My Free Write Monday|Emotional Insensitivity and Climate Change › Sushmita Malakar

My Free Write Monday|Emotional Insensitivity and Climate Change

I skipped last week. And I think I will go easy on myself for doing that. Texas, of all the places, saw a wave of Arctic wave. What does that mean? Texas saw a week of insane temperature – sub-zero temperature reaching -18 degrees Celsius. What caused it? Nature. Why? Because we take it for granted. If you want to know the technicality of the whole scenario, this is a great resource.

2020 was bad. Emotionally stressful. 2021 started well, but today, I am more rattled post the Covid fiasco after what we saw last week.

Nature is always surprising. Sometimes, it brings something magnificently beautiful and sometimes, it is just devastating. It’s our preparedness and reaction to it, which makes the catastrophe unbearable.

Since this is my free write Monday, I don’t really care about the order of my flow of emotions. But, I know that I have to get it out of my system to go back to normal – at least believe that I am back to normal.

It was a stressful time. But first things first, I can never be more thankful for my situation. I had electricity throughout the whole period of 8 days, where heating was the most important thing to have. I don’t even know what we could have done in this foreign land if we did not have any heating in this harsh temperature. Sometimes, we do imagine a lot of scenarios in our heads. Most of the times, they can not happen. But this time, the scenarios I imagined were real and scary.

If we faced any power outage, like many places in Texas, we wouldn’t really have any place to go to because we don’t have a lot of friends here. And even if we had, I don’t think there was any guarantee that they wouldn’t lose their power either. Hotels were the first option, but they were packed. Hotels had stopped taking booking online, and they were working on the first-come-first-serve model. We don’t have a vehicle with us right now. I don’t know how we would have travelled from hotel to hotel in that scenario. The roads were not safe at all – getting an Uber was not an option. And this chain of thought was enough to cause a panic attack.

But I am grateful!

The real-life scenario was scary too. We lost water for 3 days. We had limited groceries to survive on. And when you are living in that catastrophic moment, the future is everything but certain. Again, I am thankful that we had drinking water with us. When I am reflecting and writing, it is all blurry. We just managed, and I am grateful for the roof over our head.

I could have lost my sh*t. Anxiety doesn’t take time to creep in. I am proud of myself for not losing it all. Amidst all the fear, we had to make sure that our parents weren’t worried about us. Telling them we are fine made me tear up inside because I was under stress. I saw Rohan panic, too – he is the calmest person in the history of calm people, just FYI.

There were a few thing I did to keep myself calm:

  1. I kept myself away from social media. I understand the frustration of people who lost their power and water, and probably their house was wrecked too, but I was not in the mental space to see everyone blaming someone or the other. Texas is a hot state could have never been prepared for what happened.
  2. I did not talk about my fears. I don’t know; when I talk about things, they seem even more real. It meant keeping it from my best friend Mahima, too, until she read the news.
  3. Posted on social media like I would do normally – because that is a part of my job
  4. Extended help in my capacity to people who needed it more

I learned the power of community. I know a lot of people cribbed about the failure of the government. But some people had resources and helped thousands of people. And that is exactly what made me sail through it – seeing the humanity left in people.

I am thankful for everyone who constantly kept on checking on me. It made me feel a bit safer. But I am not happy with the insensitivity I sensed. And I am going to spill it out because it has to go out of my system. Oh God, this free-write is becoming one of my ranting posts! There were a few specific kinds of people I came across:

  1. Faking their concerns. I don’t want to elaborate on this one because those people don’t matter.
  2. Refusing to understand the gravity of the situation. Mocking and making fun of it. As I said, I kept a lot of things with me, but I think these people deserve all the drama about which they complain. They don’t deserve subtleness in their lives. There is an explanation for ignorance but no explanation for insensitivity.
  3. Reaching out to offer sympathy but thought it’s a better idea to shower their knowledge about the situation by sitting miles away rather than listening to people living it. I don’t know if I could make this clear.
  4. People not even caring at all

Right now, all I am filled with gratitude. It has passed. And other things will take time to go back to normal like water supply, groceries and other services. The only reason I blurted out here is because I could sense these thoughts can take a considerable space in my head. So, kicking them out so that the feeling of gratitude can flourish!

Things that happen in the US, make the headlines. It doesn’t mean other catastrophic events are not happening around the world. I have learned to be more aware, sympathetic, sensitive and kind towards the world and its people in general. Also, my faith in God and humanity has been restored. There has to be a superpower – nothing else can explain the last 10 days of my life.


Featured Image Source: Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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Picture Credits : Rohan Raizada