Gunshots, tanks, fires.
Whispers, screams, shrieks.
He said. She said.
Mad with solitude.
Phone ringing... and ringing.
Feelings of familiarity.
This is my life. I know this. I have been through a stressful time like this before. The coup d’état in Cote d’ Ivoire changed my life as well. I learned a lot about my family that year. We dealt with stress, separation, and fear. I was young then, and I was affected more than I knew. Looking back years later, I realized I was scared. I imagined noises at night, I slept with a pocket knife, I looked under my bed, and in my closets seven times before I could sleep, and I clung to a picture of my father day and night while he was still in West Africa. My family took years to get reconnected, to lax our security, to be ourselves again. We came out stronger though.
News reporter: Crisis in Egypt.
Smiles fill my head.
I’m not happy though.
In my mind I go numb.
Just wait, it’s only the beginning.
Seeing my dad walk into the gym, and listening to him say we had to leave school due to protests, I felt myself go numb. It could not be happening again. I didn’t know if I was ready to go through the emotional and mental strain. The next week, stuck at home, watching the news, I honestly did not believe it, I had to remind myself daily, “oh yes, this is actually happening here, to Egypt.”
I’m tired. I’m fed up. All I want to do is scream.
Invigorated, humbled, proud.
I want out.
This revolution has been one of the best times of my life, as well as one of the worst. I am witnessing history, a Revolution, the exact moments in time that I read in books with fascination. I am excited for Egypt, for the people, for the region.
But what about me? This is my senior year! This is supposed to me the time of my life. I’ve lost some of my friends, I have to stick to a curfew, my classes have shrunk, and the events I’ve been looking forward to all year, working towards, well they may not happen.
Shut up! You’re wrong! Stop telling lies.
Really? No. I don’t believe it.
I ignore a lot. I ignored my friends when they left, I ignored the news after day seven, I ignored the rumors, and I ignored the people around me seeking comfort in my words. I didn’t want to feel scared again. I didn’t want to listen to my friends freaking out that they had to leave. I didn’t want to hear the news blow the situation out of proportion. I didn’t want to hear rumors of muggings or violence. I didn’t want to make people feel better about their fear. I wasn’t trying to ignore my situation, but I didn’t want to feel scared again. So I processed things a lot slower, and I came to terms with my emotions day my day.
Where is the fear?
I am not scared. This is different, the danger isn’t as intense, but it is still just as stressful. Other people are scared, my friends have rollercoaster emotions, and people’s moods are affected. Everyone has to deal with things in their own way; I’ve learned that we have to let them. I thought what I did as a child to cope with the stress was strange when I looked back on it, I thought I had been scarred in some way. In a way that might be true, but really, I needed to process. My family was disconnected for a while, we were crazy about security, but in the end, over time, we processed. It made us stronger. As a community we need to stick together and be there for each other, but we also need to realize that everyone processes in their own ways. We have to let them, no judgment.
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