Words. So many words in my head but now I’m staring at this blank space and nothing I can think of to say sounds meaningful and real at the same time, so instead I’m just going to be real and hope that the meaning comes through.
I am having a hard time coping with what happened in Orlando. First of all, when I heard the news I was numb at first, because of how desensitized living in this country has made me. And I feel sick that that was my first reaction. Another shooting? Keep scrolling. That is not okay.
Then as the news, the images, the fact that it was an LGBTQ club that was targeting, and the death toll was just climbing-the numbness started to fade. It’s good to know that I am still human in here, but at the same time now that I’m feeling the weight of this, well, some numbness might be okay.
When Charlie was born the church in Charleston was attacked. That happened literally right after she was born. And now I’m a few days out from her birthday and this horrific, freakishly cruel and awful thing has happened. I feel like my child’s life is marred by death and violence against these groups of people that I am so desperately trying to raise her to understand are just people like us. Different colors, different lifestyles, but people that we love and respect and know. People we go to church and school and the grocery store with. Just people.
They are just. like. us. And they are dead. And that means that we could be dead. My child. This could happen to my child.
How do I ever go anywhere with her again? Is Target safe? Church? The park with the swings that make her giggle? Our favorite burrito restaurant? The library where I used to work and we attend storytime? The store where we buy our groceries? The fabric store where I get supplies to make her little dresses?
I feel such grief for this thing that hasn’t happened to us. I am working on one of her birthday dresses right now and working on the tiny bodice had me falling apart, because what if it was my child I never got to sew for again? What if I couldn’t hold her anymore? What if her life was just done-and for no good goddamn reason.
I am so angry. I am so sad. I want meaningful, real, legislative change. I want for my elected officials to stop their willing slavery to the NRA. I want to leave the country. I literally want to flee the country with my animals and my family and a suitcase full of clothes and figure out the rest later. Because Charleston is too close to home. Orlando is too close to home. Newtown is too close to home. Middleton is too close to home. Las Vegas, Columbine, Virginia Tech-the list goes on and on and on and on.
I feel like there are bullets out there with our names on them . And while love wins, and I am trying to be strong, I would be a damn liar if I did not also tell you that I am afraid.