Coming back from Tragedy: Returning to normalcy after the massacre at Pulse Nightclub is hard. After tragedy hits in the United States, one’s sense of security and what is normal gets turned upside down. Often people are upset, confused, scared, and feel hopeless. The idea of coming back from a tragedy to normalcy can seem foreign and impossible. Many people fear that if they return to normalcy, especially after coming back from tragedy, that nothing will get done and no changes will be made. However, being in this limbo can prolong the sadness and grief and start to affect every area of life. Returning to normalcy doesn’t have to be the same position that one was in before, but it can be a new-elevated position.
Part of coming back tragedy and returning to normalcy is allowing yourself the space to grieve . The attacks on Pulse Night club were a direct attack on both the LGBTQ+ community and the Latinx community. As one returns back to society at large it can feel tense and awkward as those who aren’t affected as deeply go about their day as if nothing happened. When coming back from tragedy, people will often feel a subtle pressure to just “move on”. You may find yourself asking:
- Why is no one upset by this?
- Is it silly for me to be upset?
- Should I even be upset?
- Why is no one talking about this?
Grief can often feel like an isolating experience. It is in this moment, it is important to remember that it’s okay to grieve. We are often taught to just move forward and not look back. Allowing yourself the right to grieve gives the space for you to process your emotions. By doing this it makes coming back from tragedy and returning to normalcy easier
Another helpful part of returning to normalcy after tragedy is being around others. Surrounding yourself by those who understand what you are going through can often provide a feeling of safety and security. Reaching out to friends, going to vigils, or attending support groups can often provide the space to process feelings. It’s important for minority groups like LGBTQ+ individuals and Latinx people to come together in tragic times. Being around the community can often feel like being held by those who are also experiencing the same pain. At the same time being around others can be further isolating. Everyone experiences grief and tragedy in different ways.
Lastly, returning to normalcy does not mean you have to return to how things were. Often when sadness has subsided anger and frustration comes forth. Many people within the LGBTQ+ community and Latinx community as well as the general public are angry that the attack happened. Lawmakers are angry. Celebrities are angry. It is in this time that one can harness the anger, sadness, and frustration to make changes. Often when tragedy, such as terrorism strikes we are made to feel powerless. That nothing we say or do will make a change. This is false. Even one voice can start a cascade of change. Returning to normalcy can be returning to a new level. It can be a level of empowerment where you can use your voice and knowledge to make important shifts in society and this country.
Within yourself acknowledge the fact that tragedy affects you. Often the instinct can be pushing it aside and not dealing with it. Telling yourself “it’s okay to grieve” and “it’s okay that I’m sad”. Validates your own emotions. It can feel incredibly difficult as often others around may move on more quickly. It’s also important to remind yourself that despite tragedy that security will be built back up and change can be made.
Coming back from tragedy. To locate a trauma therapist near me contact The Center for Growth at 215 922 5683 x 100