One of things, I believe, that has made this year so difficult for many of us in terms of Donald Trump being elected President, is rooted in the fact that many of us have experienced some kind of trauma in our lives.
Maybe we’ve been on the receiving end of racism or discrimination or we’ve been bullied or sexually harassed or assaulted or even abused by those with power over us and there was nothing we could do about it.
Our current administration has been an almost constant trigger of our own traumas, no matter whether it is us or friends or family who feel a lack of safety with what our government is doing. Even worse, it has been a trauma in and of itself, seeing this man, a bully, a harasser, a discriminator and his followers proud of their racism, sexism, anti-semitism, bullying, abusive behavior, become president.
Now, not only did we have old traumas triggered, we feel scared for ourselves and our family. We feel powerless and helpless.
In essence, we feel traumatized once again–especially with his reaction regarding Charlottesville, his equating “many sides” and saying the Confederate flag and statues are a special part of our culture, that Nazis marching through a city is perfectly normal and acceptable and no reason for genuine condemnation.
But here’s the difference. Whether our traumas happened long ago or more recently, we are stronger than we were then and we are not alone now. We are not fighting this alone, defending our families and country all by ourselves.
- We have each other to turn to for support when we don’t feel strong enough to go on.
- We have each other to brainstorm ideas of how to fight back, how to make sure our elected leaders know how we feel and how strongly we feel it.
- We have each other to think about what organizations we should be giving money to so they can help protect those that need protection.
- We have each other to think about specific actions we can take to make our voices heard, to help those who need help.
- We have each other and our combined strengths are pretty powerful.
This *has* been traumatic for so many of us and that is *why* we feel this way. We can’t underestimate how profoundly this period of our lives is being affected and how it is affecting us. Not because we are weak, but because we are connected. We feel. We care. We’re invested in ourselves, our families and our future. These are just a few of the things that makes us different and special.
Even though the wounds are still so fresh and continue to reopen, let’s remember we aren’t the little kids who got hurt long ago. We are strong adults able to stand up for what we believe in and to not only protect ourselves (maybe in ways we never could as kids), but also stand up and protect others, too.