I'm Not A Direct Victim Of Terror, But These Attacks Changed My Life FOREVER

Photo: unsplash / william randles
Terrorism Has Changed My Life, Even If I'm Not A Direct Victim

The world and my view on it, of these places and events, will never be the same.

By Gwendolyn Poppe

Nothing is safe. There used to be some buildings, destinations, and events that you thought you could go to without a care in the world. Once upon a time, there were places that felt unscathed from the problems of the world. The scary things used to happen somewhere other than your backyard.

Now that isn’t the case. Now it’s all up in the air and there isn’t anywhere free from harm's reach.

That makes me more than sad, more than depressed. It means I am passed being innocent. It means I always assume the worst. I jump easy at a loud noise, I never relax in big crowds. I have scars. I have no hope that people are inherently good and no notions that the world is a pleasant place.

This all means that I am desensitized when I watch the news. This means I have no fear about traveling overseas because the worst could take place on my street just as easily.

There is no point worrying about potential tragedy because it's guaranteed to happen.

Most recently, at an Ariana Grande concert in England. The arena in Manchester was filled with teenagers and children; the youngest death was of an 8-year-old girl.

A festival on Bastille Day in France. A man drove his van into crowds celebrating, doing no harm, in Nice.

The Boston Marathon. Thousands of runners, even more spectators, all in the oldest city in America.

An elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Children, the most innocent beings of all, attending school just like any other day.

The sidewalks in Times Square in New York City. A veteran took his alcohol and his rage behind the wheel and drove through the tourist crowds, killing an 18-year-old girl.

Virginia Tech students and faculty… watching The Dark Knight Rises, a Batman movie, in Colorado… dancing the night away in an Orlando nightclub… a rock concert in Paris… those working a regular shift in San Bernadino… civilians commuting on the underground in London.

The list goes on. This is only what I remember.

Some of these have been labeled terrorist attacks, others act on people’s own accords, whatever the reason behind each of them is irrelevant in my mind. They happened and they can’t be undone. 

Families and friends of victims have had their lives forever changed. The townspeople, the travelers, those with no immediate connection even feel it. The world and my view on it, of these places and events, will never be the same.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.