I started to grind my teeth. Not the grinding teeth in the middle of the night while I am in a light rem sleep but the kind that happens in the middle of the day, wide awake. What is completely disturbing to me is that I am not aware of this grinding. I would not have believed Tim when he told me I was if it wasn’t for 1-my friend that is a dental hygienist that looked at my teeth back in February for fun and 2-my jaw has really been hurting.
It is more than just grinding. I clench my teeth. I have done this for a long time. It seems that it only took 27 and a half years for my clenching to turn into grinding. Who needs teeth anyway? This week, the grinding has been especially bad. I think it is safe to say it has to do with stress. Just got to love it when stress has a very physical response. I have just felt completely heart sick and violated by all the violence that is going on. Violence is something that has been going on for a long time but it has become tangible by striking places and people I love.
2005, I left Idaho in the dust and saturated my feet in the emerald city of Seattle. I have counted many times and always lose track of all the different houses, schools, towns I have lived in. Lets just say that I never completed a section of school from start to finish with the same mascot and I have never lived in one place longer than five years. That is until I moved to Seattle. Seattle Pacific University became my home. The place that I felt comfortable and was able to be myself. For all intensive purposes, it was my Hogwarts. Four years of my life were spent running from one class to another, meeting up with friends, and having my eyes open to the possibilities of what the world offered. I felt safe and had the first consistency in my life. I graduated in 2009 but I still have this feeling of home when I think of SPU.
Thursday June 5, there was a shooting at SPU in Otter Miller Hall. In the building I had many classes in. At the university that shaped my identity. I’m not sure how to exactly express how I feel. Are there words?
Sunday, I got to gather with some of my friends to celebrate an up coming baby. These friends are the ladies I met the first quarter at SPU. We forged some strong bonds. It seemed we were all still in shock about the events that had taken place at SPU. None of us could really grasp how we were feeling. Ache, shattered, sick, surreal, molest…what is the right adjective?
Now, I am five years removed from my time spent at SPU and this is how I feel. How then does my current family feel? Those that are spending their hours running from one class to another, meeting up with their friends, and having their eyes opened to the possibilities of what the world has to offer? My heart breaks for you who are currently students.
During Friday’s service, my kids and I sat behind some current students. I shared their pain as they openly wept and locked hands leaning on each other for comfort. Our home is now violated and covered in Paul, Sarah, and Thomas’s blood. The current students have lost their innocence.
Two days ago there was a shooting in Las Vegas. I have a hand full of family in Las Vegas, so I was immediately thinking of them upon hearing about this shooting by Wal-Mart. My cousin is a police officer in Las Vegas. He is going to be getting married in a couple of weeks and the girls are going to be flower girls. I started to grind my teeth as I talked to his fiancé the see if he was ok. He was one of the first officers to respond during the shootout. I felt sick, I FEEL sick. I’m thankful that he is physically safe but am sad about how much pain he must be going through with the loss of friends and the added hours of work that are now required of him.
And then today. Yet another school shooting in Oregon. No words…
Guns are used in all of these tragedies. Yes that is true. But taking guns out of the equation, there is something else going on. Why are people doing this? Why is there a need to go out and kill? I’m just not convinced that more gun control is the answer. I DO believe that there should be strong regulations about who can have a gun, I’m not trying to argue that. Gun control just seems like a bandaid on a severed artery. Is it the prescription medication that people are given that is pushing them to be rash? I do think that we should visit this idea that antidepressants can really bring out some violent tendencies. But there has to be more going on. I always feel if you truly know someone you will love them. What are these ‘villains’ saying, what are they crying out? What are we not listing to?
I have no answers. I only have questions and a very sore jaw.