You will probably get on the other side of the shock, despair, having confidence blown into a billion pieces, and paranoia. But, it will change you. Coping well with it doesn't get you off the hook from the long-term consequences of catastrophe.
Today, at St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church, Tuscon, Arizona, psychologist Dr. Sharon Nielsen presented how human beings respond to catastrophe. It was part of a series on the subject in which experts from different disciplines share their perspectives.
Some of those hit with catastrophe are unable to grab hold of what can help them. That includes a network of supportive people, religious faith and assisting others in the same pickle. Eventually, they can't function. With professional help they may recover or maybe not. They could become frozen in time like Charles Dickens' Miss Havisham. One ninth-year associate who didn't make partner couldn't leave the house.
Most human beings, though, do get through it. But not as the person they had been. The tough part is that catastrophe can change you and those around you can't absorb that. The challenge is to go on allowing the new you to unfold. The odds are you will have to find new friends, colleagues, and perhaps even significant others.
Members of the audience shared soul-wrenching experiences, both their own and those of family members. No one was absolutely fine. Most had flashbacks of details of what had happened.
The funny thing was that all this was taking place within a church setting. Yet, no one was mouthing platitudes. No one said they were grateful for the game-changing experience. No one claimed prayer was the answer, at least totally. Some were still hurt and angry that those who had been in their lives couldn't embrace the new them.