In My Life, 10 Years After. Author: RaineDate:09/12/2011 13:02:01
Most of us in this little small blog family have known each other for more than half a decade now. Every September, like much of the Nation, we have shared our stories of that day, we have shared our feelings of the weeks and years after and all that has happened. We have shared all of it, the good the bad the ugly - anger and hope, fear and courage.
Yesterday, it marked a decade -- a decade of the events that were put into place for us all to meet. Even though the darkness of the past decade brought so many of us together, there have been many truly wonderful happenings to rise out of it. It has been cathartic, supportive and inspiring.
Over the past decade, I have felt a strange disconnect about the events of September 11. I got home late that evening, and I watched more of the news on TV. I was trying to understand why and how people could be upset having not been there as I was. I would never -- and will never -- take anything away from how they feel; it was always just really hard for me to understand. I have no question in my mind that the families that lost loved ones probably think the same of me and my story of that day. I would have given anything to be able to have watched it all unfold at home.
I was trying to explain this to a friend a few weeks ago. She said, "Through the "miracle" of live tv, it wasn't some totally abstract event we could hear about in retrospect. We had a bird's eye view of all of the events as they were happening, and the horrible task of trying to sort out what it all meant for ourselves."
It was at that moment when I realized why I, every year for the past decade, watch the MSNBC rebroadcast of that horrible day. It wasn't really picking at or reopening a wound-- the media always starts doing that a few weeks in advance. The wound had not healed. For me, I wanted to watch it so I could stop crying. I wanted to watch it so I could get rid of that strange disconnect that I had with what so many people felt about that day. Most of all, I wanted to be able to let it go. People cope in different ways and for me, it was my process. I knew one day, I would be able to get thru this without sobbing like it was September 12, 2001. Since then, I've watched that coverage, year after year -- as though I was home on that day... as though I had not gone to work. I wanted to feel the connection that was missing. I want to feel something other than what I felt that September morning.
Yesterday was the day. I don't know why. I might be because we went to the memorial at the Pentagon the day before. It might be because of what my husband said about his story, the one he wrote and posted: "I posted this 2 years ago, and on the 10th anniversary of that ugly day, I will trot it out one *last* time. I think 10 years is long enough to hold onto that kind of pain." I promised myself years ago, that I would not try to hide or stuff my feelings about that day, but that I would try to always deal with them as rationally as I can. It might be that this was me letting myself heal emotionally as I needed to, but yesterday, the tears stopped.
The sadness will always be there, and whether we like it or not, we will always live in a world that includes the events of September 11. Your children will never understand the way you or I do. But then again - I can't understand the way you do. This belongs to us as a Nation, but also to each individual, separately. The reality is that things did change, for good and bad.
Yesterday, for the first time, my wound took a big step closer to being healed. I was able to look in the sky and watch airliners flying to their destination, and I felt ok. I was able to ponder the good things that have happened -- without feeling guilty or disconnected.
For me, this was a big step forward, I was able to claim my story, accept it, and I am ready to move on. I like how Bob said it to me yesterday, it's like letting go of a balloon and watching it float up and away. I don't have to forget, but I can stop crying. -- 10 years after. Thank you for being such a big part in helping that happen.