Thursday, January 29, 2009

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome in the Negev

Well, thanks to our esteemed government (renowned for its bravery and honesty) our lives here in the Western Negev are back to normal. Sort of. My Sederot pupils were rudely awaken early today with the "Color Red" siren and a Kassam. **sigh** Same old, same old. The Eshkol residents had theirs yesterday I believe.

On a personal level, having stubbornly stayed at home throughout most of the war, I felt the accumulated stress catch up with me. Began crying at the drop of a hat. So, I booked a hotel room and hubby and I boogied up to Jerusalem for three days of blessed rest. This week, during the hours I spent in rest and contemplation, I asked myself again and again: How do Sederot's citizens remain sane after eight years of rocketing?

How do couples achieve anything approaching normalcy in their relationships armed with the knowledge that at any given moment they may need to seek shelter within ten seconds? How do parents cope with the stress of having their children out of sight when a "color red" siren sounds? How do the residents sleep nights? How many tranquilizers and sleeping tablets must they take and for how long? What kind of life is this????

Monday night at the hotel, I had problem sleeping (sans sleeping tablet :) So, I listened to Jojo Abutbul's radio program from 1- 3:00 a.m. One idiot from Tel Aviv said that they were rocketed (remember the sealed rooms and Scuds once upon a time?) and found it difficult to understand why the southern residents were making such a fuss. I have never felt closer to committing homicide than at that moment. How the *&(%(*%&^%*&%*_)(*^ can that idiot compare a war with a beginning, middle and END and his experiences to that of our dear brothers and sisters in Sederot and the Eshkol region???? Does that moron realize what eight years means? For me, it is approximately 1/6th of my life. For others it is a lifetime.

One of our twelfth graders at Ulpanat Tzvia Sedot Negev is named Or. She is absolutely brilliant as is her younger sister in grade nine. During one of our phone conversations midway through the war I expressed my dismay over her family's lack of a "mamad." (The room which doubles as a bomb shelter.) When I queried her about one sibling's reaction to the rocketing, she sardonically replied, "Come on, ha'morah, she is seven years old. This is normal life for her." Forget homicide. What I'd prefer is t0 require all incoming politicians following the upcoming elections to reside in Sederot for the duration of the government. (Usually no more than two years.) I assure you, G-d willing the "normal" life of Or's family would dramatically improve!


therapydoc said...

It would make a good study, wouldn't it. I'm linking over to you from my post on Israel and Gaza. Thanks for writing this.

Netivotgirl said...

I am pleased you are interested in this. It seems that almost NOBODY else is!! I wrote to the NY Times asking them to come interview my Sederot h.s. pupils about the stress of eight years of rocketing and got no response! Apparently it is not politically correct to care about "just a couple of rockets; come on what's the big deal....?"
Thank you for taking the time out to comment on my post!