COVID

COVID – Trauma – Depression

For a month now I have been reconnecting with my traumas - in the plural.

(Semi) Quarantine and Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

I knew this was going to happen sooner or later: six days ago I was in close contact with a friend who later tested positive for COVID. On Wednesday a friend alerted me, and I contacted Salud Responde. As I am fully vaccinated (the privilege of age) I don't have to do a strict quarantine, but I do have to avoid close contacts, i.e. I can't really meet anyone, except with distance and a face mask, which doesn't work for me. I wear a face mask when there are a lot of people, or when I go into a shop, or on public transport.

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.

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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The politics of fear in times of COVID-19

It seems that in these times a health crisis there is at least one broad consensus from the radical left to the extreme right: the need to develop a politics of fear as a response to the crisis, to blame the infected and especially to label young people as "irresponsible". Enough is enough!

The horror of the face masks

Every time, when I see news about making the use of face masks mandatory in more and more spaces, I panic, and I get anxious. I instinctively feel that wearing a mask whenever I want to go out would be a trigger for my own traumatic reactions. But I didn't understand why.

Untitled (Coronavirus and Trauma 3)

Three weeks of confinement, and today they have announced another extension - until 26 April. Although it was to be expected and I'm not surprised, it did touch me. Moreover, they now say that the "situation of exceptionality will be extended "for a while longer" after that date". This is not surprising either. But it sucks.

Untitled (Coronavirus 2)

I still have my ups and downs, although I felt a little better today. But high? Far from it. I have my lows and my mid-lows, but no highs. At least today I didn't feel the need to sit by the river and cry. And I've been able to concentrate enough to read a few chapters of a queer novel. High only compared to low. And meeting a comrade on the street and not being able to hug caused me another low, in fact, recalling this back home I was on the verge of crying. Not high. Although emotionally better, I spent most of the day in my room doing little more than listening to music.

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