I tried poring over the new Think Progress report, but it didn’t help. The paranoid delusions kept recurring.
I tried exercise, listening to soft music before going to bed, thinking only pleasant thoughts. And still, late at night, the dreadful fantasies came back.
I went to a doctor in Beersheva. Though he’s known in southern Israel as one of the best in the field, I don’t normally seek out help of that kind; I was pretty desperate.
I was sure that, in his line of work, he’d heard about all sorts of appalling phenomena. Still, some things are almost too shocking and shameful….
Sitting in his office, I sunk my face in my hands, sighed deeply.
Finally I mustered up the courage to say, “I’ve got…Islamophobia.”
I waited for the shock of the word to dissipate. He seemed to be sitting patiently; he seemed able to take it.
I sighed again.
“I have…these fantasies. They wake me up in the middle of the night, and I can’t seem…”
He waited patiently.
I stared stoically forward. “I hear air raid sirens, and I think…they’re shooting at me. Rockets.”
I added, “I hear…booms.”
Finally he spoke, slow, patient, and kind: “Who is shooting at you?”
I sunk my face in my hands again; raked it with my fingers.
Again his slow, gentle voice: “From where are they shooting?”
I removed my hands from my face, gazed forward like a grade-school kid who’s been asked a tough question in front of the whole class.
Now we both fell silent. I thought that—with all his experience—this might really be too much for him. We both knew that the people in Gaza were Zen Buddhists.