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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 7/23/20

In Relationship With An Abusive President, Will We Be Trauma Victims or Trauma Survivors? - Part 2: A Larger Context

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Message Blair Gelbond

Trump Emperor parade O_O ..... Holy Emperor. Parade: youtube.com/watch? v=EWjC_mrucY4&t=2s  Music: Triarii - Emperor of the sun.
Trump Emperor parade O_O ..... Holy Emperor. Parade: youtube.com/watch? v=EWjC_mrucY4&t=2s Music: Triarii - Emperor of the sun.
(Image by YouTube, Channel: Rogue Marine)
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Introduction

Donald Trump is like the figure at the bow of a ship, personifying its essence. For those who have eyes to see, Trump (in vivid technicolor) is revealing where our country's history has led us and kinds of choices we will have ahead. In essence he is a living example of our culture's problem-solving deficiency - and the source of more tribulations to come.

As a nation and a world, we are now experiencing extraordinary stress. The American Psychological Association does a "Stress in America" survey, which in 2019 had 62 percent of American adults citing the current political climate as a source of stress, which has spiked since Trump took office. People in therapy are enduring a level of anxiety that has been named "Trump Anxiety Disorder."

Because anxiety is exhausting, we can feel anxious for only so long; eventually this often slides into the heaviness of depression, which may leave us feeling really helpless. The burden of such emotions can easily inspire civil unrest, domestic abuse, substance abuse or any number of other unhealthy behaviors. This can be a vicious cycle: indifference and apathy can drive vulnerable to people to actively seek out more authoritarian leaders.

Unconscious fatigue can lead to a default-like support for policies that scapegoat or exploit others. (Hitler stated that the physical tiredness of an audience accentuates their suggestibility, and therefore argued that mass meetings should be held at night, when they "succumb more easily to the dominating force of a stronger will"). In general, with exhaustion there can be a readiness to accept any ideology and any leader who promises to offer meaning and order.

Successful treatment of trauma involves a number of stages. The first is creating an atmosphere of safety and stability. This is essential and may include supportive activities like writing and art, exercise and meditation, psychotherapy and medication, deepening one's sense of spiritual connection (by perceiving the interrelatedness of all things and - if the yearning is present - calling on a "Higher Power" for help). If at all possible, having relationships with positive, compassionate, uplifting people is vital.

When a person is ready, the next stage involves seeing the trauma clearly - as it actually was (or is). This entails the kind of growth that can encourage survivors to face the truth, endure the emotional pain of recollection, and to heal, thereby preventing future abuse from taking place.

This article focuses on articulating the political conditions happening now.

In passing, there is a more general question worthy of contemplation: To what degree can we have healthy persons in an unhealthy system - one based on an essentially unhealthy paradigm, a social system that violates human potential?

Given our tangle of interdependent, ever-worsening social problems, it is clear that we require deeper, broader perspectives which might allow solutions to become possible.

Jean Houston has presented a cogent argument suggesting that our world is in the early stages of a qualitative and quantitative departure from its dominant paradigms - the "belief-contexts" that have shaped our thinking for many, many centuries.

Houston perceives transformative changes are taking place at the deepest levels of our world's social structure, and has called this process, "whole system change." Furthermore, she suggests that the sheer intensity of our times is causing the human species to turn a corner, and that the "convergence of complexity with crisis" is creating a whole new mindset in terms of how we know, and deal with our reality. Houston believes this transition, by definition, will involve a new mythology based on global and cross-cultural learning of what it means to be human.

Yet, as Riane Eisler has said:

"Human evolution is at a crossroads. Stripped to its essentials the central human task is how to organize society to promote the survival of our species and the development of its unique potentials." She goes on to recognize that totalitarians and would-be- totalitarians, "still block our cultural evolution at every point today""

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Blair Gelbond Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I work as a psychotherapist with an emphasis on transformational learning - a blend of psychoanalytic and transpersonal approaches, and am the author of Self Actualization and Unselfish Love and co-author of Families Helping Families: (more...)
 

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