Keeping a sane distance: trauma, tragedy, and the reporter

Ethan Baron, |

I had a dream about Willie Pickton the
night after he was sentenced to life in prison. I’d already had
nightmares after gruesome days in court, but this dream was different.
I was in a room with Willie and another man. The other guy and I were
spending the night in the room, and we were supposed to make sure
Willie behaved himself. I remember, in this dream, thinking about what
might happen if I fell asleep. I could feel, in my mind, Willie’s weird
monkey fingers closing around my throat. Then I woke up.

interests me about this dream is that no matter what disturbing things
I’ve seen and heard on the job, I feel stable and mentally healthy. I
constantly stay aware of my emotional and physical reactions to my
work. I pay close attention to my thoughts and responses. At the same
time, I don’t have a really good idea about what’s going on deep below
the surface.