Denial: not just a river in Africa : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Thoughts on the psychology of GI vs DGI: I can't help but notice the analogy to how one deals with diagnosis of a fatal illness (in oneself or a loved one). In my experience less than 10% of people deal with this in a reasonable manner (i.e., admit illness is fatal, don't indulge in cover-ups, allow oneself to grieve). The rest CANNOT handle it. They do not have the emotional wherewithal to bear sadness and fear and allow grieving to occur. In the Italian side of my family, we had an elderly relative who, upon learning of a death in her family, responded by embracing one of the survivors and sobbing/screaming for several minutes. This, in my opinion, was a healthy way to grieve, was probably the norm in older cultures, and is something we have lost (to our misfortune). I find that I have had to bear more sadness and fear around y2k than anyone in my family or circle can tolerate; they have to avoid the topic because it is literally beyond their ability to "sit with it", as we say in the mental health field. I've also thought that going on with normal life (showing up for work, making vacation plans, etc) while carrying a y2k awareness is quite similar to what (I imagine) those with a terminal illness must go through as they live out their time; no one wants to talk about it, so they live "as if" everything was OK. Thoughts, anyone?

-- judy (, January 13, 1999


As long as there are witch doctors saying it's a "terminal illness"...I'll continue to be a Not Gonna Get It.

-- MHO (, January 13, 1999.

Well, M, that's just about the dumbest statement I've ever heard. Whatever the hell it means.

-- a (b@c.def), January 13, 1999.

"As long as there are witch doctors saying it's a "terminal illness"...I'll continue to be a Not Gonna Get It. "

Wow. Even a witch doctor can diagnose a really serious illness, & even a person with no medical training at all knows a mortal wound when he sees one. Talk about denial...

-- not a medic (, January 13, 1999.

Any mental health professionals out there care to add to this discussion? I think a constructive discussion from various angles with regard to Y2K would be useful.

Also, Judy, I understood part of your post to imply you are in the MH profession. Correct assumption? In my mind your analogy makes sense, whether you call it a "terminal illness" or a "severe illness that's not necessarily terminal in all cases".

MHO equates "terminal illness" with TEOTWAKI and whether that's because of denial or simply his/her opinion based on their own research, who knows for sure? However, the temperment of MHO's post and the follow-up posts are more reminders to me of how we seem to get lost in our own defenses sometimes. Maybe if we try to consider the entire context of these posts, leave out our emotions, and allow folks to have their own opinions without degrading them about those opinions, we could all learn more.

-- Other Lisa (, January 13, 1999.

Judy, you've expressed my thoughts very well and that's how I see it.

"Maybe if we try to consider the entire context of these posts, leave out our emotions, and allow folks to have their own opinions without degrading them about those opinions, we could all learn more."--Other Lisa

This is what I understand by the expression "separating the wheat from the shaft." It's almost impossible to leave out all emotions to clear the mind to a blank slate, then let in only the facts, the real, then try to use whatever reasoning/rational ability we have, then try to keep emotions from creeping back in and cloud the clear water. Scientists themselves have this great problem, they're just somewhat better at it than the average person. Only computers can do this well, they have no emotions, but computers can't rationalize either, so that too is imperfect for understanding truth.

I'm not in mental health, but I'm an RN and see what Judy sees with patients and family. The sadness of it all when it comes to Y2K, is that it muddles everything to the point where it becomes thick mud and paralizes society from taking action, wether it's preparing or fixing what needs to be fixed, in the mean time the clock is ticking and the computers and black boxes are marching on and they don't care.

-- Chris (, January 13, 1999.

Point taken. Let me rephrase. Let us try to use, even in our fatally flawed mortal existence to use "temperance and tolerance" in our posts.

-- Other Lisa (, January 13, 1999.

"...the wheat from the shaft"????

"...the wheat from the shaft"??!!

"...the wheat from the shaft"!!!


-- Elbow Grease (, January 13, 1999.

I agree with you Judy, and have really struggled with this issue in dealing with my kids. I talk to them about it and they are teens and old enough to understand what this means. My oldest is very angry and in denial. Since it would be so much easier to face this together for me, I get upset at his hostility. Yet I can see the fear and grief that he will feel when he is forced to face it and I almost dread that moment. At that point I think he will be even more angry at the reality of losing his entire world which, until now, was very bright and happy.

Because I have opposed the bad effects of technology, he sees me as actually happy about this. I could only be happy about it if people used this as an opportunity to become sustainable and healthy communities. I know that the threat must be great to upset business as usual. But I don't wish for death and destruction, which seems inevitable now. Anyone who is in denial is hanging on desparately to the hope that this wont affect us because of the despair and craziness it puts us through.

How many human beings in our history have had to face the end of their civilization head on, and in a matter of months? It is a very difficult thing to do. And those of us who pay this price to stay conscious can become very angry at those who try to get out of it through denial. We think of all we are going through and wonder why we should be the only ones. Some of us get so angry and frustrated that we attack anyone and everyone who doesn't get it. I have done this myself, but when I did, I only hurt the ones I love.

It seems we are being asked to see the asteroids headed for earth and at the same time, bear the rejection and judgements of those who just can't stand to know the truth. I understand how everyone feels, on both sides of the spectrum so all I can do is offer patience and sympathy to all.

This forum has been of great help to me to deal with this and I thank you all.


-- Lora Ereshan (, January 13, 1999.

uh...isn't it the expression EG? I used the wrong one for this analogy? Please enlighten this silly french girl *blushing*

-- Chris (, January 13, 1999.

Um, it's "wheat from the chaff," I believe...

I have to agree with you. Most people won't or can't deal with this problem. I think a lot of it is because the problem is technical. Maybe if a few more people had started using computers when you actually had to deal with a dos prompt, the public at large might understand that such a simple little error can cause things to stop in their tracks.

BTW, does anyone else break up when you hear REM's, The End of the World as we Know it?

-- d (, January 13, 1999.

Thanks d., well I looked up the word "shaft" and it could be used for the wheat stem ;-) (sticks her tongue out at EG)

I can't say that I break up at REM's apropos song, but I sure do get goose bumps.

-- Chris (, January 13, 1999.

I'm sorry, Chris,

It's just the incongruity of your unique interpretation of the phrase on a forum which has seriously discussed the various methods for cleaning wheat; i. e. separating the wheat from the chaff!

-- Elbow Grease (, January 13, 1999.

A blushing, French girl, with goose bumps talking about "shafts"? This is getting interesting!

-- Bill (, January 13, 1999.

Don't feel too bad, Chris. Happens to the best of us--and some who *might* be the best--if they spent less time ROTFLTAO. :)

-- Scarlett (, January 13, 1999.

"A blushing, French girl, with goose bumps talking about "shafts"? This is getting interesting!"

Yes Bill, last week she was waxing lyrical about "needing a stiff one" and "slapping" me with "her glove" ;)

All very naughty. What have you to say for yourself ma petite???


-- Andy (, January 14, 1999.

Rien :|

-- Chris (, January 14, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ