I want to believe

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.

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.

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8 thoughts on “I want to believe

  1. 😦 I wish they’d do something over there to minimise the opportunity for these events to take place. It is awful and scary and I honestly do not understand this attachment to guns. It doesn’t seem to do anyone any good 😦

  2. Sometimes numb is how your mind protects you for a little while. It does make you feel like a monster though.
    I live in Canada. For a while I considered moving to the US for our future jobs, but these things seem to happen so regularly. It’s devastating and frightening. I hear you Librarian.

  3. You are correct that today ANY place can be the location for more violence and death. In some places even inside your own home is also unsafe from guns and violence inside, or from guns fired from the street outside your home.

    But it is necessary to continue living anyway. Despite this reality. Despite the fear. The fear is because you are a rational thinking person living where you do today.

    Some people today are calling for ‘revolution’ against our governmental systems….. take a good look at pictures of Aleppo, Syria……. that is what a real revolution looks like.

    Then vote ~ with care.
    And write your elected representatives and share your opinion on the hot topics today.
    And find even $2 to send in support of the people you do want to represent you in government going forward. Have you looked at the NRA money influencing elected officials…….. and sometimes it isn’t more than 2K, though other times it is a lot more.

    AND PLEASE VOTE thinking that your daughter’s life depends on your vote…… because it may.

  4. I have similar thoughts and sentiments about this event related to the safety of my children and family. Anytime we go somewhere that is even slightly crowded, I want to get in and out immediately because I feel like I’m a target in a crowd because there are people looking to hurt as many people as possible. Honestly, since the Orlando event occurred, I have not been able to get this out of my head. I have been quiet, angry, and thoughtful about this. I don’t necessarily have extremely close ties to the LGBT community, but this angers and frightens me so much for the community and everyone else. How did this situation get so out of hand so that there were so many casualties and injuries?! Is this an act of genocide of LGBTQ individuals? Terrorism?! Either way, it was so incredibly targeted and I think that’s why it’s so frightening, devastating, and heartbreaking. I saw a post that some of my gay friends were tagged in, a military officer offering to set up workshops to get the local LGBTQ community licensed to carry handguns so they can defend themselves. I know it comes from a place of caring, but it’s sort of exactly the problem. Solving violence with more violence. I noticed that the only people who thought this was a good idea were individuals outside of the community. You shouldn’t have to carry a weapon in order to love who you love. I know this is way off topic of your post, but I just have lots of thoughts I wanted to get out. On the other hand, there are always beautiful acts of love and community that occur around these types of events, people of all walks of life waiting in line for hours to donate blood to save lives, coming together to support the survivors and the families that lost loved ones, etc. I don’t think that our initial self-preserving response of fear and hiding or running is the answer. We have to continue living and loving. Love has to win.

  5. I have thought about writing something about Orlando on Facebook and on my blog, but I just have no words. The whole thing is completely and utterly heartbreaking.
    The devastation this has caused just seems so endless at the moment. That’s all I have. I am so completely upset and my love and thoughts go out to the hundreds of family members affected by this atrocity.

  6. I hate the state that our country is in right now (for so many reasons/factors) and it worries me what kind of world that we are bringing our daughter into. I’ve been too emotional lately to be able to listen to too much about the murders, or I would be a horrible blubbering mess all the time. I will say…on my way to work the morning it happened I heard NOTHING on the radio about it the whole way there (about 20 mins in the car) and was shocked when my coworkers started talking about it. It wasn’t until I was on my way home that I remembered that a guy who I was good friends with in high school JUST moved to Orlando about a week or 2 ago, and he is gay. I almost had to pull over on my way home and check Facebook and pray that he was not dead. I’ve never been so relieved in my life to see a post from him on Facebook. We aren’t close anymore, but we do keep in touch and he is a beautiful person, I would have been completely devastated if he was gone. It’s just too close to home for me, even though it’s thousands of miles away. I won’t hide myself or my family away and live in fear, but it’s an insanely scary world out there and I will do my damnedest to teach my kids to be good, loving, caring, respectable people.

  7. This terrible act of murder in Orlando truly is horrifying and sad.

    Perhaps this is a strange story but it shows how ignorant some people are to problems on their own doorstep fueled by guns….!!! Several weeks ago we chose a new cat sitter, this lady came round to our house and swooned over our British accents and how much she loved British TV shows, she then said, but I wouldn’t want to go to England.

    “Oh…why not?” I asked.

    “Because of that problem you have there” (she looked rather disgusted)

    “Ummmm, what problem?” We looked confused.

    “You know, all those Muslims taking over! The problem is, you never know which one is going to go boooom!”

    Chris was fuming, I didn’t know what to say (considering my Brussels experience wasn’t long ago!) so we looked at each other with despair, not knowing what to do. Chris wanted to kick her out of the house and say….”well that’s like saying you never know which American will decide to massacre a school or cinema next” needless to say she didn’t get any more of our business.

    I really don’t know how to fix it, but somethings got to change with background checks for gun ownership and then there is the social aspect to it all too. More love, less hate!!!

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