Soucheray: Sept. 11 exposed difficulty in finding answers
By Kate Soucheray
It does not seem possible that it was 12 years ago today that we experienced 9/11, a day that each of us could say exactly where we were and what we were doing. It was traumatic for those who were watching TV, listening to the radio or being connected to someone who was, because it caused an emotional shock. For children who lack filters to help them understand the complexity of what is happening, it was particularly shocking. For them, it may have caused them to be less trusting than previous generations of young people, for theirs was now a world in which horrific things can occur. For some, it may have caused a loss of innocence.
The world for post-9/11 children has been marked by economic crisis, now dubbed the Great Recession, which may have brought a job loss for their parents, with the resulting loss of a home, a neighborhood and a school. It may have caused a tendency toward anxiety, which is now at epidemic proportions in young people. Overall, it likely took away some of their ability to see the world as a safe and supportive place.
For adults, we were more likely able to ground ourselves, access our resources and utilize those that would offer us sustenance and comfort. We would do what we needed to help ourselves feel secure again, or as much as possible. We could read the articles, either in print or online, that helped us understand why this happened, the repercussions of it, and what we could do about it each day to respond as positively and productively as we could.
But for our children, most of them were turning to us to find comfort, and we may not have had it to give, as we were likely reeling from the trauma we felt. When children come to us today for help in any way, we can provide security for them by being secure ourselves. We must identify our resources and access them as much as we can. We must remain calm and collected during times of turmoil so that we can offer the best of ourselves to our children.
So let's take a moment today and ask ourselves what we learned from 9/11 and how we can make this world a better, safer, more secure place for all, especially the children, who turn to us for answers to the questions they ask. Talk to your older or adult children about their experiences of the day and how it affected them, both then and now. And if they say they need help, do what you can to find that for them.
Soucheray is a Woodbury resident and a licensed family therapist