Friday, August 27, 2021

Moral Injury, Decision Fatigue, and Distractions...

 the trifecta for driving us bonkers.

A few days ago, Father Z posted an article about "moral injury" as it pertains to priests.   I understand the concept, but I'd never heard an actual label attached to the malady.

I immediately could see how due to the constant gas lighting we're enduring, aka "distractions",  the threats to our livelihoods, and possibly our lives, due to very dangerous injections of God knows what, resulting in moral injuries moral injury may apply to all of us in some manner.

What is Moral Injury?

Moral injury is the damage done to one’s conscience or moral compass, when that person perpetrates, witnesses, or fails to prevent acts that transgress one’s own moral beliefs, values, or ethical codes of conduct. source

Moral injury refers to an injury to an individual's moral conscience and values resulting from an act of perceived moral transgression, which produces profound emotional guilt and shame, and in some cases also a sense of betrayal, anger and profound "moral disorientation". source


Now we have to deal with the pain and sorrow of this administration that have so completely bungled the withdrawal from Afghanistan, it's a wonder we have a shred of sanity left. 

I'm pretty sure the Christian converts from Islam, numbering approximately 10 - 12K, will be slaughtered. Islam doesn't look with paternal affection on those they consider apostates.  In addition, there are the others; probably a total number of 30 - 40K who will be targeted for death.

Glenn Beck is trying to rescue people from Afghanistan, and is being thwarted at every turn by our state department.  Why?  He raised the money and made the arrangements through his charity The Nazarene Fund. There are those who are attacking him and claiming financial shenanigans, but harkening back to my "trust no one mantra", I have uncovered nothing to back up those assertions. 

The service members left there are caught in between what they know to be moral, and what they're being ordered to do much like what happened in Vietnam.  It's a perfect set up for PTSD, a first cousin of moral injury, which, incidentally, is not an affliction reserved for service members. 

What about our moral injury and decision fatigue? 

How many people, worn down from the constant harassment, suffering from decision fatigue, submitted to a shot they considered to be morally offensive?

Father Z cites a paragraph from the Syracuse University Moral Injury Project describing the results of moral injury on the psyche.

Moral injury can lead to serious distress, depression, and suicidality. Moral injury can take the life of those suffering from it, both metaphorically and literally. Moral injury debilitates people, preventing them from living full and healthy lives.

The effects of moral injury go beyond the individual and can destroy one’s capacity to trust others, impinging on the family system and the larger community. Moral injury must be brought forward into the community for a shared process of healing.

In the context of a soul, with respect to the diversity of beliefs and religious perspectives held by those involved with moral injury, consider this:

Moral injury is damage done to the soul of the individual. War is one (but not the only) thing that can cause this damage. Abuse, rape, and violence may cause similar types of damage. “Soul repair” and “soul wound” are terms already in use by researchers and institutions in the United States who are exploring moral injury and pathways to recovery. 

Medical professionals have been dealing with moral injuries for decades, if not longer. It really ramped up with the advent of the scourge of abortion, and the end-of-life decisions being foisted on them. Now teachers are having their ethics compromised over critical race theory, and the child abuse of mandated masks on little kids.

Are we not as a country world suffering from abuse?  Mandates, mask wearing, social distancing, and threats to our lives and livelihood certainly qualify as abuse.

I have a friend who has a "work from home" job, and is being mandated to get a vaccine, and is having to make a decision that may put her out of work. 

Her Facecrap post: (no identifying markers on purpose)

Prayers appreciated. I am going to have to make some tough choices soon. Possible job change. My employer is mandating the COVID shots and possibly the boosters as conditions of employment and now indicating they are going to start collecting documents and still require masks and the attestation they already made us do. It does not appear they are going to exempt permanent work at home either. They are pushing for 100% compliance which never, in human history, does 100% vaccinated ever happen. I have the shot but am not convinced it was worth it and very reluctant to get more in the form of boosters. My employer claims transparency, but they just closed down comments on their policy on our intranet page, over 27,000 views and 600 comments (only 150 likes). I would say for every 1 positive comment, there were 8 questions concerns or challenges. Explains why we had some execs suddenly quit after less than a year, they are all required to get the shots now and we had some folks at that level leave with no explanation in the last few weeks. I work for a very large pharma and health insurer and they have made a ton of money off vaccine administration and other services, probably one of the few companies to do very well the last couple years.

And her private message to me: 

 Locally, at the S**/@#% system they are mandating vaccines and I think they are going to lose staff. They had a covid wave in the RN group last year and they are arguing they are immune to no avail. I am scared. Don't know what I am going to live on. Please pray for me!

Now, not only does this situation affect just her, but all her family and friends.  It brings up the oft-bandied about phrase of "I feel your pain." 

What do we do about moral injury?

I'm all about solutions.  I "get" the whole question about moral injury and the damage to our souls, but I want to know how to deal with it.  So, I did some research from multiple sources. Guess what?  Since it's not labeled a specific syndrome by the "experts", there is no protocol established, and people are sort of treated by the PTSD protocols.

Not good enough for me.

So all I can offer you is what my pea brain has dredged up from it's seedy little depths.

First - if you are facing a decision involving a moral dilemma, seek out help from those whom you trust.  If you have a pastor, priest, friend, or family member who has been helpful in the past, seek them out. Inevitably, the decision will be yours, and yours alone, so chose your advisors with care.

If you've already taken a course of action which is less than moral and you suffer from guilt or shame (both natural and unavoidable feelings), confession is good for the soul. Catholics have a built-in source of comfort through the Sacrament of Penance.  The rest of you will have to find a trusted friend or a professional type with whom you can discuss the situation. Even Twelve-Step programs use the "confession is good for the soul" approach to recovery.

Secondly, do not cut yourself off from societal contacts. Unfortunately, if you are living in a "social-distance-mask-mandated state", that sets up another problem. Do your best in that regard.  

Third, protect yourself from decision fatigue. Don't put yourself in situations where you have to make a gazillion decisions. Even a trip to the grocery store with the myriad of decisions saps our decision making muscle. I solve that problem with a very detailed list in order of the store so I'm not distracted by endless decisions. 

And fourth, you must pray.  Yeah, I know - everyone flings about this whole prayer thing like confetti at a 40th birthday party.  Don't make it complicated.  I'm not super good at formal prayer, but I carry on a running conversation with God pretty much all day. Thankfully, I don't do it out loud (yet.) I even thank him for the perfect parking spot at Wallyworld, even though I'm pretty sure He doesn't give a hoot about where I park. It's just keeping Him front and center in my daily life. When less happy things occur, I don't blame God, but figure I have it coming for being a creep. 

This is what a real president sounds like. Oh, wait - he is the real president!

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