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Coping in the aftermath of terrorism

We are used to witnessing it on the TV or reading about it on the news. It’s usually somebody else’s life that’s been turned inside out. We all empathise with the shock, heartbreak, anger, and confusion, and we watch these strong communities and individuals looking to rebuild and seek justice.

But what happens when the roles are reversed, and suddenly it’s our community on the TV and in the news? People we know who have been injured, people around us who are suffering?

Even with the immense bravery shown by so many and the love and hope that always manages to shine through it can be hard to know how to cope.

If you are struggling, questioning, and wondering how to retain normality and carry on you are not alone in feeling this way. Traumatic events no matter how near or far to us can have a huge impact.

You may be struggling to understand how a shooting could occur and why such a terrible thing would happen. There may never be satisfactory answers to these questions.

These events can be triggering, they can bring up old feelings and memories of things that we have found traumatising in the past, even if they are from a long time ago or are totally unrelated. You might find yourself reliving your own difficult moments in life or feel yourself getting increasingly anxious, low, or struggling day to day.

Recovering from a traumatic event is a long and difficult process, but you will get there. Everyone responds differently to trauma - there is no right or wrong way. It will help your recovery process if you don’t expect too much of yourself and of others.

Below are some of the many emotions you may experience over the coming weeks.