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30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dealing with March 2

Since the tornado hit our town and destroyed much of our school at Henryville, I have tried to put on a strong front.  Dealing with the death of my uncle Wayne Hunter and being there for my father and family (I hope I was), understanding how dangerous the situation my wife and I found ourselves in March 2, knowing that my wife felt some trauma too made me feel like I needed to be strong for everyone.  I am not sure I even felt too much.  It wasn't that I didn't care, but I think I was in shock, somewhat. 

I cannot begin to fathom what many people in the communities of Pekin, Borden, Henryville, and Marysville went through.  The stories that are coming out of those places make me look silly for "suffering" anything.  Adults, men and women, but especially the children are dealing with many wounds.  Though the physical suffering was minimal, the psychological suffering has to be severe and will be around for a long while (just imagine the next big storm that comes through).

As a basketball coach, really any kind of coach, we, I think, are taught to put on a strong front, to be a strong leader.  I even think that as men, in general, in rural America, we are taught to be tough, show no emotion.  Well, after one week, I guess my mind decided it was time for me to soak in a little more than I had been doing so when it came to this event.  Last May, I had to leave school one day because I thought I was having a heart attack, I went to the ER, had all the tests run and nothing was wrong with my heart.  The decision by my doctor was that I probably had a panic attack.  That didn't surprise me, as it runs in my family, I guess they can be genetic.

I have a psychology minor so I understood what a panic attack was, in fact, when I was going through it last May, I had a good idea that's what it was I suffered from that day.  I have overcome them until this past Friday night.  I had such a severe panic attack that it woke me up, and I felt my bed shaking (it wasn't, I was).  The feelings you have when this goes on are overwhelming, but I guess my mind and body told me it was time to come face to face with what I went through.  Thank the Lord for my wife who was with me throughout that night.

So what do I feel about what happened?  I understand why I had this happen and I am trying to keep things in perspective.  But, I also feel guilty.  When my story is compared to so many other peoples', those who lost everything and many people who were thrown by the tornado and survived, it is ridiculous (in my mind) to consider myself a "victim". 

The whole point of this article is to make everyone aware who was involved in this event that you do have psychological healing to do as well as physical healing.  Please be aware of your own behavior, the behavior of your loved ones and of course the behavior of your children.

Because if you feel that you can't allow anyone in, if you feel that by talking about it shows weakness, if you think that you have to be strong, I hope you read this and know that even the "strong leader basketball coach" is struggling with what happened.