…Blue America is having trouble with sleep — tossing and turning as they lie awake, then falling into nightmares. And those who are suffering tend to blame the 45th president of the United States.
…“I have not slept a full night since the election,” says New York fashion designer Ariane Zurcher. “I’m 56 years old. I have never had insomnia or issues with sleeping until this.”
What’s going through their minds in the dark?
Erika Kilborn, a training director for a software company, who has just been diagnosed with cancer, worries she will lose her job as a result of her illness and not be able to afford new insurance as a result of changes in the health care law.
Lea Grover, a Chicago writer, has spent more than one night calculating where in her home she could build fake walls behind which to hide immigrants facing deportation.
Craig Haller, who advocates with school administrators on behalf of students with disabilities in and around Boston, fears changes at the Department of Education will hurt those students.
Imagine the amygdala exercise.
These are people whose amygdalae are placing their brains in a position where they have to make a choice. They can continue to trigger endlessly over normal stimuli, in which case they will not be able to sleep, every day will be a hell on earth, they will feel sick all the time, and they will face a non-stop day of depression and angst at every turn. Or they can begin to acclimate to the stress. Their brain can learn to disregard it and not freak out, and then they will feel normal again.
A long time ago I realize now I was in this space. Periodically I would run into my narcissist Bob, and the opportunity to spend time with him would arise. Whenever this occurred, I always seemed to be busy. Eventually he would comment that every time we met, I had something to do. He was right, and now in retrospect I realize that immediately before meeting him I wasn’t as driven.
My brain hated Bob. Being around him was just miserable for my brain. For some reason this had not fully sunk into my conscious mind, which saw him as peculiar, but not overly noxious. But my brain knew, and every time I ran into him the subconscious operator in my brain triggered my drive neural circuits, and I suddenly was off and running. My brain changed how I behaved, and I had no idea why at the time.
This is what will happen to liberals now. I suspect, given their inability to tolerate these discomforts, many could easy end up being moved to support Trump, if you could simultaneously keep being-opposed to Trump this noxious to them, and at some point trick their subconscious brain into supporting something Trump does, and taking Trump’s side. If their brain sees a couple of instances of supporting Trump releasing this angst and making them feel normal, they could switch to supporting Trump more often to release the angst – and not have any idea why.
As it happens, we just happen to have a master of psychology as our President.