I’ve been rereading To Redeem One Person is to Redeem the World by Gail Hornstein about the life of Frieda Fromm-Reichmann. Frieda and Chestnut Lodge are the therapist and therapeutic community described by Joanne Greenberg in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. That book was very important to me in my 20’s and 30’s, so I got a copy of the book about Frieda when it first came out. Rereading it, I notice things I didn’t see before. Hornstein talks about the difficulty that disagreements between staff that aren’t talked about become problematic behavior in the patients. (p272) It’s clear that the patients pick up the energy and start acting it out. We humans are interconnected in ways that our culture is in complete denial of. It’s a little scary in terms of humanity finding a way to a sustainable future.
I got an email from Thomas Hübl about a course he’s teaching in working with collective trauma. I read it, and the difficulty of working with it makes me feel discouraged. Collective trauma traps us all in dysfunctional behavior. We don’t know we’re doing it because we are not aware of the dysfunction that we are part of. I’m glad to know that Thomas Hübl is working on this problem and training others to work with collective trauma.
Hübl says “When traumatic events happen, we’re quick to point fingers. But we should examine how each and every one of us contributes to the ecosystem that brings these traumas forth. We are not merely separate individuals acting independently. We are ecosystemically interrelated. We always exist in interdependent relationships with the systems we are part of.” See link above for more.
It also explains why I am having such a hard time right now, feeling overwhelmed and unable to act in any kind of normal friendly fashion. I’ve been badly cut off due to feeling completely unskilled socially, and empathically picking up on what other people are not letting themselves feel. I am still triggered by the social distancing of COVID and the fact that many people imagine it is over, and behave in ways that continue to spread it.
One good thing, my blog was chosen to be among the 80 best blogs about PTSD on FeedSpot, which lists blogs about many different subjects. Any of my readers who are interesting in more information about PTSD should check them out.