The World We Live In

I started school today. The day itself was fine. However, one thing our teachers are required to do is go over “school shooting” safety. That is, what we’d do in the event of a school shooting. Part of this meant the class had to watch two videos about just that. I understand why this is deemed necessary and I do agreed we should be prepared. At the same time, it’s tragic that we have to.

I’ve said before I don’t want kids. The top reason I’m just not interested in parenting. I have no real desire for it. However, if I did want kids, I’d be lying if I said I’d be hesitant to bring those children into existence.

Yes, yes, the world has always been cruel. School shootings aren’t new. Not for the US anyway. But that’s all the more reason I wouldn’t want my hypothetical kids on this planet. To know all it would take is for me being unfortunate enough to be the closest target when a shooter opens fire and my life can be ended in a split second is already too much for me. I can’t even sleep in the dark because of such fears. Many people would call that paranoid… until it actually happened. In fact, although I was very young at the time, I can remember my home being burglarized. No gun was involved, but seeing your mother attacked while being powerless to do anything more than fearfully hold tight your some-months-old sister (who you barely can hold because she’s heavy) isn’t exactly something that gives me the idea the world is a great place to add children to. My mother has told me I called 911 and saved her life. I don’t remember that, but if it is true, I’m glad I could do such a thing at such a small age. But I’m just as depressed I had to, whether I remember it or not.

I don’t want my toddler-aged child to save my life. I completely admit one of the reasons I would homeschool my child(ren) is the thought I could send them off to school one day, unknowingly giving them the last hug and kiss I ever would, is too much for me to stomach. I can’t do it. Obviously, homeschooling wouldn’t protect my child from a burglar, but at least only I’d be guilt-ridden for failing to protect them (and probably commit suicide to join them unless I had other children or my boyfriend/spouse).

I can’t. I’m genuinely happy I lack interest in parenthood because I just can’t have children while knowing that, though it’s unlikely to happen, it could. All the sweet moments of parenthood wouldn’t make up for the loss of my child any more than having another child would replace the lost one. I worry for my own well-being, and that of my loved ones, as it is. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a passing thought every now and then that any day could, unknown to me, be my last day of life. I’ve thought about my boyfriend not hearing from me, assuming I’m ignoring him, and believing for the rest of his life I “ghosted” him with no warning, never finding out I died. I’ve thought about the same happening with my job and my friends. On one occasion, a manager mentioned to me the reason we limit the amount of money in the register throughout the day in case our store gets robbed. Yes, that’s a lovely image to have while working behind the counter and certainly didn’t fuel my already passionate desire to stay as far away from cashiering as possible.

Maybe it is paranoia, but with every new safety precaution that is becoming necessary, it is much easier said than done not to be paranoid. And while it’s no reason we shouldn’t take them, all the safety measures there could ever be could still turn out to be nothing. The high school in Santa Fe, Texas that recently had a school shooting had a safety plan in case it ever happened. It happened, and many people were still wounded or killed.

I can’t do it. I just can’t.

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