I had lunch today with Don Quixote and his wife. We were talking about the fact that we all feel a little down, a combination of work pressures, the economy, political news, etc. Looking at all these factors, I said I was suffering from the “Malaise of 2010.” DQ and his wife laughed, and I do like to make people laugh, and I had meant to be funny, but I was also telling the truth. My psyche feels as if it is under assault from so many different directions that I simply can’t process things. If the assault was a happy one (wonderful job, friendships, adventures), etc., I might be giddy. As it is, though, I feel like a slowly deflating balloon.
The volume and variety of negative pressures also leaves me feeling helpless. I’m trying to hit back, but it’s like punching jello or molasses. I’m expending a lot of energy, but with little result.
And, of course, there’s the feeling of an endless time loop, a la a Star Trek episode. It’s one thing, though, to sit on the couch, moving forward through time, as you watch fictional characters deal with a temporal closed circuit. It’s another thing entirely to experience it yourself — and that’s definitely affected my blogging. I feel stale. The Left keeps throwing the same things at the American public, and all one can do is wait patiently to see if those throws make contact. I can’t think of anything new to say about the Obami and Israel; the Obama and the economy; the Obami and Muslims; the Obami and health care; the Obami and national security; or the Obami and immigration. I’ve already been saying all of these things since about halfway through 2007 (and it’s cold comfort that many of my predictions are proving to be true.).
It’s also cold comfort that I’m not the only one. Robin of Berkeley is struggling through the same thing, which she characterizes as shell shock (h/t: Sadie):
I’ve been feeling funky since Black Sunday, the day of the health care debacle. As a therapist, I’m usually able to identity my feelings. But this one had left me stumped.
I went through the usual laundry list of emotions: Am I depressed? (A little, but that’s not it.) Worried, scared? (Yes, but who isn’t?) Angry? (Very, but that’s still not what’s bugging me.)
It took a conversation with a conservative friend, Nancy, for me to pinpoint the feeling. Nancy told me that a Jewish co-worker, a staunch Obama supporter, was feeling “shell-shocked” by Obama’s vilifying Israel.
Bingo. That’s what it is: stunned, shell-shocked, traumatized.
But it’s not PTSD — post-traumatic stress disorder — because then Obama would be ancient history. It’s trauma happening right here, right now, at lightning speed.
Read the rest here.
Of course, trauma doesn’t mean we shut down. Indeed, I remember once writing a post about a bombing in Iraq and the way in which the military carried on, which impressed me. Phibian, who blogs at CDR Salamander, wrote a comment to the effect that training is a very useful way of filling in for conscious thought. He’s right, too — and we have all been training ourselves for a couple of years to deal with the assaults on our senses that are playing out now. We can go on and we will go on, but it doesn’t mean we have to like it!