If we are fighting an invisible enemy and we are warriors in this battle, then it makes sense that there will be wounded warriors as a result. Medical professionals, doctors, nurses, tech support, hospital administrators, support personnel, and transport drivers have all been on the front lines of this battle. Law Enforcement officers and Fire Department personnel have been responding as usual to 911 calls. They have pressed through their own problems, turned from their families, to face the needs of others. Trauma experts working non-stop to rise to the call will have to deal with the consequences of their sacrifice when this is all over.
Those who rescue will need to be rescued themselves.
I love and am greatly saddened at this photo I found online. What the article said reminds me of when I prayed with my young daughter asking for protection from God during the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. The article explained:
"Katherine Ramos, right, a nurse from Cape Coral, Fla., shares an intimate moment with her 4-year-old daughter Victoria on April 1 at a relative’s home in Patterson, N.Y., where they are staying after Ramos answered New York’s call for volunteers to reinforce staff at hospitals overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic." (https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-04-17/nurses-are-the-coronavirus-heroes. (James Ramos / Associated Press)
As a prior law enforcement officer I know what it is to run into a burning building, to take a hit, to be shot at, and to hopelessly watch people die. I know what it is to walk through my door at the end of a 12 hour shift and collapse on the couch in tears for the ones I couldn't save. I know how my absence impacted my family and how my nightmares disturbed my sleep. I also know that having PTSD back then means PTSD today. The same feelings of helplessness and lack of ability to help ties my hands and re-traumatizes me in a new way as I strive to give more than I am able. But, I have skills today that I didn't have back then. I use my personal experience with trauma to help others find a way of healing. My way may be "different" but I know it works. I went into law enforcement because I wanted to help others, and by being a therapist, I'm able to continue that calling. I was born to serve.
This attitude is the same for all who work on the front lines. I am pleased and inspired by the huge showing of appreciation for all the nurses and doctors who are showing up to long hours at work. Who suffer silently while they give everything within them to the service of others. We love you. We encourage you to reach out if you need a shoulder to cry on, a smile, and a safe space where, just for a moment, the world stops spinning.
"Our human compassion binds us the one to the other.
Not in pity or patronizingly -
but as human being who have learned to turn our common sufferings
into hope for the future."
Day 80: Compassion