I have felt so much better after posting about something that has been bothering me or I have been processing lately. Part of that is because all of you are always so supportive – thank you for that.
What happened in IV over the weekend is completely different, obviously. I am so lucky that none of my loved ones were hurt or knew someone who was hurt in the shooting. So I of course cannot understand how others are feeling right now.
It has been weighing heavy on my mind, like everyone else in this town. My roommate and close friend left the scene of those crimes just a half hour before they occurred. I live about 10 minutes away, and have happy hour with friends there regularly. It is so terrifying that I could have easily been directly affected by what happened.
I just wanted to share the feelings I have been having in the wake of the tragedy. I’m hoping it will help me process it, and perhaps someone else can relate and it could benefit them somehow. I truly hope that nothing said here offends anyone in any way – my greatest fear is to come across as selfish or insensitive about this horrifying thing.
Below are some uncollected, unpolished, messy thoughts that have been in my mind since Saturday morning.
- It is so hard to wrap my mind around how REAL this is. This happened. To people. This is not a movie. My mind keeps wanting to disassociate like when I watch horror movies and tell itself: “It’s only pretend. It’s okay, because this didn’t actually happen.”
- I thought watching the video of the killer talking about what he was going to do would make me extremely upset. But it only encouraged the disassociation. Because HE was so disassociated – it was like watching a bad high school play, with this kid reading lines about something he couldn’t possibly feel or relate to feeling.
- Does it make me a bad person to just not want to think about it? Some people don’t have that privilege.
- What would I have done if I lost someone I loved that night? I don’t want to think about it.
- Does the fact that I have not had to endure someone close to me passing away or some similar shocking tragedy put me at the front of the line? Does karma or the universe or what-have-you owe me sadness in my future because I have not met a certain quota yet? Why do certain people get such a huge helping of pain while others can live a life that seems sheltered from serious hardship?
- Why do shootings like this keep happening? Why, exactly? I wish there was one clear reason or answer that wasn’t completely complicated by societal issues combined with personal history and the insane context in which we live.
- When we do have discussions about how we can prevent things like this from happening again, why do people serve out more hate so righteously? I can’t tell you the feelings I had after reading just three comments made about the shooting and how women deserved what happened (that’s all I will say. I was probably better off not knowing). Who are these people? There are a lot of them. They do not see themselves as bigots. They have friends and families who would back them up.
- Such young people.
- I can’t imagine just hearing shots, much less witnessing anything more devastating. How did I get such an easy pass while others are literally destroyed?
- People say that “In America, at least we are free.” That we are lucky to not have to live in fear of bombs or civil war or being severely oppressed. Of course I feel lucky. But I do not feel free – at least compared to the idea of freedom that I have in my mind. Maybe that is asking for too much.
- I feel helpless. I feel like I don’t want to watch the news. That something else is going to happen, that there is always another shoe to drop. I feel like staying in my room with my boyfriend and watching Ru Paul’s Drag Race to get my mind off of sexism, mental health issues, violence, and all that is wrong with the world. I want to feel safe and not afraid when I think about my future. I don’t want to look ahead and hope that as I age I won’t encounter unspeakable tragedy like this. I just want to look ahead with excitement and hope. Not fear.
I wish I could help in some way. I wish I could say more than “My thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected by this tragedy.” I am so grateful that my friends who live near or in IV were not in the area at the time. That my little life is still intact. I am so, so sorry for those who cannot say the same.
I hope this post communicates the good intentions I have and the sorrow I feel for our whole community. I love this city and my heart goes out to everyone touched by this.