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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Were You During 9.11 ?

I can’t believe it’s been 8 years since that day. I know everyone has a different story for that day. I live in Los Angeles, California basin area and the television would wake me up at 5:30 am, but I usually would stay in bed sleeping until 6:30-7:00 am…not a morning person. But, I kept hearing about a plane hitting one of the twin towers and thought if was some fluke accident, but they kept talking about it, so I opened my eyes to see the first tower burning and thought that was a large plan. Was it and accident or terrorism? I just sat watching and then I watched as the second plane hit. At first, I thought, “I didn’t just see what I think I saw.” At the same time, I heard the newsanchor say something similar.

Then, I knew the US was under attack. I quickly went to the restroom where my husband was sitting and was not thinking and asked him, “are you watching the news?” Well, of course, he wasn’t and would have made fun of me, but I had such a serious look on my face. He left for work and I got ready for work. I watched in horror as the first tower completely collapsed and disintegrated. I felt like something had hit my body, felt tremendous grief and knew the it was only a matter of time that the other would do the same. I prayed for and imagined how many lives were in the building and of their loved ones. My heart ached. Then, I quickly grabed a 4 1/2 inch television to take to work. On the way to work, I know exactly where I was on the freeway when the second tower hit. There were rumors about one on the way to Los Angeles international, Disneyland, etc…

I got to work and forgot about my meeting until three days later. We were all there watching my little television on and off throughout the day. I had it on the edge of my desk next to my guest chair, so people stopped by during the day, but no one got work done and rumors were flying. They were trying to figure if they should send us home or not…we left early figuring no one could work anyway.

I hadn’t cried at all, but two days later I went home early because of a tremendous migraine, turned on the television as the American flag was being unfurled on the Petagon and burst into sobs. I had suppressed crying until then. I slept for three hours and felt better. It was eerily quiet with only fighter jets passing occasionally…we live near a National Guard station. Not seeing a plane in the sky anywhere near LAX was surreal as was the whole event. I never realized how much air traffic there was.

People were nicer, more polite, more patient and friendlier even on the freeways. But, within a month’s time it was back to normal. I think, it has changed the world in many ways and not necessarily for the better. Today, I feel much grief. I also, think that I’m on the other side of the country and at that time didn’t know anyone in New York, I can’t image the overwhelming grieving process and trauma that they have endured. My heart and prayers goes out to everyone who was effected, but especially to those who lost someone that day or as a result of it.

Please share your experience or say whatever you need to say regarding that day.

3 comments:

svasti said...

On Australian time, this happened late in the night for us. We might be far away, but we were affected too.

I woke up to my usual radio alarm, only to hear the sombre tones of the radio announcers. They'd completely dropped their planned show for the day and were just taking calls from people who wanted to talk about what had happened. It was a compassionate way of dealing with the mass shock Australia was feeling over what happened.

I got up and turned on the TV, and cried. I couldn't believe it.

In something of a daze, I went to work. Everything felt surreal. I was in a meeting and thought: oh, the people who planned that attack must have had meetings just like this, only talking about a completely different topic.

One of my good male friends called me to just talk and cry.

Later I went for coffee with a girl from work, on the pretext of a meeting but really, we sat there and talked about what happened.

Then the weather got scary, like it was showing its fury and grief. The skies grew dark, the winds rose up and suddenly it was hailing big, huge hailstones. It didn't last very long but it did drive home for us the horrific nature of the day.

Many Australias, people who didn't know a single person who was directly affected by that day... we all cried for a long time.

I wish healing and peace for all in memory of this day.

Polar Bear said...

I turned on the TV, half a world away from NYC, and kept seeing this terrible scene unfold. My usual morning routine was to catch the Breakfast show, and this definately was not the usual Breakfast show. I couldn't believe it for a few moments - I thought it was some kind of movie, but soon realised it wasn't, and America under attack was so incredibly unbelievable.

I did cry over the course of the events unfolding. I cried again recently when they showed United 93 (movie based on the fourth hijacked flight which hit the fields of Penn).

Clueless said...

Svasti,

Thank you so much for sharing. I went through the whole week in shock. That day I forgot to go to my meetings. I'm glad that you wrote because you have an Australian perspective.

Polar Bear,
Thanks for sharing. I still feel like I need to talk about it during the anniversary. Flight 93 amazes and saddens me. Makes my heart hurt.

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