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Hindsight adds burden to traumatic event

This week I end my informational series on trauma and some of its possible side effects.

Immediately after a trauma, the mind is likely to see the world as dangerous. Whereas we might have underestimated the danger in the world before the trauma, we might overestimate danger in the aftermath of a trauma. After all, our most recent experience of the world is a very threatening place.

Over time our beliefs tend to shift toward the middle, recognizing that the world can be quite dangerous at times, and that other times it’s relatively safe.

It’s common to feel guilty after something terrible happens to you, as though you’re to blame that it happened. The mind may cast about for ways to have avoided the trauma such as if only I’d left work a few minutes earlier, I shouldn’t have been out at that hour, I should have seen that he was coming for me and I needed to be more careful.

It’s easy to use the advantage of hindsight to see the mistakes we made. In reality, we almost certainly overstate our own responsibility for the traumatic event and, as a result, feel unnecessary guilt. All the same, it’s a common response after a trauma.

So many trauma survivors I’ve treated have talked about how they should have had a different response to the trauma, which was something I thought as well for both of my incidents. It’s another example of “Monday morning quarterbacking” or second-guessing split-second decisions made under a high degree of stress.

Perhaps we can think of a better reaction when we have hours or days to mull it over, but life is lived in real time. Just like any other wound, time heals. Just remember: Time takes time.

Oct. 11. DUI: The wrong-way driver makes it all way to Wagonwheel Drive before getting stopped (or hit) and the tests show the ultimate reason at 3:55 a.m. in the area of U.S. Highway 93 and Wagonwheel Drive.

DUI: The driver is lost, intoxicated, in need of a nap and we know just the place to safely allow that to happen at 9:09 p.m. in the 500 block of New Mexico Drive.

Thought for the day: Did someone declare Thursdays as drink-and-drive day?

Oct. 12. Trespass: The caller is agitated because no one seems able to force a family member to get help they do not want at 10:25 a.m. in the 600 block of Wyoming Street.

DUI: The driver was just released from jail and decides to celebrate just a little too much at 12:29 p.m. in the 1200 block of Corral Road.

Thought for the day: I guess he missed the memo about DUI Thursdays.

Oct. 13. Drugs: The drama starts when the red lights go on, and one suspended driver, medical transport on a passenger, wanted subject, towed vehicle, trip to Clark County Detention Center and courtesy transport later it’s report time at 12:58 a.m. in the area of U.S. 93 and Veterans Memorial Drive.

Suspicious: The caller states a man is in the street blocking cars and appears to be arguing with a gypsy at 6:16 p.m. in the 800 block of Adams Boulevard.

Thought for the day: The argument is mitigated and the woman dressed in sequins along with her other are escorted to their belongings and on to the bus stop.

Oct. 14. Noise: The caller finds it disturbing to hear noise when the door is open and would like officers to explain how to get others to cooperate at 8:42 a.m. in the 100 block of Casa Montana Court.

Domestic: The family is in an uproar and someone will be spending the night elsewhere at 9:32 p.m. in the 1100 block of Endora Way.

Thought for the day: It’s not the day for domestic bliss on any level.

Oct. 15. Vandalism: The caller finds his windshield has several impact spots and a hole containing a brick at 8:44 a.m. in the 700 block of Seventh Street.

Welfare check: Officers are asked to check on an elderly neighbor who has not been seen in a while at 1:14 p.m. in the 500 block of Tara Court.

Thought for the day: We are ever so grateful when helpful neighbors have good camera systems.

Oct. 16. Family disturbance: The man and woman can’t agree on who owns what and who might be on drugs at 7:45 a.m. in the 500 block of Fir Street.

Accident: The parked vehicle is no match for the one in motion but the driver seems to think it’s a bad place to park at 1:00 p.m. in the 800 block of Adams Boulevard.

Thought for the day: It is amazing how, once the love is gone, the other party has such abhorrent habits.

Oct. 17. Family disturbance: The male half was just released from jail and decides the dumpster enclosure is a perfect place to yell about his domestic issues at 4:38 a.m. in the 1300 block of Darlene Way.

Injury accident: A woman is seriously injured after being partially run over by her all-terrain vehicle at 5:47 p.m. in the area of mile marker 48 on U.S. Highway 95.

Thought for the day: Please wear protective gear when riding any type of off-road vehicle. It can save your life.

Call(s) of the week: Assist a citizen: The intoxicated caller states that her vehicle is missing from the spot she parked it and must have been towed while she was at her meeting. After an exhaustive search by officers the missing vehicle is safely located nestled in the driveway of the caller’s home at 11:46 p.m. Oct. 12 in the 500 block of Nevada Way.

Tina Ransom is a dispatcher with Boulder City Police Department. She is coordinator of the Boulder City Citizen’s Academy.

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