A Flood of Fear – some ways out

It’s startling how quickly a small thing can bring back the full-on physical and emotional response of a trauma.

Main Street NewtownYesterday brought a scare to our town when a “soft-lockdown” was instituted in the schools after a threatening call to an elementary school in town. Everyone is safe. No one was injured. All is well. But my hands still shake as I type this and all I day I have been remembering the events of the morning of December 14th. Please continue to pray for the families in Newtown.

The thing that keeps striking me is that my family and I are at least a few circles removed from “ground zero” of that event. We are not anywhere near as directly impacted as so many around us. Yet, the fear is real and palpable, even for us.

Fear is more than a simply a mental state. If effects both the physiology of the body and the chemical balance of the brain as well. When people are afraid it generates stress. Extreme stress can manifest itself physically in a number of ways.

read more: http://www.wingchuncenter.com/Articles/art01.htm

It’s as if the whole town is in the midst of PTSD.  I see the signs all around me.

The first recommendation for the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder is psychotherapy, “talk therapy.” Part of the reason that this kind of therapy is beneficial is that it can educate on the effects  of trauma, it can also help us to learn to relax and find healthier ways to handle the stress of fear and anger.

Another very handy tool to remove the charge from fear is the releasing fixed attention exercise from a book called ReSurfacing by Harry Palmer. Releasing fixed attention can help you free up the stuck thought patterns around a fearful or traumatic event. It works the way we already operate… talk about the trauma, talk about something else, talk about it some more, talk about something else, and so on. But the exercise does it in a more efficient and deliberate manner.

I know ours is not the only trauma in the world today, lately we seem to be surrounded by it. I feel it’s more important than ever to reach for a future filled with kindness, compassion and peace and we all know it’s the Man (or Woman) in the Mirror who can begin to make that happen.

References: 

Newtown Action Alliance – Take Action Now on Gun Control

I’m pulling this directly from the Facebook Post of the Newtown Action Alliance. One of the things I find hardest to do when there are political challenges and changes I would like to see made is knowing exactly WHAT to do and WHEN and HOW to do it. This post, this link and these instructions spell it all out.

A message from David Wheeler, father of Ben Wheeler, in Washington this week with other families from Newtown:

Please help us move forward.

Please help Francine and I and other families in the work we will be doing this coming week in our nation’s capitol.

Using the link below you can download an information sheet and templates for letters, emails and phone calls to your representatives.

Please read these, beginning with the instructions. If you do not wish to help us, then simply don’t, and I sincerely ask that you please not share your ideological rebuttals here; save that for another conversation.

Because it is so very important that this communication to our elected representatives not end with you, I ask that you feel free to share this post and link as you see fit – we need you to connect with your friends and family to help us make a difference.

In the folder, I’ve also included Ben’s last school photo, taken in the early Spring of 2012. Feel free to include it in any communications you wish, should you so choose.

Link https://www.dropbox.com/s/su01axcidmf96gu/InstructionsAndTemplates.zip

Ben_Wheeler_Sept_2012
Thank you again for your support — we are so very grateful.

We must never let him go.

With love and thanks.

Here’s What You Can Do:

  1. Download the Zip File, Unzip it
  2. Edit the letter or phone script as needed
    1. If you need to know who your Senators are, go to: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm and type in your State.
    2. If you need to know who your Representatives are, go to:http://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep?ZIP=06482&Submit=FIND+YOUR+REP+BY+ZIP and type in your Zip Code.
  3. Take Action, NOW is the time to stop the Gun Violence in our Nation.

Key States to Engage:

Alaska
Colorado
Illinois
Iowa
Maine
New Mexico
Oklahoma
West Virginia
Arizona
Georgia
Indiana
Louisiana
Maine
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Mexico
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Pennsylvania
Tennessee
Utah
Arkansas
Montana
South Carolina

Here are the Addresses for the Senators and Representatives in Connecticut. Let’s make this as easy as possible for people, if you have the addresses for your Representative handy, paste them in the comments below.

The Honorable Christopher Murphy
United States Senate
Washington, DC  20510

The Honorable Richard Blumenthal
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable James Himes
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Elizabeth Esty
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

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We all have a connection to Newtown now.

Last weekend, at my daughter’s gymnastics meet, I sat next to a very friendly woman and we began to chat. When she asked where our team was from and I answered “Newtown,” I braced myself for the sympathy, pity or whatever else might come up at the mention of our town. Instead of the pained expression so many people get when I say where we are from, she said “We moved to Connecticut from Newtown, Pennsylvania. So we have a connection to Newtown.”

Then she paused and said “I guess we all have a connection to Newtown now.” I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that. We all have a connection to Newtown now. Yes, we do: we must.

Sandy Hook Promise

This weekend is Mother’s day and once again, even for those of us who are a few degrees of separation from those who experienced the worst on December 14th, the pain is real and fresh and alive again and the tears are once again flowing.

I know there are many who say “It’s time to move on, it’s time to get back to ‘normal’ life.” And there is a part of me that understands that sentiment, but I also believe that if we try to forget and bury the shock and upset we will be not only dishonoring the memory of those children and educators, but also paving the way for more senseless violence.

The time to make a change is Now. And every one of us, everyone is capable of making a difference. Please don’t try to forget. Please don’t pretend that ‘normal’ is better. Find ways, big and small, where you can make a difference, where you can cultivate a culture of life. Please do all you can to prevent tragedies like December 14th from ever happening again. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to the Moms. We owe it to our children.