As many of you have read/seen/ experienced or talked about, this past week was a whirlpool of catastrophic events in this country. The massacre of 49 people along with their on going list of their injured plus ones.
Now we can all get into a heated debate about guns, “radical islamists”, and homophobia but where do we draw the line when it comes to giving space and time to cope and process such traumatizing events?
The other night I was on twitter and was watching interviews done by CNN with survivors from the Orlando shooting. We had a a girl in her early 20’s and two men who seemed to be in their mid 20’s. As they recited their tragic night on live TV I couldn’t help but think, where is America’s morality?
The young girl continued with her story, explicitly telling every bloody detail. I could hear her voice quiver every time she talked about her friends. The guilt she carried with her, I felt the pressure of it. The look in her eyes like she hasn’t sleep in days, I could feel her exhaustion.
The two young men spoke about their experiences, again regurgitating those terrifying moments for cameras and press. The deranged look in their faces as they spoke about every detail, minute by minute. The helplessness they felt was noticeable but the gratitude they were given for being alive another day was present.
All of a sudden I wasn’t angry anymore. I was deeply hurt. An fresh open wound creating itself. These people have to live the rest of their lives with PTSD. Live the rest of their lives with the fear of walking outside their own homes and here we are parading around their stories as if they haven’t experienced it enough yet. Maybe the numbness of one’s mind cant contest to that and say “it hasn’t hit me yet”.
Cameras stop rolling, people finish asking their questions for their NY Times and their Washington Post and their CNN and that’s it. She goes home and reminisces on the times she took for granted and these young men go home and try to sleep without having nightmares about bullet holes and the sinister laughter behind the man holding the gun. And we go on, reading every headline and staying “informed” with stories that can scar our lives. I think that’s enough to be honest. Let people process and debrief and learn to be human again. Let us not scream at each other behind a keyboard passive aggressively. Let us remember to be human again. To stop numbing our reality and start paying attention.