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Traumatic Stress – Be Kind

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on September 24, 2021 14:36

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In these times of stress it is easy to forget that Traumatic Stress Syndrome is a reality. We need to be kind to ourselves and to others, and recognize the symptoms and solutions to the signs of our times.

Marion Charatan recently published a piece on a ‘Pandemic of Rudeness.’ I have to admit that I have been contemplating similar thoughts. Firstly it seems that drivers (not me, of course) have forgotten how to drive during the long months of lockdown. Then people seem to dash into shopping centers without glancing left or right. Add to that the constant, if limited, irritation of remembering where the face mask went and someone like me that had become somewhat of a hermit over the last year tends to react with less than tolerance.
 
Life has not been easy. Income on most levels is drastically down and costs seem to keep escalating. South African unemployment has reached record levels and so has crime, as many just cannot feed their families anymore.
 
The latest wave of the pandemic has hit close to us. Friends tell of their children’s schoolmates being orphaned. Another was looking for a home for dogs - their owners, both young athletes, died of COVID. Their six-month-old baby was taken care of, but not the dogs. A granddaughter’s preschool caretaker lost her husband and baby to the virus.
 
In addition, it has been a hard year also on other fronts. In several parts of the country, climate change and criminal arson has caused the destruction of farms, animal herds, livelihoods and lives.
 
So when someone referred to Post-Traumatic Stress I recognized the symptoms: anxiety, dissociation, emotional numbness, lack of ability to concentrate. 

Military leaders recognize these symptoms but in a civilian context, it is not so well known.
 
Someone re-sent me a message I had sent her when her marriage ended in a very toxic way, and somehow it made sense of the noise and confusion of a world where economic bases seem to crumble, where vaxxers and anti-vaxxers seek to out-shout each other.

So I wish to share the Desiderata with you.

You are a child of the universe, scarce less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
 
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Coen Van Wyk

Posted on September 24, 2021 14:36

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Source: CNET

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