One occupational reality of someone who grapples with trauma and its media and cultural representations is that a moment of terror — I mean MY terror — is (after the worst of the shock wears off) a chance to learn about, not only myself, but about what makes terror.
I don’t want to imply that I come quickly to clinical distance. I am fully capable of feeling terror and trauma. I feel it right now and have felt it for the last hour and a half. But I long ago gave up the idea that any amount of intellectual understanding would immunize me from these or any feelings.
Please take a look at the news bulletin above that I received about an hour and a half ago from CNN. I am still shaking.
Perhaps you help me explore what variables came together — everything from the larger social context to the nature of the story to my own shtick (which of course you don’t know very well) — to give me (and now I read thousands of others) almost unbearably terrifying feelings.
The worst is over, but I am still shaky.
As of 5:25 EST, this was where the story stood.