Attack also hurts us emotionally |

Attack also hurts us emotionally

Susan Wood

Tuesday’s terrorist attack may have demolished more than a few of our nation’s major landmarks.

“We have lost our sense of innocence. We recognize more than ever that we live in a global world. We used to think the oceans separated us (from acts of terrorism),” Truckee therapist Anita Spencer said.

She’s noticed this helplessness and hopelessness has put local residents, like many Americans, on edge.

“Just know you’ll be more irritable,” she said. These feelings are inevitable and unavoidable at a time when such a senseless tragedy has ripped away the fabric of our security.

“All of us do get on airplanes,” she said. Spencer has learned that many people have shared their recent fear of flying in light of the four plane crashes in New York, Washington, D.C., and outside Pittsburgh.

Her advice to overcome this struggle with our vulnerability is simple. She suggests people talk about their feelings, whether to a counselor or good listener.

Television exposure could help or hinder all ages, counselors say. A viewer may remain more connected to the world by staying tuned in but perhaps at the expense of becoming overwhelmed by the negativity of the coverage.

But like a flower in a weed patch, a positive side of human behavior resulting from the tragedy has also sprung with Tuesday’s atrocity.

South Lake Tahoe counselor Viola Nungary has been encouraged by images of people banding together in the time of crisis. She points to news reports in which many people flooded blood banks, flew American flags and rescued others.

Still, children may require more attention because reality and the imaginary may be blurred by horrific pictures. Spencer said parents may notice regressive behavior from children who may act out their feelings of confusion and insecurity differently than adults.

(Breakout box)

The South Lake Tahoe Women’s Center, dedicated to improving the emotional, social and economic condition of families, issued a list of talking tips parents may use when discussing these tragic circumstances with their children. Here’s a sampling:

–Spend more time with your children.

–Reassure them you will help keep them safe.

–Turn off the television. The images can be overwhelming to children.

–Stay composed when expressing your emotions.

–Provide a safe environment for your children to ask questions.

–Review ways with your children how your family can help.

–Continue with your daily life by maintaining schedules.

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