I am a worst case scenario kind of girl. Exit strategies, self defence tactics, police numbers on speed dial -- I am always thinking something through, even if it is not likely to happen. I take comfort in the fact that, although I have a plan for when a bomb goes off in a museum, it won't likely happen.
The Virginia Tech incident has torn off my security blanket of doubt. And, three weeks later, I am still left in the cold and dark with no woobie or night light. Too close to home, too close to my chosen profession, too close to my family. If at Tech, why not UVa, or JMU, or even Annandale High School? If institutes of higher learning are not safe, what about libraries, museums, or elementary schools? Why those Northern Virginia high school graduates, why not my brother or his friends? I am beyond spine shivers. I am left a basket case of paralyzing paranoia from the what about, why not, and what if questions. The incident created holes in my blankie; my worries shredded the ends, enlarged the holes, and left my blanket scattered around my front door.
I hide in my bedroom, rocking back and forth in the security of loneliness. My what if questions grow from plausible fears to complete hysteria. I consider a solitary life, a life lead from the safe shelter of my own home. But it is not my life I worry for, it is my family's, my friend's, my student's, my neighbor's. I cannot control their life patterns. I cannot confine their future to a solitary room. My own safety is contingent on theirs.
Deep breathes, prayers, and new contingency plans: I slowly mend my security blanket. I life of fear is not a life at all.