So here’s the truth.
We are a nation in trauma. We are strong. We are, psychologically speaking, seemingly made of steel. We are continually attacked, attempts are continually made to beat us down, and yet, incredibly, we stand straighter, grow taller, and fill in with a bit more steel each time.
However, it can not be denied that we are a nation where Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a constant. And take off the Post in the PTSD – it is ongoing. Post and Present. Continuous. Let’s call it Ongoing Traumatic Stress Disorder.
For those of you reading this who live here, you see it in your kids. They don’t want to go on school trips for fear of being attacked or kidnapped. They are suddenly afraid of the dark. They lock the doors obsessively. A plan of action in case a terrorist infiltrates the community is secured. Anxiety attacks crop up. They need to know where you are all the time. They talk about leaving the country. They climb into your bed at night often, or even start the night already there.
And you. You no longer want to drive to certain places on your own. You check twice that your doors are locked at night, and check on your kids three times before you go to sleep. You send up a prayer of heartfelt thanks every time you turn into the road of your community for having arrived safely.
For some people it is more subtle. Persistent back pain. Tension builds up in their neck after driving on the roads. Sudden anger management issues. A revelation of a previously non-existent violent side to your personally.
Some like to talk about it, others like to joke. Some spew their hatred and anger and vehemence, while others like to live as peacefully as possible to try to balance out the lack of peace.
Some find solace in their routine and recognize more than ever the importance of living every day as their best self, and to the fullest. Others feel frustrated, disempowered, angry, and restless.
Bottom line: in some way, we are all in trauma.
How do you deal with it? Do you have open discussions at the table to allow everyone to vent their feelings – without judgement? Do you secure plans of action in case of trouble and share them with your kids so they understand you are aware and doing your utmost to help them feel safe and secure? Do you hug your kids more regularly?
Being open and aware of your family’s needs right now is so important. Check the emotional waters. Give your kids extra TLC. Think twice if a behavioral issue comes up if perhaps this is a sign of distress in your child. Lack of energy, lethargy, lack of motivation, sleeping issues can all be signs of distress.
Get help where you need it. Allow medical and holistic professionals in on what is going on. Get the help everyone needs, that answers their particular distress. There are wonderful options out there. Drama therapy, play therapy, art therapy. Rescue Remedy can be taken on a constant basis to prevent the stress from taking hold in the body or negatively affecting everyday functioning.
Extra fun time, quality laughing family time, quality treats like an extra bedtime story or snuggling, these are all ways to balance out the negative affects of the trauma. To make your family feel “normal” and increase the security and well-being felt in the family unit. Avoiding drastic sudden changes in routine, knowing what your kids’ traumas are and being sensitive to them.
And don’t forget yourself. Treat yourself extra well, as well. Go for that manicure you’ve been putting off. Set up a series of massages for the next few weeks. Watch a movie or two. Whatever works to restore your sense of balance and well-being will restore your family’s as well.
Here’s to stability. Here’s to being strong. Here’s to recognizing the affects reality has on us and being healthy about it.
With love and prayers for emotional health for all of us,
Beit Roga Gardens
Looking for some support for yourself? Something to get you out of the house and provide you with gentle support this year? Without too much of a time commitment? (...Because we are all busy.)
For more information about this and other Beit Roga programs designed with your calm in mind, contact Devorah at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 02-653-7422.