Tag Archives: fear

And so it is

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I am rarely lost for words.  Ask anyone, I can talk…a lot.  I can also write reams and reams.  But I am lost for words.  I am just so angry and frightened, horrified and sorry, terrified and just plain sad that for the last week or so I just haven’t known what to say.

Three days ago I was dropping my twins at nursery when the alarm sounded.  I ran back to the classroom and accompanied 30 4-year-olds to a shelter.  The boom came seconds later.  We waited and then we all trooped out again.  Normality resumed.  Or our reality at least.  This experience affected me more than any of the other sirens, any of the earlier experiences of this messed up situation. I saw the faces of the children who just carry on as this is normal.

I have read a lot, a lot about the situation.  I have listened to Israelis, Palestinians, British, American, European points of view but it just makes me more angry and more sad, it doesn’t make any more sense.  Because that’s just it, the situation doesn’t make sense.  The suffering, the deaths, the injuries, the terror, it just doesn’t make sense.

All I ask is that everyone does as I do.  To listen to all sides.  To try to understand that this is not a black and white, goodies versus baddies, David versus Goliath situation.  In today’s warfare there is nothing simple.  And who pays the price?  The citizens, the innocents who are unable to control their own destinies, who often don’t know what is being done in their names’, right under their noses.  Haven’t the people of this region suffered enough?

Nobody wants their children to grow up in fear with terror a part of their everyday world with bombs and rockets and hate as part of their everyday language.  My 4-year-old son told me that we go to the shelter because ‘people want to kill us’, he told me he dreamt of something long that came from the sky and gave him a bump on the head.  My 6-year-old can explain how the iron dome system works, my 4-year-old daughter doesn’t like being trapped in the shelter, as we go in and close the door she wants to get out.  I don’t want to try to compare what we are experiencing with others.  I know there are people on both sides of the fight who are suffering far, far more.  I also don’t see why I have to apologise for my fear for the future and the days ahead for me and my family.  It may not be as bad but is this a normal way to live?

And so it is and it looks like it will be for the near future and who’s to say that if peace comes it will last for more than another couple of years.  I look to those who hate, to those who make the decisions to make the right ones, for once.  To end this.  To stop the killing and the bombs and the rockets, before there is no going back.

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The Fear Factor

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It’s not easy living here.  There are a million reasons why, if you’ve seen the news in the past few days you know one of them.  I am not political, I don’t think I am smart enough to understand the intricacies of the situation here.  What I do know is that I live here and sometimes I get scared.  Funny thing is, it’s actually not OK to be scared, if the rockets are not falling near you, if a member of your family or close friend isn’t in the thick of it, then you have to just get on.  Maybe its other’s bravado or maybe I am green and still don’t get that you shouldn’t believe everything you see on the TV, either way I am sometimes a bit embarrassed of my fear.

In 2006 in the middle of the Lebanon war, my husband was a soldier and I was home alone.  It was a time before the childers, so it was just me and the dog at home.  In the middle of the night an alarm went off.  I was petrified, I couldn’t decide what to do first; get dressed, get under the bed, call someone, turn on the news, so I did 3 of the 4.  I called a friend who didn’t pick up, put some clothes on and turned the news on, all whilst sitting on the loo – now I understand the phrase sh*tting yourself.  I was frantically trying to remember where my husband had told me the safest place in the apartment was, I thought I had to get downstairs to the bomb shelter in the basement.

Just as an aside, as a middle England (some might say middle earth) girl, I am still surprised that I live in a place with its own bomb shelter and I have my own gas mask.

Anyway, the news was saying nothing, the siren was still blaring – how much of a warning do you get? –  I looked out onto the street, opened the apartment door; there was no-one in the stairwell, in fact there was just the siren and an eerie lack of movement.  Even in my panic I had remembered to put the dogs lead on (didn’t want him running into danger alone) and we sat, Jesse and I in the stairwell, cuddling, waiting to see what would happen.  I figured that geographically speaking, a bomb from Lebanon would come through the opposite wall and we were at least a little protected (because bombs can’t get through walls right?).

Then silence.  And more silence.  I went back into the apartment and checked the news.  Nothing.  As I came to my senses I realized that the siren didn’t sound like the practice siren I had heard, nor did it sound like the same siren that’s sounded out of respect on Remembrance Day or Holocaust Day.  In fact it sounded rather like a house alarm.  Oops.

That’s fear for you, it gets into your system and eats away at your subconscious so that rational thought (especially when half asleep) doesn’t have a chance to get in.  If it had really been a siren I did just about everything wrong anyway, apart from putting the dogs lead on of course.  I lived in Tel Aviv at that time which was by no means in real danger of being attacked – not so lucky those living further North.  18 months into living here and with a husband in real danger my brain just didn’t think straight.  I can laugh (a lot) about it now but at the time I didn’t tell anyone.  I was embarrassed by my unfounded fear and angry that I had been so ridiculous.

I can’t imagine how the people living with a real siren sounding many times a day, for weeks on end feel. Their fear is truly unimaginable. Let us all hope for a swift and peaceful solution as the situation once again heats up, that the normal people, like you and I, being targeted will soon see an end to their justified fear.

For myself and my family I hope that the next time I hear a siren it is as a mark of respect and not as a warning.