In case you haven’t seen, there was another major tragedy on US soil in the waning hours of this past weekend.
As of early Monday morning, reports had the death toll at 58 and injured were numbering over 400.
It’s an absolutely travesty, and something needs to happen. This happens far too often and it’s beyond ridiculous.
But that’s not the point I want to make here.
I woke up this morning to a Facebook feed full of “praying for Vegas” and “I can’t believe what happened in Vegas” posts, which is typical after events like this or the Pulse shooting or Hurricane Irma.
There’s nothing wrong with those posts. There’s nothing wrong with being concerned about your friends/family in Vegas, or sharing information about how to help after an incident like this. There’s nothing wrong with demanding gun control or asking how you can help.
I feel like I need to address the other sorts of posts. The posts that were twisting the shooting to be about them. The posts that borrow trouble from Vegas to make someone’s life more dramatic-sounding.
There’s been a lot of “I’ve been to Vegas before!” or “I know someone that was in Vegas a week ago!” or “I have a trip planned to Vegas next year!”
As a recovering drama queen, these kinds of posts stand out to me. I spent a lot of my twenties borrowing trouble. I would find the most insignificant connection to a tragedy and make it about me.
I pulled other people’s drama over myself like a cloak, to distract from the fact that I was a broken, sad person who really needed help.
Let’s ask a blunt question here for a minute: if you are not directly affected by the shooting, are you making this awful, terrible, horrible thing about you?
If you’re posting about the Vegas shooting, are you sharing information for those who might be affected or are you playing a tiny violin for yourself? Are you expressing love and support for people who have fallout from this shooting to deal with or are you posting the sadness for yourownself?
People who are actually going through this, with family or friends who were attending this concert, they do not need to soothe your emotions. They are busy dealing with travel to Vegas to stand by bedsides in hospitals. They are handling funeral arrangements. They are broken, waiting for news from their loved ones.
Figure out your connection to this whole thing. Is it more than one degree separated from you? Are you having to stretch to find a connection to the shooting? Is it really necessary to post anything beyond “how can I help you? Please let me know”?
It took me a long time to realize when I was being overly dramatic. I had a lot of patient friends who would call me out on it nicely and quietly, but I had quite a few friends who called me out real loud and angry.
And I don’t want that for anyone. I want you to handle your own drama and quit trying to steal everyone else’s drama.
Please do not expect those who are touched by this tragedy to have the capacity to listen to you ramble on about the time you stayed in Mandalay Bay, as they have bigger fish to fry. <3
If you’d like to harness your recovering drama queen in helpful ways, here are some ways you can help the victims of the Las Vegas shooting:
- Here’s a GoFundMe that friends of mine have been sharing. A young woman who lives in my little town was attending the concert and is currently in the ICU.
- Here’s an important resource for explaining the situation to children. We shouldn’t have to, but we do.
- Donate to the GoFundMe set up by Steve Sisolak (the County Commission Chair from Las Vegas).
- You can donate blood. If you’re local to Vegas, see the list below. If you’re not, United Blood Services is allowing local branches to send units out once their local needs are fulfilled. Check for a location near you here.
Want to help in Las Vegas? Go donate blood pic.twitter.com/Q8Qk8M3Ijd
— ALT-Immigration 🛂 (@ALT_uscis) October 2, 2017
- Call your representative and ask what they’re doing about gun control laws. Don’t know who your rep is? Check here.