By Joseph M. Honsberger, LCSW-C
As I lay awake last night listening to the helicopters, the sirens, and watching the smoke of the CVS building rise into the air, I wondered what all this is for? How does this type of violence really help in obtaining justice for Freddie Gray or for anyone else? I find it heartbreaking to see our city up in flames and watching people looting community businesses. It is simply frightening to be so close to the events of the day.
So how do we deal with all of these feelings of shock, bewilderment, anger, and sadness? Fortunately, I had the support of many family and friends. My phone did not stop ringing all night long. I had friends and family from across the country calling me and wondering whether I was okay. This was very reassuring that I had family and friends that cared about me. My mother even asked if I wanted to stay with her for a couple of days.
No matter how close or far we are all affected by the events that have led to this level of violence. So where do we go from here? Here are some suggestions for you and your family.
- Have a family discussion. Let everyone share their feelings about the events so they aren’t locked up inside. Normalize the feelings that your children experience.
- Know when you need to turn off the television. We are bombarded by so much information and disturbing images that sometimes we need to take a break from it all and rejuvenate.
- Ask for support when you need it. Don’t let your feelings like, “I should be able to handle this alone,’ get in your way of calling for help from family or friends.
- Remind yourself and your children that what is happening now is temporary and the unrest will end.
Perhaps we can find comfort in knowing that the overwhelming majority of people in our city and our communities are as upset by what is happening as we are and are seeking a return to peace. If we stand together sharing that hope, we can begin moving forward in overcoming the divisiveness and violence and we can begin to heal.
By Joseph Honsberger, LCSW-C, Senior Manager, JCS Therapy Services
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JCS offers services and resources that can enhance emotional wellbeing – yours or that of someone you love. To learn more, please visit our home page or call 410-466-9200.