Monday, February 25, 2008
Helpless & Hopeless
Today, I felt helpless and hopeless. If you go to Newsday.com, you will see why.
I work at Stony Brook University.
We were all carrying on with our normal day. Typing away at our computers and answering the telephone when it happened. Someone came in and said, have you heard? There is a gunman on campus. You can't leave the building and we are locked in.
It felt surreal. Like I was there, but I wasn't. Like I was reading the newspaper about someone else. I work in an office, I thought. This isn't supposed to be a scary job.
But it is.
Gunman on campus. Those three words through me into a state of cement. I might as well have been a statue today. Because that is about as useful as I was.
Next we heard that doors had to be opened. It was not "legally" a lock down period. So, we sat and we waited, with our doors open. I swear every time I heard a door open, I braced myself with a horrific thought.
Can we blame the university? I say no. I work in a small city. The campus is huge. How can they be held responsible for someone else's illness? And I say illness, because these type of people have to be ill. I kept hearing, this was bound to happen from many of my co-workers. And I kept thinking, how can you predict this?
Sure, I know it's been happening elsewhere...but you never really think it's going to happen to you.
As the afternoon progressed, we heard that armed male was off the campus and we were in the clear. But I keep thinking, what about tomorrow?
I am actually afraid to go to work.
I think the worst part, was that I helpless and hopeless. Helpless, because there was nothing I could do. Hopeless, because my hope was being able to make it out of work that day. And is that really hope? Shouldn't that just be normal?
I feel bad for the students, the parents and the staff at SBU. Helpless and hopeless is no way to be.
I pray for a better tomorrow,