I always feel melancholy on the anniversary of 9/11. In addition to feeling so bad for all the families who are going on eight years without their loved ones, it makes me remember how alone we can feel.
On 9/11/01, I had just started staying home with my children as a stay-at-home mom, and I walked them to the elementary school, then walked the baby home in the stroller, and when I got home I had the strangest urge to turn on the television. And when I saw what was happening, I felt strangely, oddly, alone. Because I didn’t know. The nation was in chaos and scared, and I had no idea. And I was alone. And no one said anything to me as I was walking the baby home! And I just left my children at school.
It was very scary to feel so clueless, and not to have another adult there to talk to. I felt so terrible for all those people, and their families, and so unsure about what was happening, and I just wanted to talk to someone about it. And I thought, wow, people must have been listening to this on their car radios and thinking gee, that poor woman walking with the stroller over there, she has no idea. And I would have continued to have no idea if I hadn’t had that odd urge to turn on the television when I got home. It was a strange realization of how isolated you can be as a SAHM. Needless to say, I always turned on the morning news after that.
I blogged about our nation’s collective memories of 9/11 over at Health Bistro today. I’d love to hear your comments (over there). Where were you when you realized what was happening? Did you have someone to talk to? Do your memories help you on these remembrance days? Please visit the post here and let me know. I’d really love to hear your story.
I remember talking to you about this. I know it did kind of freak you out not knowing about it and then not having anyone to talk to you about it. Probably why you like those immediate Twitter feeds…
Though, I heard about it like most folks on the radio in my car on the way to work. I think most of us commuters were kind of in the same boat as you. We knew about it but NOBODY was talking about it. Everybody was just staring and looking at each other in stunned silence. You know, one of those real awkward silences where you know what’s on everybody’s mind but nobody says a word? I drove half way to work that day and then went by bus the rest of the way. On the bus not a word-even the usual bus chatter was missing. At work,and I work I’m the law enforcement field, no talking. Everybody looked at each other and gave a knowing nod or something but that was it. Very weird but I imagine maybe normal in this sort of circumstance.
Finally at work we were given specific “safety” and precautionary assignments to shake us out of our stupor and then it was back to business so that helped. We were doing something.
I do feel for your situation as you had to just wait it out and watch the news and hear and see this horrible event without someone to share your anguish.
Don’t know what all this means but just wanted you to know that although we out of the home workers were amongst others I think we all felt alone and isolated-and sometimes that can be a freaky.
Yes, what you’re saying makes a lot of sense. I hadn’t really thought of it before, but perhaps that feeling of “aloneness” would have happened whether I’d literally been alone or not. I wonder if I’d run into another mom that day, if she still would have said nothing. Or if someone had rolled their window down as I was walking with the stroller, if they still would have not known what to say. Because everyone probably felt a little haunted, and a little in shock, and completely baffled about trying to put the pieces together. So maybe “alone” was a much more universal feeling than I’d realized.
I left a comment there. I felt alone too, but mostly I felt fear. It was a reminder, and still is today, that anything can happen at any moment. We truly have no control over anything.
Crystal — I saw your comment over at Health Bistro (thanks for leaving a comment there!!!). Responded to you there. : )