Someone asked me, "Why aren't you freaking out, too - don't you have PTSD?"
Me: "Uh, yeah, but don't forget, in addition to what caused my PTSD, I also went through 3 hurricanes - and with the first one, I went five weeks without power, ate MREs and chicken in a can, brushed my teeth with bottled water, and was lucky to get a shower. "
"And with all 3 hurricanes, we had empty-shelved grocery stores, waited in line for gas for up to 3 hours, sometimes at $5 a gallon - so I guess my brain knows what to do with this one, it's familiar lol."
"Plus most women - if not soldiers - acquired PTSD via personal trauma, inflicted by people they trusted, as opposed to say war-time trauma. Sometimes through natural disaster, sure, but that's not how I acquired PTSD (though it didn't help lol). And in my mind, the virus, and people's response to it, isn't personal - there's no intent of harm to me or the people I care about - it just ... is what it is."
"However, the common thread is we of the PTSD set, regardless of how we acquired it, tend go on survival autopilot, during times like this - we don't feel, we think. Get resourceful, make do, and wait for the storm to pass :)"
"And all these people talking about "being under martial law" - what they heck are they even talking about? lol They don't have a clue what that means."
"Ask someone in a former eastern-bloc country what that means in a negative way - or better yet, ask someone who lived in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida in 2004-2005 how military-action/marital law can work in a positive way."
"Because unless local, state, or federal government actually declare military action or martial law - until there are actual soldiers standing in the middle of the street with M-16s to preventing people looting - it's not martial law.
And if we ever got to the point where people were literally throwing rocks through store windows and pharmacies, then you'd be grateful for military action and/or martial law, trust me lol."
"I've seen a tad of temporary military action/martial law just once, myself, after hurricanes in the Gulf Coast - and it was actually a good, welcome thing, during that time, people were nuts - and there is nothing more dangerous than panicked people, they're almost a bigger threat than hurricanes and viruses lol."
*See my latest post for a correction/clarification on the actual difference between state-level military action and federal-level martial law in the post following this one, which I wasn't clear on myself until today.
"That's why Mark is calling this the 'zombie apocalypse' - not because of the virus, but because people are crazed, right now.
My daughter, on the other hand, missed most of THAT fun and really has no inkling of the severity, because I took her to my grandmother's, here in Kentucky, beforehand, to be safe.
Then I turned right around, rented a minivan, and drove all night back to Pensacola, to arrive the morning after, with a van-load of supplies for my coworkers at the hospital (after seeing the windows blown out on TV) - food, ice, toiletry supplies provided my grandmother's good-Christian church ladies, of course. I swear, sometimes I think this world would not survive if it were not for good-hearted, church-going grandmas :)
My daughter, however, didn't return until the power did, until there were at least some things on the shelves, and until the mess was mostly cleaned up, to where local officials considered the area safe for children. There were still long gas lines and closed restaurants and businesses, but she missed the worst of it, thank God - and I sent her back for a few weeks for the next 2 hurricanes, staying put myself :)
Actually, there's a lot of things I shielded her from the severity of that she'll probably never know the true depth of, that she has no clue about (but imagines she does) - but that's okay, she can think whatever she wants - even get mad for some of those decisions I made, without her having all the information - just so long as she was safe. When/if she's ever a parent, she may understand ;)
Regardless, that's the weird positive thing about PTSD, if there is one - our brains already know what to do with stuff like this, survival-mode stuff - we go on autopilot, we think rather than feel.
It's coming out of that survival mode, trying to relax and live normal life that's hard - and that's when the "triggers" happen.
Because we don't have time for emotion during actual crisis, we just go on autopilot, our brains know what to do - it's afterwards, when the crisis has passed, then we feel and it, as well as normal life, can overwhelm us :)
During an actual end of the world scenario (which this isn't, mind you) - you really want someone with PTSD on your side, they'll get you through it, trust me :)
But this conversation started me thinking - how many people really don't know what it's like to already live restricted from the good things in life, to feel powerless - and not because you're not trying everything you can and working hard, but because of things you just can't control.
I mean, people are freaking out if they don't have meat in their freezer for a week.
Another friend and I had a good laugh this morning because an adult family member, who's staying with her right now, said, "I can't get any hamburger! I ALWAYS have hamburger on Tuesdays" "
She said, "Look, here's some turkey. Sorry, but that's what we've got and we're lucky to get that. Give thanks for it, EAT IT."
(LOL. This friend also knows struggle in times past.)
I said,"Girrrrl, that's was a way of life for me, for weeks after the hurricanes, and you and I both know what that's like, for months, during the recession, despite working 2 and even 3 jobs lol - and again right after Mark's stroke with medical bills for a while."
"These people make me laugh, because it's not really NOT the end of the world they can't dine at Cheddar's on Saturday nights, right now (and none of us may be able to afford it soon anyway) and has to learn to cook. I promise, this too shall pass. :)"
But then I tried to remember that this is the first time some people have ever experienced what it's like to feel powerless or go without and what that felt like that first time, so I was comforting instead, and said something akin to,
"This is temporary, this too, shall pass - if we do this right now, take these precautions, we can mitigate the risk and be back to normal soon, wait and see. No panic, no denial - let's stay right in the middle."
If nothing else, people - perhaps maybe now you'll be a little kinder to people who live powerlessly and end all the "suck it up, snowflake" nonesense, because it's not usually because these people aren't working as hard as they possible can (I bet you all the money left in my bank account they actually work harder), but because either they just weren't lucky enough to experience the side of privileged life that you do, made some poor decisions they can't change (just like you do), or both ;)