kallaneeboi: (Ellis Graveworthy)
[personal profile] kallaneeboi
Well, things have been rough for a couple of weeks now. We had the tornado on April 27th and then graduation (even though the ceremony itself is postponed until August) on May 7th. So things have been strange and weird and broken for a couple of weeks, and I'm still working through everything. 

I haven't really talked much about how the tornado has affected me. Yes, I've told the story of where I was, how I hid, my reaction upon seeing the tree that fell on the unit next to mine, and how I had no idea the extent of the damage until the next day. But what I'm dealing with now is not feeling safe in my own apartment, felling my mortality, and hearing other people's stories of having trees literally land inches from them as they cowered in the hallway or bathroom. Stories of dogs on leashes flying through the air, kept from blowing away only by their owners straining against the monster to keep the dogs from being sucked away. And it's hard. Every time the wind blows, I hear the tarp on the roof of the unit next to me flap in the wind. It rained last week, before I had my iPhone and working cable and internet and I very nearly had a panic attack, which I have never in my life had. Working in the library with the public, I hear people's stories every day. There hasn't been a day for the past two weeks that the tornado hasn't been discussed or picked apart or some amazing story of survival or a heartbreaking story of loss hasn't come to me. 

I've been avoiding most of the news coverage, simply because I cannot handle it right now. Mom doesn't really understand. When I try to talk to her about it, she reassures me that I'm fine, it's okay, everything will be all right. Yes, I am physically fine. Mentally, though, I'm at about 75% of where I normally am, and that fluctuates minute by minute. 

One of my coworkers who lost everything came in on Monday. She's as broken as I've ever seen a person, and I can't help her. I think that may be my biggest problem, that this thing that has happened is not something I can fix. I'm a fixer, or at least I try to make things a little more bearable. I offer what I can, but my normal approach is useless, turned into futile flailings by a monster that ate half of my town and many more besides. I'm way out of my depth.

I know the stages of grief, I'm familiar with them. But something on this scale doesn't even register on line of denial-anger-acceptance. You can't help but accept it, it's there, it's in front of you. You see it every day, in the broken trees and houses and windshields and limbs, in the news and on Facebook and Twitter. You hear it on the radio, in conversations in the store, in quiet times when you're alone. You're angry that it's happened, angry at the fucktards out looting and mugging and preying on people by running scams when their victims are just trying to rebuild their lives, angry at God or Thor or Mother Nature or who the fuck ever for letting this happen. But you can't deny it. It's there. It's there when you're trying to figure out where you want to eat with a friend and you have to remember that the restaurant you want is now flat, or when you go to get your oil changed and the garage is a pile of rubble. Trivial things, little things, things you took for granted are now wiped from the map.

So, yeah, that's where I am mentally right now. Coping. Shaky, messy, unstable, but coping. It's not pretty, but it is what it is. 
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kallaneeboi

May 2012

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