I haven't been productive since Friday. I get really stimulated and anxiety ridden when tragedies like the Newtown school shooting occur.
I want to look away, but I can't. I am terrified and intrigued all at the same time. I promised myself I wouldn't look, but one peek turned into hours of searching online. I made myself sick and I made myself hysterical. I then binged on Chinese food. Crab rangoon didn't make me feel better. My sadness cannot be filled by greasy rice.
I am a stranger to the people directly influenced by the shootings on Friday, yet, I am deeply and emotionally disturbed. I know children that age, I have several teachers in my family, including my mom and sister, I went to elementary school many moons ago and I can remember it clearly. I recall being 6 or 7 years old, I have vivid memories of school beginning at the nursery level.
I have a heightened sense of anxiety because of this latest tragedy. As so many have asked, when will it end? How can it end? What has gone to wrong in our society to allow for this?
I am fighting my inner most voice of terror. The voice telling me to avoid malls, and movie theaters, and now schools. It is our right to go out in public, but is it safer to just stay inside?
When I would turn on the news and hear about bombs and buses belong blown up in town squares continents away, my only comfort was the thought, "not in America," but the reality is that we are experiencing the same tragedy here in some ways, innocent people going about their days, trying to enjoy simple freedoms and rights, and then dying for no reason at the hands of anger, despair, and personal vendettas....
Not to compare one bad thing to another, but September 11th felt different for me. Planes, high-rises, metropolitan areas, landmarks. Please don't mis-interupt my words as one tragedy being less sad, sick, or wrong than the other, but in my opinion and only my opinion, I felt like one could mentally protect themselves from September 11th like this..."I won't fly, I don't live in a big city, I don't work in a center of commerce..." I remember telling myself this when September 11th happened. I was 20 and in college in a small town environment in the middle of America and I felt a teeny tiny bit comforted by this. I was away from any place that would have made a statement. September 11th still haunts me as I know Newtown will a decade from now.
But, with Newtown, little ones in the safest place you can be at 6 or 7 other than your home, your classroom, this is simply unavoidable. You have to go to school, get educated, learn, grow, so one day if you chose, you can fly and work in a big building, and live your life the way you decided you should because we live in a free country.
I am fighting my inner voice that wants me to stay in bed all day, and eat cookies, and sob for the beautiful women and children that died tragically and horribly at the hands of an angry killer, a boy really, so much rage and venom for a man of only 20. I am allowing myself to mourn and then I must get up, and function, and join the living, because I have my life still. I am still here, living and breathing and for that I am blessed and grateful.
Everyday you get to sleep at night is a blessing and every morning you wake up is one, too. If anything, since Friday, I am reminded that life is too short to take for granted.
Tomorrow, life goes ones, but Newtown will never be forgotten.
I wanted to avoid even posting again on this topic and will never breathe the name of the killer because sometimes fame and infamy get confused by people who want to make a statement and be remembered.