I had this theory working from the woo woo side of my brain - As I talked to friends and clients as the pandemic hit, I kept noticing the poignant situations where everyone got stuck when covid calmly commanded, Freeze. A part of me felt like we called this in.
Stuck quarantining with a partner or roommate with the elephant in the room.
Struggling with loneliness while living alone.
Finding meaning outside of productivity as a control freak.
Learning how to cope without social distractions.
Figuring out how self-care works when no one is watching.
Finding new ways of being.
I'm well aware of the things that I've had to learn in quarantine. As an introspective person, I generally welcome the opportunity for growth after my freakout ends. I was just beginning to relax into my new covid rhythm after rearranging, painting, and rejuvenating my house.
And then George Floyd was murdered in my city. And it sparked an uprising, a reckoning that reverberated around the world.
We are now 11 days out from the murder. We had no time to catch our breaths as each new level and event came at us like a speeding train - no actually like a speeding tanker down a closed highway into a crowd of peaceful protesters. First the horror of the murder, then protests... no arrests... then rage, riots, looting... then burning... then realizing White supremacists had infiltrated... then terrifying resolute conversations with community groups... watching my city council members patrol our streets because police weren't... seeing the national guard arrive... curfew... not knowing who to trust... gathering information from individuals on the ground to try to piece together a narrative about what the fuck is going on because the news is sanitized uselessness.
And then arrests. But too late, and not enough. More arrests. But we've been through this before. Arrests don't mean convictions and we've been stabbed in the back so many times that it would be idiotic and naive to believe this is anywhere near resolved, much less over.
Our nervous systems have been on fire. With the relative quiet over the past 3-4 days, we are just beginning to come back into our bodies, some of us.
It took me until yesterday to name this as a trauma. A trauma experienced individually and collectively, in my city and beyond.
I am struggling with what to say. I'm struggling with the free floating pressure to be contributing to this narrative, while also reminding myself, assertively, that I don't have to do anything but recover right now.
What I do know is that I came to be a therapist because the deepest part of me understood that my own issues with mental health were so intricately tied to my experience growing up Mixed in the insidious context of Minnesota Nice and its complex, hidden, microaggressed, overtly anti-Black, too big smiles, too intense eye contact, bullshit politeness that valued me as very special, exceptional for a Black girl.
What I do know is that I continue to work, I haven't taken time off. I show up for my clients and hear their stories of how they have navigated the past 11 days, while I'm trying to process this trauma and my own present and past experiences. All together. All at once. And it has left me depleted, disoriented, overwhelmed.
As a therapist whose niche has focused on trauma and racial identity, I am acutely aware that this is my evolved point of poignancy.