The premise was a complex conundrum: if you know you are crazy, you are then not that crazy!
Does the same apply to sanity? If you think you are always sane, you might not be?
When you go through a major trauma, you question your own ability to cope with all that's demanded of you, all that you demand of yourself. Keeping on top of these demands, coping with all that you must do to carry on will tire you; will deflate you' will make you wonder if you can make it through; it will ask you to think short term the entire time, knowing that if you think long term, you will break down.
The people affected by Sandy have experienced the unthinkable!
Every second, they are experiencing additional doses of trauma, pain -discomfort -fear. They tell each other that they are still coping; they manage to find positives to talk about. Yet, hunger, cold, dirt, and the devastation in front of them numb all other sensations.
We cannot picture this if we have not experienced it ourselves.
This is hell.
It took us decades for my husband, Brian and I to recover from the Northridge Earthquake where we lost our house, its contents, our savings, our child's college fund, our investments. Thank God for FEMA, for SMall Business Administration, the National Guard, Churches, employers who extended their hands and helped us cope, and even mortgage holders who modified our payments until we could begin to collect insurance.
Do you think your bills will stop coming because you no longer have a home?
It took us years to recover, and we had insurance and savings. It took us decades to find our way back financially, emotionally, socially, and even career-wise.
Tomorrow, Sandy and its aftermath will not be in the news. Yet, the harm, the sheer destruction will take years and decades to be repaired. People's nerves and finances will take just as long.
If you know anyone in these straits, know that they need to talk; they need to know you are there for them; they need to explain to you the details of their discomfort; and you need to be a giving soul, attend to them as long as they need; as long as they are hurting. Banks and many institutions will need to be charitable and kind, assisting in many ways, offering options that have never been on the table for these people who have lost everything.