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Vicarious Trauma Creeps Up On You

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

August 9th, 2021

I felt compelled to continue the conversation about vicarious trauma and its truth after viewing the testimonies presented to the January 6th Committee in Washington DC.

At the start of the hearings, I was bombarded by the pain and suffering of the policemen caused by the insurrection of a mob on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on January 6th, 2021.

I listened to the testimonies of four policemen as they told lawmakers about what they endured on the eventful day. I was horrified by what I was hearing and decided to pay close attention to the testimonies and to watch the videos shown.

I continued to feel horrified as the information gripped me.

Tears began to well in my eyes and an overwhelming feeling of fatigue forced me to hug my pillow for comfort. I cuddled my pillow and went to sleep.

On awakening, there was a clear indication that vicarious trauma was traveling my way. I recognized and named the symptoms and I knew that I had to take charge to move through the impact that the January 6th insurrection had on me.

I decided to view the Olympic games instead as well as play hide and seek with my three-year-old grandson. I made a huge salad and filled up on it while listening to Soca and Reggae music. I then took quiet moments to do cleansing breathing which left me feeling lighter and full of refreshing energy.

It was not that simple but I did what I believe would relieve me from the distress of the secondary trauma that I was experiencing due to the internalization of the pain and suffering expressed by these officers.

My actions were to mitigate the risk caused by the violence shown by the videos of the insurrection and listening to the testimonies of the four policemen.

Vicarious trauma creeps up on you and can be detrimental to your health and wellness if you don’t take charge and weed it out.

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