I live in one of those communities, shut down, right now, by the escaped Boston Marathon bomber being on the loose.
I’m writing this as I’m watching this on TV. I assume many of you share this with me — seeing these scenes.
It’s hard to feel safe right now. Again, as on Monday, I am getting messages from people who are NOT here, asking me if I’m okay. I appreciate people reaching out. That does help.
I just got a phone call from the local police, telling us not to leave our homes. I am picturing this guy, roaming the streets, becoming more desperate, perhaps about to break in to my home.
My bf came downstairs, while I was in the kitchen, and I jumped. I jumped out of involuntary fear.
Every place that is shut down, right now, is a place where I’ve lived, worked, or gone to school.
As I am writing this, the media are showing “an unfolding scene” in Kenmore Square, another place I’ve spent many, many normal, pre-2013 Marathon Day hours.
The whole world is watching, as the media — right now — is filming this “movie”, this story, filled with speculation and fear, with “tension so high” (I am quoting the TV commentator, as I am watching too, right now). I’m in a movie I didn’t choose — that I didn’t want — right now.
I recognize all the scenes they are showing, on TV — as these two guys have been wreaking more havoc– these guys, whose movie I am apparently in, right now.
I’ll say it.
This feels traumatic, on some level. This is — in the moment — changing my world in ways I cannot control. It is making my world look different It is making my world — all these familiar touchstones of my entire daily life — look dangerous.
I am in the first stage of trauma, I guess. Shock. Not understanding. Trying to make meaning, in the midst of violent chaos which also FEELS VERY FAMILIAR, but in a new way. What’s being reported by the media — more bombings, shooting, escapes, chases — are familiar to me from movies. The location, the geography, the visuals, are super familiar to me, from every day life.
I don’t know about you, but I get really affected, when I see a local scene I recognize in a friggin’ movie.
This is new, though. Not sure how it’s going to affect me. I am aware of lots of people, all around me, being affected — being changed by a new experience.
This will have an effect, for a while. I’ll see it in myself, in others who live where I live. I’ll see it, in my work, as a psychotherapist, who works at one of the affected hospitals.
I don’t know how this story is going to end, but I do know that I’ll be seeing the effects.
I know that I — and lots and lots of other people — will be trying to make meaning of this, in order to regain a sense of “enough safety.”
Like I am trying to make sense, right now.
I wrote on my Facebook page, earlier this week, the following: “I’m grateful I live in a world where I can blog. Really.” I wonder if people knew what I meant? I wonder if that makes sense to you, right now.
When I was working with people in groups, yesterday, we were making lists of “What Helps Right Now.” People named these things: “Distracting,” “Helping Others,” “Taking Care of Myself,” “Not watching TV”, “Connecting with others.”
My addition to the list? “Writing about it.”
Thanks for reading.