I’ve avoided writing and even talking about the massacre in Charleston last week. I was on vacation when I found out and all I wanted to do was stick my head in the sand and pretend that it didn’t happen. And since then the emotions have come in waves for me. From sadness to grief to despair the past few days have been a whirlwind of emotions. The rage hasn’t fully gripped me yet though I know that it will come.
Having worked with trauma and survivors of trauma for almost two decades I know that all of this is normal. The avoidance and sadness, rage and despair. The vicarious trauma that we’re experiencing has become so commonplace and accepted.
Recently there has been a lot of discussion about whether or not the family hsould have forgiven the assassin, the influence of the confederate flag, and the intersection of race and religion. We all grieve and experience trauma differently. While some are rageful others feel hopeless. Some people are in a place of sadness and others are still in denial. Though we experience this tragedy differently the varying emotions are typical and even necessary.
Tell us your experiences and reactions. How are you coping? We can learn from each other.