I am surprised at my reaction to the Sandyhook tragedy. Or my lack of reaction, in terms of tears and sadness and heaviness.
For anyone who knows me, I am a touchy-feely girl who cries at sappy commercials and gets choked up EASILY at others’ joys or woes. I FEEL. I LIKE TO FEEL. I go to movies that are contrived and emotional because I like to FEEL things.
Last Friday I was in a meeting until almost 1:00 pm (Pacific Time), so I did not hear about the Sandyhook incident till after that. I did not turn on the news. I did not check the internet.
I saw people’s posts all over Facebook. But I could not read any articles. I could not look at pictures. I could-not-would-not look at anything too closely.
My defense mechanism was and is to put it at arm’s length. I could not dare personalize the drama and imagine this horror happening at my little Kate’s elementary school or Ryan’s elementary school. I could not think about darling little children being gunned down by an evil maniac. It was and is JUST TOO MUCH for me. So I push it away. I don’t even want to talk about it.
And although I recognize this is my defense mechanism, I feel embarrassed and kind of ashamed. Especially when I have briefly read other people’s dramatic posts.
I still have no tears.
The jaded part of me says, “Bad things happen all the time. There are horrors going on daily in millions of people’s lives. We live in an extremely broken world. This is yet another unbelievable story. And there will be more. I cannot let myself get dragged down, or dwell on it.”
Please don’t judge me. I am not as insensitive as this sounds. Maybe this cynicism is born out of experiencing crisis after crisis in my own family life. Maybe it’s because I know this world is not as it should be, not as God designed it to be. And Heaven will be. (I don’t mean that morbidly, friends.)
The only article i did read was “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother” by Liza Long, a freelance writer, whose piece made it into the Huffington Post.
As a mother of a son with special needs, I did personalize THAT. Although Ryan does not have the same challenges as this young man did, I do think about the greater mental health issues of our country and the lack of adequate funding and help for all affected. It may become epidemic someday especially if there are not proper, long-term, costly-but-made-affordable-to-most, interventions. For all ages. Many children and adults will Fall. Right. Through. The. Cracks. I do not want that to be Ryan, especially if his psychiatric health takes an ugly turn.
I thought that maybe writing about this today would elicit some suppressed emotions. But it has not. Maybe it will all be delayed. Maybe not.
What are your thoughts and reactions??