After a long day at work yesterday, teaching Theatre and Comedy courses at the University I work at and have worked at for 15 years, I came home to find out about the awful, horrific shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua College. I had sat down and put my TV on in order to feel relaxed after a tiring day, and instead, I found myself feeling once again exhausted, anxiety-ridden, and filled with fear. These shootings are becoming commonplace in this country, and it’s pretty much the saddest thing in the world to me. And please, I am BEGGING you, the person who is reading this – I do not want to use this blog piece to get into a huge and pointless debate about gun laws or politics or anything else that will only stress me out even further – I just need to use this space today to express my frustrations with the repetitiveness of what is happening in our world, and how MY world is so much more frightening without my husband in it to make me feel safe.
I will tell you straight out, dear reader … I am scared. I do not have children, because my husband died suddenly before we were allowed to have that honor of having a family together, so I don’t need to be frightened to send my own kids to school at least. But I think about my niece and nephew everyday, and the scary reality they live in, where school shooting drills are a normal thing they will go through and take part in. But in addition to being scared and sad for them, I am selfishly terrified for myself. I teach in a University. The past couple of shootings have been on college campuses, and its getting to the point now where my anxiety is taking over, and Im letting this get into my head when Im on my way to work sometimes. I did not sign up for this shit. I did not sign up to be possibly shot at, or to have to think about what would I DO if some crazy person came into my classroom of students with a gun, intent on harming us all? Just the thought of it keeps me awake at times.
Again, Im not going to get into my own personal beliefs about the issues we have with gun violence in this country, but I will say that it continues to scare me daily. Im almost sick of talking about it, because every single time this crap happens, that is ALL we do. We talk. We post on social media about our opinions, we argue, and then we send our “thoughts and prayers to the families and victims.” And then we do absolutely f**king NOTHING to change the horrors that are happening, over and over and over again. I’m over it.
It is these kinds of tragedies and situations where I REALLY miss my husband with every bone in my body, deep down into my soul. Just knowing he was breathing air next to me made me feel so safe as a human being on this earth. I want his take on this. I want to hear him get angry about this. I want him debating people who disagree with my opinions, because he was SO much better at it than I am. I want him to hold me and sit in the still of the night with me, and remind me why its not so scary to be alive. I want to be afraid with him, instead of by myself. Because this shit is scary, and I need someone to hold me up right now.