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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Color Me Suprised

Between 2019 and 2021, I observed behavior from my fellow United States (U.S.) citizens unlike anything I thought I’d witness in my lifetime. My ignorance-informed perspective misled me to believe that the division, authoritarianism, and lust for oppression to which I’d been exposed in other countries couldn’t occur in the U.S.

Oh, how wrong I was! Not only was I mistaken, I was genuinely surprised to discover how significantly I’d miscalculated people’s capacity for subscription to irrational beliefs, to allow emotion to govern their behavior, and to corrupt the scientific process.

I watched as local, state, and federal government authorities stripped rights of U.S. citizens. Moreover, I was astonished to see people begging for more domination. “Govern me harder, daddy” wasn’t simply a meme, it was an unwavering principle for many people.

I watched as my neighbor sat outside during lockdown and drew on her driveway, “Stay inside and social distance,” apparently unaware of the self-contradiction regarding her logic.” I saw grocery store employees yelling at customers who didn’t wear masks.

I was able to view pointless plastic barriers surrounding cash registers while people drained toilet paper supplies, even though at the time COVID-19 was reported to target the respiratory system. I questioned the rationale behind nasal and oral masking when ocular cavities were also vectors of particulate transmission.

I heard people thanking grocers for their “service,” a term typically reserved for military and veteran personnel. Somehow, voluntary cashier service was akin to the voluntarily signing of a blank check to the sum total of one’s life and being deployed far from home.

Despite skepticism regarding much of the information I encountered through the usual corporate and social media sources, I, too, foolishly deferred to the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. Equally, I opined about these organizations misleading people once additional data was examined.

I worked with clients who essentially disowned family members and renounced friends, because the latter sources dared to use critical thought and questioned the official narrative. As well, I had clients decide to seek treatment elsewhere from clinicians who mimicked popular talking points.

I further assisted clients who were wise enough to push through discomfort concerning preciously held beliefs, as they increased their mental and emotional distress tolerance by doing so. They are the resilient, those among us who no longer allow irrational emotion to drive their behavior.

I had some clients who experienced the loss of life regarding loved ones, unable to be in the room as their family members and friends transitioned from this life without human touch. I know of medical workers who bragged about preventing families from uniting during such times, supposedly for their own safety.

I saw similar medical staff dancing on TikTok, perceivably grateful to be employed, as millions were locked in their homes against their will and couldn’t fulfill purpose and meaning through employment. Oh how brave were the so-called “frontline workers” of the medical industrial complex, though there was no frontline battlefield upon which they stepped.

I listened intently as politicians, journalists, pundits, academics, pseudo-scientists, self-proclaimed “influencers,” and other talking heads parroted misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation related to COVID-19 and the response to the virus. Most sources were inaccurate.

Meanwhile, I noticed how those who questioned the narrative, promoted alternative treatments, encouraged people to strengthen their bodies through natural methods, and who made personal decisions not to receive an untested and largely questionable so-called vaccine were lambasted.

I followed trends of content creators, scientists, physicians, and others being de-platformed from social media, made into pariahs for daring to practice the scientific process as opposed to parroting “the science.” Science is never settled, nor is it owned by partisan hacks claiming otherwise.

Gloriously, I’ve noted how psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers, and other behavioral health practitioners have championed ideologically-driven sentiment. Many of these clinicians openly mock those who have thought critically, labeling us “conspiracy theorists.”

Color me surprised to have learned how the U.S. government is said to have taken part in not only influencing the narrative related to COVID-19, they are accused of directly infringing upon the rights of U.S. citizens while doing so. No amnesty, no quarter!

As a Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) psychotherapist, I can accept the fallibility of humans and imperfection of the world. While I can unconditionally accept people and life, I don’t maintain that our nation should, must, or ought to repeat the 2019-2021 methods of authoritarianism.

Not again, even if many of my fellow U.S. citizens lust to be ball gaged, fitted with a leather harness, and to be flogged into submission by the government we share. Fetish is one matter, freedom is another.

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life—and who dares to think critically while not judging you for doing so, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


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