The re-experiencing of an event is the hallmark of PTSD. For some they may not ever be in that situation ever again, but they relive it everyday in their minds. For others, they relive these experiences in real time through the media. Did you know that fear is fear? Your brain cannot determine fear for yourself or fear for another. If you are afraid of what you see on the news happening to others, then you are afraid for yourself and your own safety too. The brain has only one set of chemicals for fear. It is not compartmentalized into different chemicals for fear for yourself and fear for others. Fear is fear.
Imagine now the kinds of things we've been hearing in the news about these horrific tragedies taking place and connect that to all those who are still recovering from that very kind of instance happening to them years prior. It is a huge burden to carry and one that is all consuming. For these families, the war is here and happening in real time on our own soil. This is also true for our law enforcement. Officers have taken a lot of heat in recent years, but they are the first ones in there when these tragedies happen and without them these communities would suffer even more greatly. Seeing these situations on the news is like it is happening all over again. The tremendous energy of highly charged emotions is intense and not something that you can hide from, so how on Earth do you cope.....you provide support to each other, hold one another's hands, and be the light that each other needs. Sometimes being that light means quietly standing by with a hand on someone's back while they cry what needs to be released without moving to fix it, change it, or put a band-aid on it. Human emotions are okay. When something morally incomprehensible happens, we should feel something. Some will feel sad, others angry, some enraged, some will be moved to help, others will be moved to be in the stillness. However it is that you personally need to respond, honor that. There is no loss of dignity in tears, no loss of pride in sorrow, and no loss of human-ness in feeling emotions you were designed to feel. When we learn to honor the process of mourning, the process of loss, the process of being a living, breathing human designed to feel a full range of emotions, we will stop judging ourselves for our tears, our anger, our frustration, and our loneliness.