Safe

This isn’t going to be my normal (slightly delayed) after concert post. I’ve tried to type it up several times now but it’s just not going to happen, so I apologize. Feel free to stop reading here as what I’ll be putting next is really just going to be me trying to put the mess in my head into words.

Two Fridays ago, I went into work for my normal overnight shift. It seemed like a normal busy hockey weekend at the hotel, there were kids running everywhere and lots of noise complaints. Almost exactly at midnight there were ten shots fired in the second-floor hallway. Everything after that is mostly a blur so I won’t go into any details here. I didn’t expect this incident to have as much of a toll on me as it has. I thought that once the night was over, I would be able to just get up and move on but that hasn’t been the case. I’ve found that I can’t really focus on most things and while I returned to work for the first time on Wednesday, I wasn’t able to go beyond the first floor.

There has been an outpouring of support from family and friends since the incident happened. People I haven’t spoken to in years have reached out to make sure that I am alright. A part of me feels like I shouldn’t be this affected, I never saw the shooter, I was never on the floor where the shooting happened. I guess it’s more of the fact that an incident like this happened at my job. A place where I thought it was safe. I know that there’s plenty of violence all over the world and that something like this could happen anywhere at any time but seeing it on the news and experiencing it in real life are very different things. It took away my sense of security, or maybe it was more naivety.

I have lived in a lot of places since I graduated high school. I’ve always relied on public transportation and I’ve spent a lot of time travelling on my own and sitting outside music venues waiting for shows. I’ve carried pepper spray, pocket knives, and a Taser for a while and they always made me feel secure, now they just feel like playthings.

My Grandma’s on both sides have asked me quite a few times if I ever felt unsafe at a concert but I really haven’t. I know that there have been several attacks at concerts but again I always had that sense of “that won’t actually happen to me.”. Now I’ve experienced it firsthand.

I did not go to the Dropkick Murphey’s show here in Grand Rapids last Tuesday, I won’t be travelling to Chicago this week for Set It Off. Right now, I am focusing on getting myself back together. I am not going to let this fear keep me back from doing what I love. I am getting counseling to help me deal with this. Both private and group counseling with the coworkers that were there with me that night. Everyone is trying to deal with this in their own ways, but everyone is taking care of each other as well. Tomorrow we’re all going to go bowling and try to feel normal again.

After the first I will be getting myself back on schedule. There is a lot of concerts coming up in March that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time and I’m going to make sure that I go and have fun. Concerts have always felt like safe spaces to me, somewhere I can go and be myself and no one is going to judge me.

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