We’ve all been there…the nagging upset that comes from hearing about a friend, neighbor or family member’s catastrophic event. It happened to me recently, when a woman in my close friend group—we’ve all been pals for nearly 20 years—confided to us that she had been victimized by a convicted predator in the headlines. Hearing this accomplished, beloved and grounded woman confess her range of emotions around this assault, including her decision not to join a public case after she consulted therapists and spoke to a reporter, was deeply upsetting to me. I found myself inwardly running through a range of surprising reactions (She’s making this up, wait why is she talking about this, why is she bringing this up now, can’t she just deal, ugh this is so awful). Although I found myself saying (and meaning), "Oh dear this is so terrible, I'm so sorry you went through this and so happy you're talking about this now," I found myself depressed and angry and just...well, freaked out on and off for weeks. Why? I discovered a psychological phenomenon called Secondary Traumatic Stress, which helped me understand why someone else’s plight could sideline my serenity.