The Horrifying Reality of 3:02 AM


Well, Visitors, what a time we have had. In the past week since Trump was elected, we have been treated to all kinds of images of the most extraordinary fearmongering. School teachers in a large local district wearing black after Election Day, informing ALL children they were mourning the ‘Death of America’.

Ignorant college kids protesting the election, saying they were ‘frightened’ of the upcoming four years. Misinformed twenty-somethings calling for the end of the electoral college, calling it a ‘fearful tyranny of the minority’.

Most incredibly, my peers, college educated middle aged women, being accused if ‘internalizing misogyny’ and being completely unaware of the fearful hell we had just voted down on our heads.

Gracious. In the midst of all this, there has been a small chorus of reasoned voices attempting to redirect attention back to an issue that’s close to my heart- that of genuinely traumatized, fearful people.

I was talking with my gentleman caller – code name “Stockholm”- about this very issue. Privately, Stockholm and I share the same disdain for ‘triggered’ young ‘uns, who need ‘safe spaces’ for ‘self care’. Stockholm is a great deal more diplomatic than I, as I voice my disgust for this at every appropriate opportunity. Stockholm just smiles.

Last night, at 3:02 am, I had a ‘triggering event’.

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3:02 am, on July 18, 2010, the phone jarred me out of a sound sleep. On the other end, my sister informed me that Chris had lost his battle to the great dragon Cancer, and won his seat at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

I was traumatized. I broke the news to my daughters, called my son, and drove over to the Hospice in my bathrobe. I stumbled into the facility, and kissed the cool, lifeless forehead of my husband goodbye. I remember it as if it were yesterday.

Now, most of you know that I am of a pretty rational bent. I like things that can be measured. I like things that I can observe, and control as much as possible.

For about a year after that event, inexplicable things happened at 3:02 am. I got spam phone calls. Coyotes would yap at that hour. As was expected, any night terrors would reach their peak at 3:02 am, jarring me into a wide-eyed, heart pounding wakefulness.

Rationally, one would expect that sleep would become a trial for me, and it has. As most of you know who have been with me for a while, I have a horror of getting ‘stuck’ in destructive behavior. Good ‘self care’ is simply critical for authentically traumatized people. A combination of outstanding talk therapy, judicious, short-term use of benzodiazepines, meticulous attention to exercise, and really, really great church family continues to restore me to good health.

So, about last night. My dogs are these little Italian Greyhound mixes. These two possess the hearts of lions, and the brains of walnuts. At 3:02 am, these little beasts spotted a bull elk off of my back deck, and went ballistic. Snarling! Snorting! Bellowing at the top of their lungs! Raising the roof!

And, of course, triggering  me to jolt BOLT upright, flooded with memories of 3:02 am six and half years ago. Heart racing, I crept downstairs to deal with this auditory mess, and slept no more for the rest of the night.

Self care this morning included a sturdy breakfast, prayer, Scripture reading, understanding from the gentle Stockholm, visiting with good friends, and a solid day in at work.

Visitors, let us not allow authentic struggles of people like me to be co-opted by these irresponsible people rioting after the recent election. It dilutes the language, and the progress we have made on this issue.

Rioters, for shame. “Triggered” students? For HEAVEN’S sake, pull yourselves together. Manipulating teachers? KNOCK it off. You are to teach, not preach your worldview.

My people? The genuinely traumatized? The authentically ill-used?  The wounded and the bleeding? The cloud of us surrounds you. You can do this. We are here, and we love you.

Much respect,

Victoria

 

 

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3 thoughts on “The Horrifying Reality of 3:02 AM

  1. I am sorry to hear of this continuing effect. I am glad your friend is so supportive.

    Here we are- I read of the “social media bubble”, but our bubbles are different. So let’s go with it. On my side, people are worried. As we live in echo-chambers, our facebook feeds are of people who are similarly worried. We post worry and comment agreeing worry and possibly exaggerate worry-

    yet at the core of it there is real worry. What are the consequences for the economy and the Precariat? For me in the UK, what are the consequences for Estonia, our NATO ally and EU fellow-member, with its large minority Russian population? If the President boasts of groping women, will more men feel emboldened to grope in an unwelcome way? (Oops, my side might not like the way I phrased that). Truthfulness is important. Let us be truthful, and not exaggerate, and forgive each other. I know how delighted I would be if you had a female President; if I can intellectually accept your relief, might you intellectually accept my worry?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clare, dear, I’ve been thinking about your reply since you wrote it. I must say, I find very little to be glad about with the President elect. My point in this column was to call out the utter silliness, and in many cases, thorough meanness, of the response of the Left to Trump’s election.
      Of course I accept your worry. You’re one of the most thoughtful (and hilarious 🙂 ) friends I have. I share a great deal of your worry. What I do not accept is the ‘fear’ that most on the left here promulgate. The population that I wrote about struggles daily to not allow their lives to be ruled by authentic, powerful fear. We shall see what effect Trump et al will have. Certainly, there is reason to be concerned. But Fear? Nonsense. To say that a Trump presidency inspires terror, fear, hatred, etc, etc, is to bastardize the language, and I won’t have it. Responding to victimization, responding to serious loss, responding to devastating uncontrollable circumstances, any of the definitions of under a genuine PTSD diagnosis, “fear” is very real and very debilitating. Responding to a political loss with fear? My fellow Americans need to get a grip. Much love to you, dear girl. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Here’s a perspective. I was at the Yearly Meeting of Quakers in Britain in May, and had a long discussion with a woman who said trans women like me frightened cis women in women’s loos. She wanted these women not to be frightened. It does not matter that her views are hard-Left feminist, they have the same effect as Governor McCrory’s. And after I felt- frightened- using the loo. I hoped no-one would confront me.

        So, rather than the Federal Government standing up to McCrory and his ilk, it would be cheering him on. I might, in the US, feel fear. Would I be able to live my life without harassment? Would my job be less safe? Such fear might be debilitating, and make life more stressful.

        I don’t know whether women who have suffered physical violence or coercive control by male partners would feel fear when they hear the President-Elect glorify such violence, or dismiss complaints of it, but I think it possible.

        Given Mr Trump’s enthusiasm for Stop and Frisk, black people might fear racial profiling. Not, perhaps, what you feel at 3.02am, but greater non-specific anxiety and less trust in police officers.

        Some people’s liberty to pursue happiness may be constrained, without justification.

        Mr Trump alleged that around 2% of the vote was fraudulent. The Washington Post says that just four cases of fraudulent votes have been documented. Mr Priebus claimed that there may indeed have been over two million of them. I fear that Mr Trump will enact oppressive policies, like voter suppression laws, and that when his justifications are unrelated to reality that will not matter.

        Like

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