I Need a Content Warning for All. The. News.

Photo by Elijah O'Donell on Unsplash


 
I used to have the news playing in the background in the mornings while I got ready for work. I would half pay attention while getting dressed, but mostly I was listening for traffic updates for my trek to Cincinnati through miles of highway traffic. I eventually had to stop this morning ritual because stories about mothers murdering their children and people being assaulted in their homes became too much for me and my anxiety to bear. I won’t even get into what news of President Cheetoface McTwitterThumbs does to my anxiety.

Who am I kidding, yes I will.

I love horror movies. The more it fucks with your head and makes you see monsters in the shadows, the better. But nothing scares me more than children in peril. I’ve heard A Quiet Place is masterful, but there’s no way I could watch it – it’s nothing but children in peril. Sadly, that’s what the news has become. There are stories about mothers drowning their children in the bathtub, children being kidnapped from their front yards, and school shooting after school shooting after school shooting.

I can’t fucking take it.

When I hear these stories, I picture my own children’s faces and empathy makes me feel what I would feel if it were them in those situations. My heart starts to race, tears sting my eyes, and the next thing I know, Anxiety has hold of me and won’t let go. I spend the rest of the day worrying about my babies and the pitiful America they have to live in.

Speaking of a pitiful America… I don’t have the anxieties over our Dictator in Chief that some do. I know many who completely lost it when he was elected. My level of anxiety hasn’t quite reached that point. Mostly I’m annoyed with his childish behavior and appalled that people think it’s okay to act like him – to degrade women and minorities, simply because they’re white men.

This morning I saw that he tweeted “BE CAUTIOUS” to the Iranian president. What the ever-loving fuck?! Why is he still allowed access to social media?! Do you want to start a war, because that’s how you start a war. If this doesn’t cause you anxiety, you’re not paying attention.

And that’s part of the problem. So I try not to pay attention.

My anxiety isn’t going to make the situation better. Yes, I know, I could protest, I could call my congressmen, etc. There are a number of things I could do. But Anxiety won’t let me do those things. That involves peopling, and I don’t do peopling.

So I pretend I live in a happy bubble where our country hasn’t gone to shit. Because when I pay attention, I start to worry about the mayhem this doofus could cause in the next few years. I worry about the refugee children who have been taken from their families (there we go with the children in peril again) and the gays who can’t order a fucking wedding cake without being judged and ridiculed.

Then I end up in the fetal position on the floor, afraid to leave my home. That’s not productive.

So I turn a blind eye, try to ignore the negativity on social media, and hope for the best. I’m a closet optimist. I have to believe it’ll be okay. If I don’t, what’s the point in living?

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