Just yesterday I gave a new student a song from South Pacific and that got me to thinking about the song "you've got to be carefully taught." Funny you should mention it, Not-A-Lemming!
Yes, these incidents definitely affect us all. I used to work with gay bashers. Since I dealt with them all day long, I got to know them. I fell in love with them, if you will, and then they would go out on the weekends with baseball bats, and my heart felt like it was being torn apart all the time. Ultimately, I couldn't handle the emotions staying in that job, because of the exhaustion. I've also been in the crowd when some teens did a drive-by throwing glass bottles at us, and that was disturbing too. And I was thrown out of an apartment for making the landlord uncomfortable, once. Vanessa, sometimes I wonder too if there will be more scary things to face in the future, but you can't live your life wondering/fearing for some future thing that might or might not happen. You just have to live, knowing you will survive it all until the mysterious day when death comes and you will go "home."
Having survived numerous traumas as a youngster, I'm with ya Joe when you talk about brain wiring. I'm still re-wiring certain patterns that ingrained from very formative years, and I can attest to the enormous challenge of it. I'm still paying for the grave "mistakes" made by another person, even though I knew they were wrong and tried to prevent them - I was too small and could not help, so now I have to carry that burden. May I ask what you do, specifically, in mental health? Do you work with other trauma survivors? Know that I have immense respect for you and all the hard work you've put into overcoming those awful assaults and now towards protecting others from experiencing the same.
Incidents like what we're talking about scare me, but more than they scare me, they make me angry and want to fight. Yet more than they make me angry, they make me sad, and they make me want to just hold hands with everyone, pray, sing, live joyfully. I'm sad now reflecting on it all, but here are some hugs for all of you:
(edited because I left a crucial adj out of a sentence)