Living with trauma in times of a pandemic

 

The pandemic has caused mental health problems for many people. But for those of us who were already living with trauma before the pandemic, it has been and is proving to be an especially difficult and often painful challenge.

Even in 'normal' times, living with trauma is often not easy. I speak from experience, as I live with complex trauma. This means that I am still struggling to recognise my patterns of trauma, my automatic survival mechanisms, which allowed me to survive a traumatic childhood and adolescence, but which now often prevent me from being aware of my emotions, from setting limits, from trusting friends.

Shame

Yesterday I wrote about trauma and shame, and today I realised something else. In the text by Meg-John Barker to which I refer and which I have already quoted quite a bit yesterday, I also found this:

"Like other authors, Pat explains that – as a child – when faced with a choice between:

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Coronavirus and Trauma III

At the end of May, when I wrote about my complex trauma, I wrote about the symptoms of complex trauma, and that "I can identify all but one in myself": "The only one I can’t identify (yet) is toxic shame, all others are clearly there, to different degrees."

Yesterday I read in Staci K. Haines's book The Politics of Trauma. Somatics, Healing and Social Justice on shame. Staci writes:

Without reproduction there is no production

No to new lockdown and the closure of leisure

Once again, there are restrictions on social life, on leisure - on the sphere of reproduction. Juanma Moreno, President of the Andalusian Regional Government, keeps repeating "that 70% of the country's economic activity takes place between the morning and five o'clock in the afternoon". So, according to Moreno, bars can be closed (and all "non-essential" activity) at 6pm, curfews can be brought forward to 10pm to stop contagion, and they do so from Tuesday 10 November. And they have already banned botellones (meet-ups of mainly young people in public places, usually involving alcohol), they have brought forward the closure of parks in many cities (in Seville at 21:00). It seems that the only thing they are allowing us to do is work.

Public health dictatorship

I do not want to deny the seriousness of the health crisis. The Sars-Cov-2 virus has already taken more than one million lives globally, and some 40 million people have already experienced COVID-19 disease. This is no small feat. There is no point in denying the seriousness of the situation, or falling into the trap of conspiracy theories.

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