogether, but things will not be the same. Things have changed permanently. We can’t forget that something like this is possible. Even if we only saw this on TV , we know that it could be us next. So we either feel guilty it wasn’t us, or afraid of identifying with their loss. Sandy has traumatized us all to some extent. This force of nature cannot be denied. So what do we need? We need to return to stability and that can take time depending on what happened.
Those who lost loved ones, homes, transportation and memories will need psychological support. Everyone’s reaction can be different. Those who are proactive in getting their life back together may fare better. Those frozen with their anxieties will need outside psychological support. This is nothing to be shy about. They have felt overwhelmed by what life threw at them. Some will self medicate their anxiety with alcohol and drugs. This isn’t recommended as it will just cover up the trauma underneath. Real talks about the experience, feelings, actions, regrets etc are what makes the pain eventually go away. Most of all looking for any good that comes from this trial such as people helping their neighbor, fire and police and relief organizations giving their all for their fellow man and petty grievances and gossip melting in the face of real human concerns and needs.
The subject of trauma is larger than life and a testament to the capacity of the human spirit to heal.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED?