Septembet 11th, Trauma, and How I Have Been Coping

Today has made me think about a lot. I think September 11th will always do that to people.

I will be honest… I thought about hibernating today. I thought today might be a good day to do the things I had to around the house and that was pretty much it. Basically, my goal today was to avoid seeing September 11th coverage.

This blog here sums up a lot of my feelings on this in a general way. Obviously, what happened on this day was very, very different than anything I (or any of us) have experienced in our lifetime. This was in a class all on its own.

Comparing the physical and mental journey I have had with ulcerative colitis to the terrorist attacks on 9/11 is truly apples and oranges.

But it is similar in terms of how I feel about guarding myself emotionally from things that I know will be very internally upsetting. I cannot watch coverage of school shootings, bombings and other tragedies etc non-stop like some people. I know many (my mom comes to mind now) who have watched segment after segment about all the tragedies that have happened. I know people like my mom want to be informed but once a situation is understood, I don’t feel the need to watch people analyze it on television or in articles a tremendous amount (more than twice.)

I understand very well how devastating 9/11 was to our country. I know it was real. I went to school a half an hour away from New York City. We lost a family friend on that day.



One of the first girls I talked to in college was wearing an awareness bracelet and when I asked her what it was for she told me it was for her dad who was a fireman and passed away on September 11th. A girl on my swim team had a mother who worked in the World Trade Center and a father who was in the air flying when the planes hit. Both of them ended up being okay but the terror she felt was unreal. My mom told me that someone I went to elementary and middle school with also lost her father; this was a girl fighting her own demons and needed her entire family. I met a woman who survived one of the buildings collapsing on her but felt enormous guilt because the colleague/friend who helped her out did not make it. I recently learned a couple of years ago that someone I have known since I was about two years old {and someone I saw this past Sunday} worked in The World Trade Center and ended up going in late that day.

My dad, me, and Jeff (an amazing human being, husband, father of 3.)

My dad, me, and Jeff (an amazing human being, husband, father of 3.)

I could go on with these stories and the only reason I am even saying it is because I don’t want anyone to finish reading this and think that I am either trying to escape reality, or live in my own little world.

I do not. Sometimes I wish I did but alas.. here I am :)

I just feel so strongly that it is only detrimental for me to tune in to so much 9/11 coverage today. I did my normal routine. I did not stay in the house. I did everything I had to do and then some. But I managed to avoid most of the things I knew would really shake me. For example, children who lost parents speaking. It just brings me to a bad place and there is no reason for that.

After everything I have been through and currently dealing with, why even go there?


Do you have a different opinion? Would love to hear it.


  • Sherri

    I think we all cope with life in a way that our psyche can best handle. I need to watch b/c I feel a need to feel the suffering that others do..and to try and understand why…but that’s me…do what you need today and everyday my gf…you know you best… (and I know you second best)…<3

    • Jeff

      100% agree with you, Marisa, and with your mom. We each do what feels right to us and helps us cope – there is no ‘wrong’ here. And of course, thanks for the kind words – they mean a lot coming from you.

      • Marisa Lauren

        I meant every word, Jeff! I was utterly blown away when I read Bryan’s status a year or two ago. I called my dad immediately asking what it meant. Amazing what you and your family have experienced. Maybe I’ll see ya sometime not on the softball field :)

    • Marisa Lauren


  • Jodi

    we all grieve in our own way.. loss can take many forms. A somber day, for sure. For you and probably many others, this day just conjures up suffering on so many levels. Do what you need to do. You have certainly suffered enough and you show your respect for this day in your own way.

    • Marisa Lauren

      Thank you Jodi ALWAYS for reading and commenting on everything I write. Truly can’t put into words how much it means to me to read your comments. Hope you’re feeling okay.

  • Sheila Bergquist

    I completely understand where you are coming from. It’s not that we don’t care as much as the next person, but that our emotional well being has to be top priority. Reliving the horror of these events will not change anything and only cause us anxiety, stress, sadness and all kinds of other emotions we don’t need to add to.

    • Marisa Lauren

      Thank you so much Sheila for “getting it”– it really, really helps to know I am not alone!