I’m at a loss. The constant flood of news stories coming in through my Facebook feed about discrimination, hate, fear, war and people fleeing from it, protests that go nowhere, threats to freedom and civil liberties–the list goes on and on–are keeping me from living my own life. It distracts me from all the things I should be doing for myself and my family. I’m not functioning because I’m worried, both about my own future, my kids’ future, and that of the ones I can’t help.
Yes, I can hear it already. Poor me, sitting on my privileged white heterosexual ass in a nice warm house, wringing my hands but doing nothing. It’s true. I don’t feel as though I do enough, yet what can I do when I’m shut in my house up here in Canada? I want to help. I want that more than anything. It’s why I’m so obsessed with what’s going on. So far I’ve shared, I’ve given my opinions and I’ve tried to make sense of what’s going on. I’ve tried to help others put it in perspective. To encourage them to do what they can. I write because my words are the best weapon I have. I give consolation when I’m able, but to what effect? It all inevitably falls flat because I am not living it.
On the contrary, I’m not looking to be absolved for having a good life and I don’t want anyone to tell me it’s okay, that I can just go on with my life and not think about what’s going on in the world. I know I need to look after myself. I’m just not sure how to go about it.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. I’m sure there are others out there who live with this worry, and this survivor’s guilt and sense of helplessness. How do you cope when there’s nothing you can physically do? How do you separate yourself from it all, to do what you must to live your own life? We don’t help anyone, least of all ourselves, when all we do is sit at home and read the reports and wring our hands.
I fear this is the way it will be for the rest of my life. I can’t save the world, and I certainly can’t shut it off and ignore it. Perhaps I need to take a break from it though. At least long enough to care for my own family.
But I’ll never stop asking why peace is too much to ask for.