This photo of Newtown is courtesy of TripAdvisor
The year is 2024 Tommy Jones is twenty two years of age, Susie his younger sister is seventeen. It is a beautiful day and both are going about looking for Christmas gifts for their folks and stopping for a simple lunch together, enjoying each others company as Susie misses her brother who been away at college. Suddenly a lanky young man dressed all in black and a bulge in his jacket, and anger on his face is coming down the street, car goes by and backfires. Susie dives for the sidewalk screaming, Tommy ducks down. Both realized it was a car, there is no gun. Even the young man was on the street, his girlfriend coming out of somewhere, yelling “I am sorry!” they hug and make up. For Tommy and Susie, the beautiful day is shattered. They entered the diner, order and try to eat. Tommy who was not at Sandy Hook but at another school while shaken is recovering slowly. Susie however, is a survivor from the school twelve years before. In a flash, 12 years of work to put distance between her and that day have been whipped and shattered. Her right eye twitches involuntarily, she is shaking. As the day and week goes by, she feels exhausted, jumpy, raw and hyper-viligent as she keeps an eye out for danger.
The above scenario is of course fiction, but not impossible. The day before the horror of that Friday, on Thursday I was accosted by an aggressive panhandler who was very drunk. I was not harmed and while shaken was able to walk away from it unscathed, mostly. Unfortunately it also brought back ferociously a trauma, a serious deep one over 40 years of age, that forever shaped my young brain as these young children in Newtown Conn. have had theirs shaped by the gunman last week. Depending on their personalities, life adaptions, support systems and a great deal of other things, will determined how well they recover from the trauma the survivors recover from. For these children, it is very possible some of them will have PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and maybe for life if the stress is not managed and taken care of properly. I hope not. Having PTSD for life is very disorganizing and disruptive in one’s life and can be quite disabling. I would hate to see any one of the surviving children who came out of this alive, also have a life of health, killed off, because of what they survived. Pray for them too, that in some measure, they can get back some of the small town they loved.