The last two weeks have seen multiple terrorist attacks across Britain. The national narrative is that of sorrow but also defiance and strength. We are not afraid.
But I am. I’m confessing something we should not be admitting to. I am afraid.
When I woke up this morning, at an unfathomably early hour because of my delightful daughters, the first notifications on my phone were friends in London checking in as safe. Seeing that made my heart sink. If they were checking in as safe that means other people weren’t. It had happened again.
I burst into tears.
I am afraid. For my country folk I am defiant. For my friends I am defiant. For my daughters I am scared. And that fear is why I pity those men. Those terrorists who have made me feel this way.
I am afraid for my daughters because I love them with a ferocity that matters more than an illusion of strength. I love them with an intensity that those men must never have known. If they had known this love, this unconditional and desperately pure love, they couldn’t do the things they do. They couldn’t do to Saffie Roussos’ mother what they did when they took her daughter.
Nobody who has bathed in such security and safety could do those things. Nobody who has been held and kissed when they’re sad, comforted and reassured when they’re scared, celebrated and cuddled when they’ve accomplished things could enact such vile hatred on innocent people.
I pity those men. Whatever misery they’ve unleashed they must have lived in more. Whatever fear they’re unleashing they must have experienced more. Bullies don’t come from nowhere. Bullies are made by existing in pain and processing it with hate.
They have made me afraid. But that is not all they have done. They have reminded me just how much I love my little girls and how secure I am in the knowledge that they will never grow up to be so evil.
I am sorry for weakening the national story of Britain staying solid in the face of terror. I am not solid. I am not strong. But I am loved and so are my children, and that is something they can never touch.
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!