The Aftermath: Manchester

“Police say 22 people have died, with 59 injured, in a suicide attack at Manchester Arena [at an Ariana Grande Concert].”

Grande was not one of the women I was considering writing about for my WEW feature, but I will be following what she does closely in the aftermath, and hopefully reporting back.

As I tried to peel myself away from last night’s disaster of news crews scrambling to report, live blog updates hoping to confirm, and a city hoping to make it home safe I accidentally watched a video of a terrorist taking claim of the attack and vowing to continue to go after all the crusaders. Shocked, I hit my home feed and it refreshed to a bundt cake being hollowed out and filled with strawberries and whipped cream. There was no continuity in the terror message I had just accidentally accessed, seeing the thumbnail but thinking it was a report on the video — not the video itself.

Somewhere in Facebook’s algorithm the stark tragedy was lost, and I was to turn my attention to baked goods — but I couldn’t. I never know how I manage to move on from these things. It is an obsession at first and then as exposure therapy works we just kind of ‘get used to it’. I wish for the healing and recovery of all those still in hospital, all those affected, and a world shocked.

I followed the story since it was first released yesterday evening. Luckily I managed to peacefully sleep a normal night with a dose of anti-anxiety medication.

Why all the hatred? Why all the violence? Let’s love.

I am sure Manchester and Grande fans will come together to pay tribute to those lost and injured in, as well as shaken by this tragedy, and there is not much else to say as details still need to be revealed.

As this is now confirmed as a terrorist attack, I can only imagine the confusion going through loved ones’ heads right now. It is one thing for an unthinkable accident to happen in a venue but for an act of hatred of this magnitude is really puzzling.

We are not safe. That is the reality. (Please see update here.) I hoped, and hoped, and hoped that this was an accident when the reports first surfaced. Not that it would make the loss any easier to stomach — but somehow, it may have.

Love your brothers and sisters.

Compassion.

I woke with a heavy heart today. As a concert go-er myself and just having gone to one a couple of weeks ago and an upcoming dream of a show by Lady Gaga in September I know the sheer thrill of just being in the same room as one of your idols.

You never expect the worst to happen as the excitement is all-consuming. For those of you who have read my blog post ‘Tragedy Porn’ you know I am having trouble tearing myself away from the live news streams, pointing out things like Grande’s demographic and the shocking potential young age of some of these victims.

I want to sob. I want to scream. The injustice.

My heart aches for the world. I don’t think I will ever understand and I SWEAR if this alleged suicide bomber is ruled as mentally ill I will condemn him for tarnishing the reputation of those rehabilitating, on the other side of anger, the other side of hatred, the other side of violence, just trying to make sense of it all.

And this will usher in a new wave of mental health disorders, of paranoia, of post-traumatic stress for those attending, their loved ones, and the generation of youth growing up in a world uncertain.

Tonight I relinquish my fair-weathered fandom to be an Arianator.

Love and peace to you all.

(Editing note: an apology has been issued for this post. You can read more here)

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