Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. –Healing From Terrorism Sickness

Healing From Terrorism Sickness

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D.

In terrorism, the numbers of persons affected are huge; terrorism is *meant*

to affect thousands and millions of people –all at the same time. Most

think terrorists’ main aim is to kill people and destroy

installations. This is only secondary. (Yes, I know that sounds

unbelievable, but it is so.) The main goal of terrorism is “intentional

trauma” to the living. The murder and mayhem are SECONDARY goals.

The concept of doing ongoing psychic injury to thousands and millions “all

at the same time” is an important tactic of terrorists. Terrorists

understand, if only in their diseased unconscious’s, that accomplishing such

will unleash a greater communicable and spreading “psychic infection” than

any biological or germ warfare could ever hope to achieve.

This “infection” that terrorists hope to circulate is that of innocent

persons becoming afraid of life, afraid of the future; of causing people to

put off the living of life, to move in ways that are far less than

their previous free selves. The effect of living in such a crouch hurts the

human spirit and heart. The main goal of terrorism is “intentional

psychological trauma.” Murder and mayhem are only secondary and

sometimes even tertiary goals.

Terrorism is willful psychological assault; a conscious and planned assault

against the minds and hearts and spirits of a large group of persons. I

repeat this only if it be necessary to press past the reader’s ego’s

resistance to this hideous truth: In terrorism, murder and mayhem are

secondary to this primary goal of ruining the hearts and hopes of others.

This is partly why terrorism is difficult to comprehend by reasoned minds as

anything but the most grotesque form of manifest evil. We can barely

conceive of thinking to psychically injure others so.

There are other secondary goals to terrorism. Any and all of them are the

sickest imaginable. But the above is how terrorists seek to cast their net

of “sickness” over all survivors and victims, over the

living— by trying to deprive you of esperanza, fullest and freely felt

Hope. By trying to limit your libre, your Freedom, your living life as a

completely free person, shoulders proud, head up, mind on goodness and love

for all and pleasures that bring peace and happiness.

The “post-trauma recovery list” contains the central ways to proceed. Here

are some additional which are very specific:

It is peculiar to find how strongly that poisonous net holds when one is

unaware of what it is made of, and how easily it falls apart when one

consciously begins to contradict its malicious urgings:

1) Refuse to dwell on what psychically depletes you of hope, contentment and

ease. During post-trauma times, sometimes an extremely difficult or

disheartening set of thoughts attach themselves to us; almost like a gang

cruising around looking to harass someone. Terrorists are counting on this

to happen to many. Refuse this set of thoughts. Use the discipline of your

mind. Say to them, “f-off! and I mean it!” If you are

an old believer like me, it is as effective to assert, “Get thee behind me!”

My grandmother used to say, “Just because someone presents you with a dog

poop on a pretty plate doesn’t mean you have to eat it.”

2) Dwell in what strengthens you. For some it is reading, others physical

activity, others, crafts. There are so many things and combinations of

things. Remember, what brings you peace tends to be the

same as what strengthens you.

3) Clean up your kitchen around food especially, (time to give your body

what it needs for its equilibrium and best strength now) . Do not assault

your own body by making it work extra hard to throw off toxins


4) Rest (real rest, even if only a few hours at night, even if, like many

are, awakening many times in the night, do not entertain “bad thoughts,” do

not allow yourself to fall into a pit of them. Think instead of the greatest

beauty and love you know, discipline your mind to stay with those images;

they are medicine for what has hurt you. The key words are ‘practice

discipline.’ If you do not know how to discipline your mind, think of how

you train a beloved dog to stay and heel. Proceed.)

5) Insofar as you are able, pick your endeavors carefully. Now is an

opportunity to drop various endeavors that deplete you or to join up with

people/matters/groups that invigorate.

6) Refuse to think you are less able than you were last week. You are not

less. regardless of flaws, quirks or wobbles– you are in soul, actually

more shining than you were a week ago.

7) With regard to goodness and things that are good for you and others, do

what you always do. Do not cease goodness or pleasures that bring good.

8) Continue to implement life dreams. If you don’t have one, you’re overdue.

Get out your thinking cap.

9) Use your intuition to guide you through these days. It will not fail you.

Some call this great gift that every person possesses–insight, some call it

‘sense,” some like us old believers, call it guardian Angel–which for me

incidentally is no small little feathery thing flapping around, but

more–sort of like a fierce-gentle Guido with wings. (grin.)


Normal Reactions to Loss, Injury, and Catastrophe

Over a period of time you may find yourself having one or all of the

following reactions. These are normal reactions to the kind of experience

you have had:

Physical Reactions:

– Fatigue

Inability to sleep

– Sleeping too much

– Exhaustion

– Changes in appetite, digestive disturbances

– Feeling numb

– Crying

– Need for Comfort

Behavioral Reactions:

– Hyperactivity

– Poor concentration

– Inability to attach importance to anything but this event

– Flashbacks

– Nightmares,

– Recurrent dreams

– Inability to remember

– Refusing to talk

– Feeling one should not cry

– Startle reactions while awake or asleep

– Isolating, wanting to be alone.

– Wanting to just sit, or just stare.

Psychological Reactions:

– Feelings of fear

– Feelings of guilt

– Feelings of helplessness

– Feeling one cannot stop crying

– Anger, which may cause the blaming of others, outbursts

– Frustration with rescue workers, the bureaucracy, anyone who tries to


– Ongoing violent fantasies,

– Anxiety

– Depression

– Amnesia

– Thinking no one can ever understand, no one can ever help.

– Blaming oneself.

These are NORMAL reactions, and although painful, are part of the healing

process. There is not a lot anyone can do to make you not experience these

feelings, but they will recede if you will take the

following actions:

Actions to Take For Recovery

1) Within the first 24-48 hours, do strenuous exercise coupled with
relaxation. This will alleviate some of the physical reactions.

2) Keep busy, do not sit and do nothing. You are having a NORMAL reaction,

do not tell yourself that you have lost your mind.

3) Talk to people – talk is the most healing thing you can do. Talk it out.

You may have to tell your story over and over again, many, many times before

it loses much of its pain. Each time you tell your story

and receive someone’s caring, you will be healing yourself.

4) Try not to cover up your feelings by withdrawing or by using alcohol.

Talk your feelings

About Suzanne

Suzanne Lewis, editor and manager since 2000. Suzanne is a Planetary Peacekeeper, an Agent for Conscious Evolution, a Spiritual Healer, a Mother, a multi - faceted artist (beads, gems to trade beads; guords star seed art; published author and Lover of Life for the sake of All our Relations.
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