Are You Suffering From Post-Trumpatic Stress Disorder?

Are You Suffering From Post-Trumpatic Stress Disorder? November 15, 2016

Suffering from PTSD (Post Trumpatic Stress Disorder)

People on my campus are in a funk. The mood is somber, melancholic. Today, a colleague made reference to PTSD – “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” – and I realized right away that the acronym could be adapted to fit the current situation perfectly.

We have “Post-Trumpatic Stress Disorder.”

I had lunch with a colleague yesterday, who noticed that I was wearing a safety pin on my lapel. I happened to have an extra one, and gave it to him to wear. We talked about the fact that minority and marginalized students had expressed their distress as they walked around campus, looking at not only students but professors who are part of the white majority, and wondering whether we had voted for Trump.

I wear the safety pin not only because I want to be available to those who are traumatized by what has happened, but also for my own benefit, to say to those around me, even when I cannot be saying it verbally, “I wasn’t among those who did this to you.”

Lots of white voters are saying that they didn’t vote for Trump because they agree with his statements about minorities, or about women, or about anything else, but just because they support Republican economic policies.

That is the definition of privilege right there. Minorities and marginalized groups do not have the luxury of setting aside expressions of hostility and hatred aimed in their direction.

Are you suffering from Post-Trumpatic Stress Disorder?

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  • charlesburchfield

    Grief and loss much!? All stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) apply in my humble opinion. This is an opportunity, just in time in American history, that the lived experience and wisdom of “when I am weak I am strong” becomes not less than or more than a safety pin on one’s lapel.

    • Kevin Osborne

      Hi Charles! One of the issues with Trump getting in is the lack of historical perspective on both sides. What allows dramatic and generally destructive behavior by a party in power (The Neocon invasion of Iraq, LBJ’s War in Vietnam and “The Great Society”) are traumatic events. In the case of LBJ it was JFK’s shooting and for Bush the Tower attack. Without that the wheels of change tend to grind slowly, if at all. Another issue is that there is a real need for change in the US government operation. The economic system, including Congress, has been corrupted to the point the US is destroying the ability to earn a living and save for retirement. There are reasons for this, among them likely some very bad folks hidden in the heirarchy. Trump for all his faults is just arrogant and self confident enough to oppose this group. At any rate that is one version of reality. Another historical reality is no one knows what a President or a Supreme Court Justice is going to do when they get into power. Power changes people, sometimes it might even humble them a bit. Let’s hope for the best.

      • charlesburchfield

        G’day mate Kevin! So good to hear your voice again! I’ve been reading on patheos slacktivist for November 9th and this post by “guest poster” seemed cromulent to me:
        “They won this battle. But politics is a marathon, not a sprint. If we abandon our values now, it’ll quickly seep into the platforms we want to enact, and the future we try to create won’t be worth having.”

        • Does the incitement of a race war fall under the heading “politics”?

          I’m wondering what will happen when, as Commander in Chief, he will be obliged to put the lid back on the “white supremacy mandate” that helped get him the job.

          • Kevin Osborne

            You’re granting Trump way too much power. What we are seeing is a manifestation of what feelings were already there. Look at the numbers on disposable income in the US, at blue collar jobs, look at Obamacare and its drain on the average household. Look at the attitudes of the Democrats who vilified Trump supporters while installing policies that benefited monetarily only their constituency at the the middle class’ expense. Do you think Trump got elected, on white supremacy? The US rarely votes nationally on anything but their pocketbook. This election is no different. We are either going to turn into Europe or we are not. They aren’t doing so well.

          • Trump is both a symptom of, and opportunistic exploiter of our collective crisis. His relationship to “the people” is parasitic.

            From our side of the equation, he has been “chosen” to carry a load of C-4 into town to blow the place up.

            Who gets blown up? Who cares at this point. It is like an auto immune disease. The state of imbalance is so systematic that the body attacks itself.

            Next step Civil War. After that, tyranny or anarchy.

            The White supremacy thing is admittedly a relative side show to the bigger picture of environmental degradation, resumed nuclear arms race, isolationism, and thuggish brutality that is immanent.

            There has to have been a better way to break down corruption and the metastasizing oligarchy.

          • charlesburchfield

            OMG! You totally articulated this for me I really appreciate it! I’m totally depressed now! Here’s the song that might cheer us both up.

          • Thanks.

            “Oh, I think I understand
            Fear is like a wilderland
            Stepping stones or sinking sand”

            (Joni Mitchell – I Think I Understand)

          • Kevin Osborne

            Sorry about the pre song commercial. Most of her studio stuff has been removed or altered, this is the only one I could find. I had completely forgotten this song, thank you for the reminder.


          • All kudos go to Charles for invoking Joni Mitchell. I was grateful for those lines.

          • That was great!

          • Kevin Osborne

            Thanks! It is good to see that side of it.

          • charlesburchfield

            “Does the incitement of a race war fall under the heading “politics”?”
            Good question. I rather think it’s more likely to be a psychological phenomenon of actively & effectively projecting the nation’s dark side, scapegoatism, and finding a vulnerable marginalized victim population convenient to blame for National Bad Karma as per the Shameless, malicious opportunist, bullies who resides side-by-side with the rest of us. It turns out that half of the population who turned out to vote for Trump are as naive and infantile as he is himself.

          • “…naive and infantile…”

            One issue voters.

            With a heavy dose of hysteria, greed, and un-enlightend hyper efficiency on autopilot.

            On a more inspirational note:

            Did you see the Bill Maher interview with Obama?

          • charlesburchfield

            Thank you for that interview! Here is something I just read on Morgan Guyton’s blog called Mercy not sacrifice on Disqus patheos for November 9th.
            “The good news is this: you are called. Your life has a purpose and a sense of urgency now that it didn’t have before. You have a reason not to sleepwalk miserably through the banal cubicles of mediocrity. You have been unshackled from the American Dream by a nightmare that demands your full, focused presence. The daydream of forty-some years of white middle-class social stability in our society is over. “

          • Thanks for getting me to read some Morgan Guyton. Really liked it.

  • scott stone

    “Minorities and marginalized groups do not have the luxury of setting aside expressions of hostility and hatred aimed in their direction.” How do you square this with Trump getting 29% of the Hispanic vote?

  • Already this week, in the town where I live there have been several instances of Muslim women being violently harassed.

    Racist graffiti and swastikas on several college campuses.

    On these blogs, for the first time I’m running into “-deplorables” expounding on “purification of the blood” or dismissing the insidious affect of affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan.

  • “That is the definition of privilege right there. Minorities and
    marginalized groups do not have the luxury of setting aside expressions
    of hostility and hatred aimed in their direction.”

    -Agreed. That’s why I voted against the toxic Mookarthyism of Hillary Rodham Clinton by voting straight Republican in the swing state of Michigan.

  • LOL;-)

  • br matteson

    I almost never remember my dreams. I must have started my PTSD early. Last July I had a nightmare. Trump had been elected and my neighborhood was being over-run with gun-toting youth and middle aged men, rousting out all of us who had voted against Trump, pulling us from our homes and confiscating our belongings. I admit… I had eaten a spicy dinner late that night and apparently a nightmare was my just dessert. I must have ground my teeth so bad that night the muscles on the left side of my neck and face were sore for several days. What surprises me is that even in July, a usually optimistic, positive, loving person like me was having nightmares about a Trump presidency. I see a lot of comments from friends who are afraid for their own well being and the well being of their friends. Yeah… this is tough. From an international perspective and the pieces that are falling together for an alt-right world view to locally a community and county that voted overwhelmingly red… yeah this is tough.