I will not give in

Posted: Friday, September 14, 2001

There are so many possible dangers in this world. Paranoia and fear are reactions to these possible dangers. The possibility is always in the back of our minds. It hides in the dark like the monster that hides under the bed. When you're a child, you believe in those monsters. When you get older, you realize you have control over your life. Part of that control is the ability to not believe in those gremlins. We don't let them into our lives, so they don't have any power over us.

Then, something like the World Trade Center disaster occurs, and we are in shock. We don't know how to cope. In our confusion, we let those monsters out of the darkness. When the terror approaches, and threatens to engulf us, do we hide under the blankets, and feel mildly protected? Do we bury our heads in the sand, and not even acknowledge what has occurred? Ignorance is bliss. Do we go completely numb, and not allow grief and sorrow into our reality?

I woke up yesterday at 5:30 a.m. to the radio announcer stating the Trade Center had been hit. In some silly rationalization, I believed that if I didn't open my eyes, that what had happened would not become a reality. I could only deny it for so long. Then I got up and went through my morning ritual to create some normalcy amongst the chaos. The news kept coming at me, but I wouldn't let it in completely.

I took my baby girl outside with me to watch the sunrise and to witness some beauty, some hope to counteract the despair. I had to force myself to go to work. All I wanted to do was stay in the relative safety of my home with my husband and child. Somehow, I thought that would have made things better.

I spent the day listening to the news with growing horror. The numbness I felt was slowly being chipped away by every new report. I had to fight back the tears. I had to fight back the fear. It was palpable. You could feel the awful anticipation in the air. When would someone else be harmed? Was this the beginning of WWIII? I could imagine the terror the victims felt. I could empathize with the victims' loved ones. I shared their feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. I wondered if my child would get the chance to grow up and start a family of her own.

When I got home I hugged my husband fiercely. I sat and cried out the awful residue of the day. I held my baby, and she became my lifeline to MY reality. I realized that I will never have control over the world, and what may happen in the future. People have been saying the world was going to end since human beings crawled out of the muck and learned to vocalize their fears. All I can do is enjoy this life. I do feel sorrow for what has occurred. I cannot ignore the world around me. But, I can control how I react to what occurs around me. I will not give in to the terror. That is exactly what these inhumane people who have taken countless lives would want me to do. I will not give into the paranoia.

This is the way I will fight against the darkness.

Katrina Lee


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