Hell to pay

Dear President Trump,

Yesterday our VA facility’s Military Sexual Trauma (MST) Coordinator emailed out a really nice self-care handout for us to share with veterans who are feeling stressed and triggered by what is going on in the national news. The handout was created at the national level to make sure that our veterans with MST histories are being looked after and supported by VA, which is good since they aren’t likely to feel supported by their Commander in Chief. No specific reference to your mocking of Dr. Ford Tuesday night was included, but the timing was certainly interesting. The HP published a similarly thoughtful piece this morning on how to provide support to trauma survivors, informing readers that the effects of trauma can last for years and are often exacerbated by anniversaries and reminders, such as extensive news coverage of similar situations.

Clearly self-care and providing support are critically important, but I don’t think any amount of self-care or support are going to soothe the legions of victims when it becomes apparent that the FBI probe was half-assed and is used as a shield to go ahead and confirm your boy. I don’t know if you are aware that anger is one of the 20 signs/symptoms of PTSD. I can come up with a good half dozen psychologically oriented reasons that anger is part of the diagnosis, but the one I think is most relevant right now is that often whatever trauma(s) a person sustains shouldn’t have happened, particularly if it was perpetrated by another human being. The betrayal, unfairness, ugliness, etc. of having been victimized by another human being leaves people angry and when all of that is reinforced by new situations, even new situations happening to someone else, the anger is often retriggered. My bet is that you’ve only seen the tiniest tip of that anger iceberg thus far this week and you all are about to unmask some old, intense, very deep rage that is going to rock us all.

We’ll see. Maybe Flake, Collins, and Murkowski will come through, but my bet is Brett will be confirmed and there will be hell to pay because once again the accusations against a powerful white boy were not taken seriously and investigated in good faith.

May we be safe from phony, lip-service investigations of critical matters.
May we be willing to deal with reality.
May we insist on healthy legislative practices.
May we find a constructive path forward through this mess.

Tracy Simpson

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