If we don’t have an unwavering commitment to healing as we mobilize this election season, we will always be in crisis.
As we head into what may be the most chaotic election in our lifetime, many people on all sides of the political aisle are reeling from anxiety and responding from a place of panic. With many of us on the left organizing for mass mobilizations and actions in the post-election season, we must make sure that we are doing so from a grounded place to ensure that we are not adding more panic to the world.
To ensure this, we have to have some understanding of how panic and trauma work in our own bodies, and then see what we can learn from that about how trauma is working in our collective body — this thing we call the United States of America.
Panic and trauma
“It happened 20 years ago, I’m over it.”
For most of my life, that’s what I had told myself about some traumatic experiences I went through as a child. “That was ages ago.” “It wasn’t a big deal.” “I’ve moved on.”
That changed when I spoke about it out loud for the first time. I was attending a week-long transformative retreat called a Jam, and was moved to share my story in a circle, not thinking too much of it. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, they fell onto the floor with the weight of an anvil. I completely broke down. I went into panic, and I could barely get a breath in while I was trying not to choke on my own tears.
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