I have written much lately on my Facebook page about denial. In fact, I call it the denial bubble. This bubble helps me retain my sanity when without it I would surely lose it. Inside this bubble there is an infinite supply of coffee and chocolate. I am deluged with requests to join my bubble. A huge serving of Tiramisu buys you a prime bubble location.
It’s not that I don’t want to know what’s going on in Israel. I do. But if I allow myself, I will be trawling the internet till 4 am every day reading every single article, every news report and every opinion piece. The news would overwhelm me and stop me from living my everyday life.
I have two sons in Israel. Also brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins. Parents. My everyone is there, other than my husband and the rest of the kids. Every one of them is touched in some way by the war. But they don’t allow their lives to stop. They go to the shelters when necessary and then they leave, picking up life where it left off.
Six thousand miles away, it sounds a lot scarier. Our imaginations are so much worse when we do not, have not experienced it for ourselves.
There’s one friend who emailed me every time news of the death of a soldier was released. Asking me if I’d heard from Aryeh. She cared – but it was poorly timed and poorly worded caring. She no longer does so because of the pain it caused me. After all, every soldier is someone’s son.
I know very well how to check the websites, and the Twitter and Facebook feeds. I read the recent Times of Israel article about family notifications. I know how to find the news – I am choosing to limit my reading of it to a few articles a day. It isn’t that I don’t care – it’s that I cannot allow myself to care as much as I will.
Distance is so hard. Being so far from my boys when our country is at war is rough. I want to message them constantly that I love them, and I have a need to know where they are at all times. But they are adults, living their lives. And they need to have that freedom to live such lives.
They text and email, they WhatsApp, they Facebook message – I generally hear from them every day. And if I don’t it has to be ok because a) Aryeh is in the army so he doesn’t have time to check in with mommy dearest every single day and b) Naftali is living his life and doesn’t need to check in with Ima half a world away.
So, when people ask how I’m coping with my kids being in a war zone, I answer that I am living in my denial bubble, and it’s serving me as well as can be expected.