“I couldn’t really talk about the shooting if I didn’t talk about trauma in general and how it affects people.”

Note: There is language that is excluded in the transcript but not excluded in the audio.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I felt that I couldn’t really talk about the shooting if I didn’t talk about just trauma in general and how it affects people. Because whether you were on campus or not, whether you were someone who were acquainted with the victims of the violence or not, you — if you are a member of, you know, people who go to MSU, people who have to come to campus, people who have to be, you know, on site, then it’s affected you, I think. I tried to tell myself that it didn’t, but I think it did.

So I guess when I think about trauma, it’s hard to think about trauma in any sort of real sense. I feel like — I have to put this somewhere. I feel like when someone experiences trauma… Okay, maybe I shouldn’t — it’s not an objective thing. It’s a very subjective thing.

When I experience trauma, when I think about the trauma that I’ve had in my life, it’s like this invisible string. A very fine string is just — like it’s wrapped around my body, just kind of entangling me. And it feels at first like a surge of adrenaline. Like, “Oh my God. Oh my God. I gotta get out. I gotta get out. I gotta be safe. This is not safe. I need to be safe. This is not safe. What do I do? What do I do? Oh my God. What do I do?” And it can almost feel — I — it almost feels euphoric just because it’s so much energy and maybe I’m not used to having that much energy and adrenaline.

Sorry, I’m pausing a lot. But anyway, yeah, if you’ve been traumatized, maybe it feels the same way. That’s what it felt like for me. Like, initial trauma. The thing is, people don’t often — they’re not lucky like that. We don’t just get traumatized once and that’s it. It’s easy to say, like, people get desensitized to things. But we don’t. We can pretend, but we really don’t. You don’t get desensitized to traumatic things. You might want — you wish — we all wish we could get desensitized to these things, but we don’t.

I’m sorry. I’m getting a little emotional. Um, when you get re-traumatized or something else traumatic happens, it’s like that initial string gets tighter, and another string is added. And it gets tangled up with the other string. And suddenly you don’t know what’s hurting you. Is it the initial string or is it this new string? Like, what is it? You can’t find the ends or beginnings to either of them. Suddenly they are just one and you’re just hurting. And you get that initial, like, “Oh my God, what do I do? What do I do?” But once that wears off, you are just — Me, I guess. I shouldn’t say you.

When that initial adrenaline wears off, I am just – I just – I can’t move. I can’t – you know, I don’t know. This is awful. I don’t like crying on recording in the Qdoba parking lot. I don’t even like Qdoba!

I really – when I am dealing with trauma or getting triggered by trauma, I feel like initially, yeah, I get super adrenaline, like, “God, what the hell is going on, what the f***? What do I do? What the s***?” and then I am just like, numb. Completely numb and confused and then it gets bad. Like suddenly, I’m still tangled up. But now the room is full of water, and I can’t f***ing swim like this.

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