[WARNING -- BUMMER OF A POST AHEAD]
From the time that I was a very small child, I have been one of those people (like Holly) who feel others despair and suffering at a very personal level. I was not allowed to watch Live Aid (the original), any of the coverage of the famines and genocide in Africa, or the tsunami coverage because I would sit for hours engrossed... crying myself to sleep and awakening to horrible dreams. There are movies that I can not watch because the suffering portrayed in them stays with me far too long, haunting everything that I do. N. can attest to the fact that I cry for homeless people when I see them on the street, even when they are busy cursing me out. I simply can't shake them from my mind or heart.
For this reason, I have been (to the best of my ability) avoiding the news. I have preferred to watch only morning news shows, as they can't show really troubling footage due to the likelihood that young children maybe watching. That is right, I have been limiting myself to the "Wiggles"-version of news broadcasts to try and stay informed without getting destroyed.
Until today, when I turned to CNN for a quick update and was knocked over by what I saw. For the past three hours, I have been held hostage by the images on my TV and the stories on the Internet. I had to lock myself in the bathroom so as not to freak out the nanny with my sobbing. And when I got control of myself, I turned off the TV and shut down the news websites.
I know that everyone has been moved by what we have seen and heard over the past few days... but for me, when I see those images, I can not turn away, I weep openly for these people and their pain and suffering and, in some cases, the grief for their suffering is simply overwhelming. I want to save them all, but I am paralyzed by the scope of the fear, pain and desperation.
I give my money dutifully, offer my prayers and support, and hope that I can shut it off and out long enough to get through my day.
I feel incredibly selfish as I KNOW this is not about me. I am tucked safely with my family here far from the disaster. My friends and family are all safe, and I am so glad to hear that others, like SugarMommy's in-laws, are as well... but then there are so many more who are... in need.
Godspeed to all desperately trying to get away. May you find the strength to survive and rebuild your lives.
There are collective, constant whispers being offered up on your behalf... that you may find some comfort in this hour of great, great need.