I didn’t think I’d be writing this kind of post today. Half asleep and still dozy I was alerted out of my sleepy stupor by a sudden groan of my husband. What. WHAT? I asked urgently. My PTSD brain immediately poised for panic.
“It’s Manchester. A terror attack…………. FFS” he said.
“Fuck” I said.
‘No, not Manchester. Not the city I was in only last Saturday.’ thinks me.
“It’s an Ariana Grande concert, loads of teenage kids there, girls mainly” he said.
“Oh god”. I said.
I lay there in silence, in shock. I thought immediately of my family. ‘They are there, 20 minutes away from Manchester. But I cannot connect with them just because this has happened’. I weigh that up quickly in my logical mind.
My emotion mind says different.
I think then of my girls. They want to go to a concert coming up soon in Newcastle. Their first one. ‘I don’t want them to go’, I scream (in silence, in my head).
‘I don’t want them out of my sight. The world is cruel. People are evil. Trust no-one. Nowhere is safe’. I think.
I am still triggered from watching the harrowing but FANTASTIC BBC programme, Three Girls, about the sex trafficking network in Rotherham. I watched three episodes of that back to back.
The world is evil and people are evil.
Organised crime is on my mind, after my recent [unwanted] trip to the North-West. Networks of powerful people trying to hide their crimes’ are on my mind…..Now the fucking terrorists, advancing North.
It is becoming one of the more pressing problems in society. Attacks like this are happening with increasing severity. The world is corrupt and volatile and unpredictable. What a hostile climate for our children growing up into :(
Since the wars ended, we have got used to living in a relatively civilised way. We are relatively safe. But along came terrorism.
Not only do I know lots of people who live in Manchester, but I was there, days earlier. Triggered. Hating every second of being in that awful place with all those awful memories attached like shitty cheap key-rings you can’t untangle off your house keys.
Not now, Not Manchester.
But that is selfish. I am not affected. I was NOT at the Ariana Grande concert. I am NOT one of the parents trying to find their missing children. I am NOT one of the people waiting on people in critical conditions in the 8 hospitals where people are being treated at. I do not believe I know any of the causalities, or those injured….as far as I am aware.
[My family are not your archetypal Ariana Grande fans. Not her target market.]
The cruelty of TARGETTING children is fucking low brow. The lowest and scummiest of the conceivable low.
Am I angry at the terrorist? yes, of course I’m angry. WE ALL ARE.
“Look for the helpers. Reassure yourself of the wonderful way Manchester pulled together in the aftermath of this attack,” people say.
Yeah, that’s one way to look at it, and definitely something to be celebrated. But does that philosophy make this hurt any less? Does it compensate? No. It doesn’t.
I am not even going to begin to say I can empathise with how the people in Manchester are feeling right now. I am not going to insult anyone by saying I know how the bereaved friends and relatives and injured traumatised people are going to be feeling right now. I can NOT. If I did not know if my child was dead or alive, fuck knows how I would cope.
BUT, I do know trauma. I do know TERROR. I do know evil. I do know corruption. I do know about organised crime networks. I do know fear. I do know panic. I do know rage. I do know what it feels like to live with a broken heart which you believe can never be fixed. I know what it’s like to live with physical and psychological injuries. I do know what it’s like to trust and have that trust broken down. I do know what it feels like to be the victim of injustice. And I do know the intrusive life-altering utter chaos of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I know what it’s like to be scared of a bang. I know what it’s like to run for my life. I know the feeling of heat from a crowd of children moving en masse. I know what it’s like to be around traumatised children as they are being traumatised; traumatised by the very evilest of adults.
I know what it’s like for one person’s life to end, and your pain to just begin.
MANCHESTER. I cannot even begin to comprehend what you are going through, but MY HEART IS WITH YOU.
To the Manchester bomber….