Letters & Opinion

PTSD – The Political Loss of a Leader

By Little Black Girl

According to Charles Bukowski, and I quote: “Things get bad for all of us, almost continually, and what we do under the constant stress, reveals who/what we are” unquote.  Political loss has the accurate audacity of revealing who/what our politicians are.  And dare I say, the recent loss of the last administration at the polls has given us, all St. Lucians, a glaring look into the character of the then Prime Minster and some of his team members who suffer publicly.  The private sufferers can take solace in preserving their shame and pain.  After all, therapy takes the form of private sessions, where ego, vulnerability and any remaining semblance of arrogance can blossom when re-emerging into society’s accepted form of normalcy. 

PTSD refers to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and, in this context, I am not addressing the clinical research but more of the direct word-for-word meaning as it pertains to the after-effects of any major shock or painful situation that any one person goes through.  A few examples would be the traumatic impact of job-loss, death of a loved one and yes, the loss of a political election.  The trauma of the latter, (especially when one believes he/she would or should have won), not only causes shock and pain but it causes mental anguish and self-doubt.   These symptoms can only be healed through clinical and guided therapy which focuses on the trauma from within.  When this is not done, reactions and responses can lack respectful judgement, lack intellectual prowess, and lack the necessary leadership actions that is admired by the watchful eyes of the youth and the citizenry at large.

This is where I will attempt to help the Town-Cryer, the party hacks and the ignorant, understand that the actions of the previous Prime Minister, meaning his disappearing act after his loss, left a lot to be desired.  His decision to be absent at three of the last four sittings of the House of Assembly, was blatantly disrespectful, no sugar-coating.

These sittings bore important legislative decisions that needed relevant and poignant rebuttals from the opposition.  Debate that would have added to the Social Studies material of the CXC curriculum.  Whilst I am blaming his actions on the PTSD that he may have or is suffering from; it doesn’t exempt him from the fact that he has no manners.  And as my infant-school days has taught me, Manners Maketh Man.

If a Prime Minister wants to set examples of good manners, humility, and good governance, he must understand that he is held to a higher standard by virtue of that very office.  Therefore, to all the ill-mannered and mis-guided individuals who does not see anything wrong with the Opposition Leader’s disappearing act, I say shame on you for further traumatizing the Youth Economy and all the little Children of St. Lucia that Jesus loves.

Here’s a suggested action that the immediate past leader could have taken; because I believe in providing solutions to my points of criticism:  After the traumatic loss, he could have waited in silence like he did, sucking his disappointed thumb and then attended the first sitting of the house, in an effort to regain his strength and to communicate with supplication, a leave of absence due to his mental and emotional health.  Further reiterating the fact that he had not taken a vacation since dinosaurs were a thing.  That would have placed him in a much coveted and respected position of inspiration and impactful ex-leader.  There would have been no reason for the Speaker of the House, (who has acted honourably and within a stickler-vein of the law), to have imposed a zero emoluments reprimand on the Opposition Leader.

The records would have captured and shown the submission of his leave request.  It would have also included without ambiguity, the chosen replacement to act on his behalf whist he healed peacefully and fulfill his husbandly and fatherly duties as he had indicated in one of his after-the-fact calls.

In conclusion, we all should take a page from that fiasco and recognize when we’ve been through a traumatic event and how to get help to bring us back to the middle.  We cannot pretend that our trauma is trivial and allow ourselves to let loose like wildlife, exhibiting little control and pushing our sheep further in the desert with little to no chance of being found.  Unless, one is a narcissist, racist, sexist and any other negative “ist”, then we are all subject to dealing with loss.

What is important to note is the recognition of the trauma and the need for the adequate healing of that wound.  When wounds continue to fester and leak, the disease of “Trumpism” is left to taint and tarnish the offices of governance that assist us in our freedom to be successful and thriving citizens.  I’m not saying that he, the Opposition Leader has already contracted that disease, all I’m saying is that he needs to ensure that he heals from the trauma of his political loss.  Only then, will the worldwide respect that he craves, grace his conscious and sub-conscious mind.  Thereby, creating a ripple effect of real or perceived respect from the youth and the children of St. Lucia and, the world.  “How much better to heal, than to seek revenge from injury”.  Another quote worth quoting.

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