Hey Readers, How’s everyone holding up? I came across a quote last month which really spoke to me and I wanted to share it now. What struck me in this quote is the definition of trauma as “too much, too fast.” which is such an accurate description of all of the changes that have taken place in our world, nation, and our personal lives since mid-March of this year.
Another unique and somewhat comforting aspect of this quote is the fact that we are all undergoing a “collective” traumatic experience right now. Many times trauma can be so personal in nature that very few people are even aware of the silent struggles an individual may be going through. “In the quiet heart is hidden Sorrow that the eye can’t see” is a line from a favorite Hymn of mine that describes this concept.
What makes this past year and global pandemic different from other kinds of trauma is that everyone is suffering to some degree and it’s not something that can be kept hidden. One might think that because everyone is having to adapt to change it would make us more united and sympathetic towards each other. Sadly, I have observed many instances where I’ve found just the opposite is true- especially in online interactions and in social media where judgments, criticisms, debate, and even conspiracy theories take precedence over empathy, encouragement, civil dialogue, and problem-solving.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the internet can be a great tool for connection and many are craving that connection and are especially in need of interaction right now. I’ve also found it interesting that although both my husband and I would describe ourselves as introverts, we’ve both really missed interacting with others face-to-face on a regular basis. I admittedly have not left the house much at all over the past 4 or so months. Here’s something I shared on my personal Facebook profile regarding that:
Last week I had to get my driver’s license renewed and my husband came along to do a couple of errands as well. I scheduled my appointment with the DMV early in the morning, so I decided to get a much-needed haircut before returning home. My husband needed a trim and he and I were the only ones in the hair salon, and afterwards he was teasing me about how gabby I was with the lady cutting my hair. I am usually much more of a listener than a talker, but apparently I was so excited to interact with someone in person that I guess I just kept going on and on- whereas other times I may have thought “Just cut my hair- no need to ask me questions.” That was also definitely the first time I’ve been asked to wash my hands before getting a haircut and had a mask covering my face the entire time.
Going back to the quote that I shared: “Of course you aren’t as productive, feeling foggy, or wondering how you can possibly go through so many waves of emotions all in the same day.” YES! I love the validation that it’s natural to experience many different emotions in such a short time. I know that my physical energy, productiveness, and moods have greatly fluctuated from day to day. It’s okay to have ambivalent feelings. For example, I love my children dearly and I find it so ironic that earlier this year I was feeling so guilty/resentful for not having more time apart from my schooling and work to spend with them. And now that we’ve been quarantined together for almost five months there are days when they absolutely drive me CRAZY and I just need to go in a different room to have my own space. School this year will be another huge adjustment as we recently made the decision to enroll our kids in online learning for at least the first term or two and then we’ll play things by ear.