Endless American Trauma - How to Stop the Damage
I'm not sure a lot of folks quite understand how fragile a cliff we're all standing on.... Anxiety, anger, depression, illness... not to mention how many of our national systems are completely broken or about to be broken. The fire has been on slow burn for quite a while, but recent politics plus the pandemic have made things 1000 times worse. All of our ills and worst instincts are on the surface, grinding away at our sanity and sense of balance and place. And something has to be done before something snaps.
The country was already filled with rage and inequities when the pandemic began, and COVID has only made everything worse in so many ways. In addition to racial, economic, education and health care divisions, now we are divided about masks and vaccinations.
COVID has highlighted the lack of knowledge of how our bodies work, how science works, how the economy works, plus how many people don't have access to quality information, much less know how to distinguish which facts to believe.
The closure of our schools brings up teachers’ stress, childcare issues, economic inequality, fights over education, lack of Internet access, the crumbling infrastructure of our education buildings and facilities, and so much more.
Having had months stuck at home has made many Americans rethink their lives and their priorities, resulting in massive labor shortages, worker strikes, and a complete rejiggering of our employment situation. They don't just want more money, they're just not willing to burn the candle at both ends only to find that they can still not make those ends meet. Having the desire to not be worked to death is not a character flaw….
At a point in our history where we need to be more informed than ever before, we are sadly lacking in the tools we need to move forward as a nation. Our very survival depends on being able to pull together and getting all of our wheels pointed in the same direction. But most days, it feels like, not a wagon with four wheels, but a table with eight legs, none of which are the same length. And the answer is not to shorten the longer legs to accommodate the shortest ones, leaving the table barely above the floor, but rather to lengthen them all to an equal length so we have something solid supporting us.
So why am I, a Grief & Trauma Coach, writing about all of this? Because what I see all around me on a day-to-day basis, is constant intractable Trauma, all day long. and I know from experience the damage that that can do. It grinds away at the soul, keeping as isolated and infuriated, and ultimately unable to function.
I have been a very political creature all of my life, and I simply cannot separate what I see going on in the country from what I see going on in my practice every day. Whether you are talking about a relationship, a family, a community or a nation, an entity divided against itself cannot stand.
It's one thing to have a difference of opinion, but when you can't agree on facts, or even agree on the question that we are asking, all of the screaming will drown out any resolution that may happen.
We need four KEY things to turn the corner here:
1. We have to learn to discern what good and reliable sources of information are available. All resources on the Internet are not created equal.
2. There must be more dialogue and less hate. Attacking somebody personally does not teach anybody anything.
3. We have to find our empathy for one another - this is not an easy task…. Loss of friends and family members over these divisions is causing permanent cracks in our social structure, only adding to the trauma we are all sitting with.
4. There has to be massive investment in mental health care at every level to cope with all of this. The stress, anxiety and depression will have more ripple effects throughout our culture, in our jobs, our families, our health and every aspect of America.
Only looking out for oneself will only sink you. We are all on the same boat. And more we continue to poke holes in our own vessel while screaming and attacking, the faster the Trauma Ship will go down. The American Ship. And make no mistake – we are sinking….