Terror, Weeds and the Attack in Orlando

This week I think it’s fair to say that the entire world was shocked by the events at the bar in Orlando. The horror of the massacre perpetrated by a hating individual casts a violent shadow across all of us.

To whomever this is new for – This was a Terror Attack and this is Terror. This is the fear an attack is meant to inspire.

Whether the motive was Religious, Mental or some other disorder the truth remains. It was a Terror Attack.

I grew up in the grip of terrorism, I’ve seen this before.

At the moment, to many, this entire issue has devolved into a platform surrounding the gun control debate and led from that to the election.

That’s not what I want to discuss. I want to talk for a moment of living with terror, about learning to deal with a world that seems intent on killing you and learning to cope.

I was seven years old when the Second Intifada started. I learned to be afraid of any loud noise, of buses, of strangers, of flipping over the newspaper and seeing another burnt out bus and a list of pictures of fatalities.

About five years later things calmed down a bit, the suicide bombs mostly stopped and life went back to what I hesitate to call normal.

The Terror that had been instilled didn’t stop.

I used to run home from school, terrified of what I would find, I’d jump at the sound of fireworks, the sound of a buses breaks hissing, a car backfiring. I couldn’t get on certain bus lines, kept virtual maps of every family member in my head to try and make sure that they weren’t going to be near any “Danger zones”.

That’s something that Americans are going to have to learn to live with it seems. Or I would rather say, that this is the truth Americans have woken up to, they can change how they deal with it.

First of all the Americans have the good fortune to be in the worlds good graces and receive empathy from governments of the world unlike Israel, this still doesn’t detract from the horror, it does however put more resources at their disposal whether it’s group charities to help the bereaved or organizations built to support those dealing with the aftermath.

Terror is a hard load to bear, it leans over your shoulder like some morbid vulture giving you the sensation that death is imminent, every choice could be your last.

But that’s not true. I learned this by living through it, from living a life of being afraid to leave the house, not because I might be hurt but because I wanted to keep my loved ones in sight at all times to a person who can and does walk comfortably down the streets of Jerusalem.

I want to help people understand something that took me nearly a decade to realize: You can actually cope with this in a method other than denial.

If you’re having anxiety in the aftermath of this event, I highly recommend addressing it, I suggest you do a little research first, call an expert, seek some outside advice, the resources do exist for you to tap, if one visit, to one Therapist can give you a modicum of comfort, you should go for it.

Fear is an insipid weed that blossoms in the dark, once it gets inside you it sets up roots and festers, growing into a great monster of a thing you can’t even imagine dislodging.

Don’t let this weed grow, let some light in by talking about it, bring your fears to light, with an expert, with family and with friends. it’s okay to talk about it.

I’m not saying that people may not have some valid fears but the lesson I learned growing up in terror is that you can’t stop being terrified until you say what it is you are afraid of. Until you talk about it, that weed will remain hidden.

About the Author
Yochanan Brody, 23, was born and raised in Israel to immigrant parents. He is a collector of antiques and oddities, a massive bibliophile and an amateur historian.
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