Enough to go Around

by Bella Rum

It’s impossible to write about my own troubles this morning before mentioning the mass shooting at a Batman screening in Colorado. My personal worries pushed me into wakefulness around 1:30 am. I came in here and visited a few of you and headed back to bed at 4:30. I still couldn’t go back to sleep so I turned the television on around 5:00, and there it was. The world outside my house was in turmoil again.

Later, I tried to assess how shocked I was when I heard the news. Was I disturbed? Definitely. Was I sad? Absolutely. Was I shocked? I’m not so sure. When our history teacher announced President Kennedy’s assassination, I was shocked. Almost five years later, when I woke to my clock-radio and the news of Robert Kennedy’s assassination, I remember thinking, Again? Was I shocked? Maybe, but not as much as when President Kennedy was assassinated or Martin Luther King. Was there a scar on my brain or heart that muted the shock this time around?

Humans are adaptable. That’s another way of saying that we become desensitized when we are repeatedly faced with the same stress. Each time we survive a traumatic event, we become more inured to the pain. This is a good thing; it helps us survive trauma, but isn’t it also troubling?

My heart goes out to the victims and their families. Here’s hoping our compassion never goes the way of our ability to be shocked.

The reason for my sleepless night? C has given notice. She will leave October 1. I now have a moral, financial and health dilemma. Those of you who’ve been reading for a while know what I mean. Decisions must be made and there is no easy solution. I felt terrible when I talked to my brother this morning. He has shouldered a large part of the financial responsibility for Dad’s care and, like me, he does not want to resort to a long-term care facility. Dad would be very unhappy there. Dad has declined in certain ways, and it’s becoming more difficult to care for him. I think that played a large part in C‘s decision to leave – that and personal reasons. That’s all to tell for now.