In search of story

September 15.21: Coping



My blog subtitle is “Coping.” See how well I’m doing?

I’ve coped by blogging, gardening, cursing rabbits and geese and my muse, baking (and eating), housecleaning (seriously), painting walls, and everything in between.

Maybe it’s more accurate to say I’ve tried to cope.

My younger son says we are dealing with low-level trauma, and I like that way of putting it. This is not an annoyance or a mere bother; this is trauma and it is permeating our lives like ammonia fumes. We are all stressed. We are exhausted from being exhausted.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for me. I am becoming a name-caller. YOU DASH-DASHED PEA-BRAINED YOKEL WITH THE WET COUGH! WEAR A MASK! YES, YOU, YOU WITLESS CREEP! Even though this is yelled in my head, it’s not something I would have mind-yelled before. This worries me.

It can justly be argued that these people deserve to be yelled at, to be tarred and feathered, that there’s such a thing as too much tolerance, that if we don’t at least mind-yell we’ll implode. Nonetheless, I am not sure that my creeping impulse to commit mayhem is exactly coping. 

Some day my subtitle will change. I hope I will too.



12 thoughts on “September 15.21: Coping

  1. You speak words that I can honestly say I’ve thought more times than I care to count. I don’t understand it, I can’t wrap my head around it. It doesn’t make sense to me. We are having protests at the capital here against the vaccine. I guess they’d rather their children be in their local hospital which by the way is at 140% of capacity. In the beginning, the goal was herd immunity through the vaccine. I think at this point, we’ll have to hope for herd immunity through infection. NH numbers are climbing every single day. I also check SC because we do so want to escape winter, but yesterday they had 4,200 cases and 432 deaths, in one day! Their tests are coming back 12.9% positive. What do we see that they don’t or is it strictly they can’t be told anything by someone else?? Please tell your younger son, thank you, for his description. I think low level trauma for a lot of us says it all. As for drivers, I keep asking myself where is it that they’re headed that they need to go 15-20 mph over the speed limit. We live where we can jump on and off an interstate pretty quickly, and I’ve take to only going back roads so I can avoid the crazies. I can’t take any more trauma. 🙂

    • Thank you! YES to everything you say! Avoiding the crazies is the goal of every day now, whether on the road or on my computer screen. But it’s getting harder and harder to do, and then I have this terrifying thought that I’m becoming one of them! Yikes. We are not doing well in Indiana either. At this point, NH is safer than SC, isn’t it? How dismal! I bet this is one winter you really, really need the break down south. There are days I think the only realistic way of looking at this is to say we’ll never get out of it. What a thought. Meanwhile, thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one!

  2. I mind yell and I mutter words like this with greater frequency than ever before. There are idiots out there, and they deserve to know that we think they’re idiots, lest they conclude we are ok with their behavior. I would love to see more of them getting tickets. I guess mild trauma is better than the trauma of a head on collision. I hope you have an idiot-free day.

    • That is a really good thing to wish someone these days — thank you! I like your observation that they deserve to know that we think they are idiots lest they think we’re OK with their behavior. I’m scared to confront them, though. There’s more than one kind of head-on collision. I wish you an idiot-free day too. Well, shoot, let’s go whole hog: I wish you a week idiot-free! Not sure that’s possible, but there it is anyway.

  3. It certainly livened me up to come over here after our conversation and see your opening all caps sentence. I had been tempted to add ‘and even when you’re not happy about something, you always express yourself in apt, entertaining words.’ I was actually thinking about bunnies and suchlike. This is more serious, but my contention holds. Neanderthals, I suspect, are not so bad as they are cracked up to be. If they had known a disease was airborne and that masks could stop it, they’d have made themselves masks and worn them. In the absence of a mask mandate here, earlier this week, I watched our latest Health Secretary announce he had a second plan, called Plan B, for what to do if hospital admissions reach the 2,000 – 7,000 per day our scientists are suggesting is possible in October, which would risk overwhelming our health system. His first idea? He would ask people to be careful.

    Regarding low-level trauma, most of us surely have moments of feeling overwhelmed by what we are living through. Some years ago, I sat next to a Priest on a plane. We had not spoken during the flight but as it was coming in to land, we both admitted we had secretly cried about something during the flight. He told me about STOG (sudden temporary overwhelming grief). It’s a normal human response to something that has happened that is sad or tragic as the mind gets to grips with what has happened. I was experiencing waves of it – not always, by any means, but quite out of the blue. It took me aback because I didn’t know what was going on and felt lesser for having feelings I could not seem to control. Knowing that it was a known response made me feel better.

    • WHAT??? Plan B is to ask people to be careful??? (The extra question marks are a sure sign I’ve raised my voice to rooster pitch.) Where, oh, where do people come up with so much uselessness? You make a good point about the Neanderthals; I might have done them an injustice. Our responses to trauma are indeed overpowering since we often don’t realize how human they are and so are shared by others. Trauma is, after all, usually infrequent, and we don’t have experience with it, so how do we know? I wonder if part of the great difficulty right now is that these waves of grief don’t feel so temporary; we see no end to them.

      I think you are right that we feel lesser when we have feelings we can’t control, but we shouldn’t. We can’t help being human. (Well, most of us are.) It’s our behaviors that make us lesser. I have come to look at it this way: it’s not too bad to be mind-yelling at that awful unmasked woman with the cough at the grocery store, but it might not be OK to start lobbing grapefruit at her. I have to admit, though, it would feel good in the moment.

      • Grapefruits could be your Plan C. Or Plan Z. But I find imagining a naughty thing you could do often gives satisfaction enough.

        There were three other things in the government’s Plan B, but that’s what he said first, in a very serious manner.

      • I like that: Plan Z. And I completely agree about the satisfaction in imagining such things. As for that Plan B, I can only very seriously moan.

  4. I often wished that when I use the breaks in my car, I’d have a message light up along with the break-lights that reads: “GET OFF MY BUMPER”… You found multiple way to vent your frustration, and as long as the “creeping impulse to commit mayhem” is confined to your mind, like the yelling, you are in great shape.

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