I had been considering sharing Jim Wright’s original post earlier today but wanted to sit with it a little more. I’m sharing it now because the type of people who report posts like this make me furious. If you don’t agree, move on to someone you do agree with; I do this every time I’m on FB. (As an aside, I’m not rehashing the day’s events here in a play-by-play but am instead examining my thoughts and some realizations I had about the day.)

The reason I needed to sit with it was two-fold: one, it was very strongly worded and I could see how some might find it offensive & I wanted to be sure I was up for any dialogue that might ensue; two, I have A LOT of feelings about this day, and it tends to be rough for me on a personal level, so I sometimes get lost in the misery porn this day seems to breed. 
However, while talking about Jim’s post with Rin, I had a startling realization: I should view this day as my personal independence day because what happened on 9-11 served as the catalyst for getting the abusive man who was slowly leeching my life away from me *out* of my life. Yes, at the time I was pregnant – only a couple of weeks out from knowing that fact, but about 10 weeks along. I was a hot fucking mess even before I found out what was happening that morning, though in hindsight it makes a helluva lot more sense. I went off two anti-depressants cold turkey. My child was a product of rape and I knew that no one would have believed me, because he WAS good at conning and, well, we know how that goes. That man lived in my parents’ house despite my wishes, but his only reaction to my pregnancy was to whine “but what about me?” without ever moving from his initial self-centered reaction. I was certain that I *needed* that man out of my life despite what anyone else thought prior to or after that point, but after so little success at getting him to leave (or even just to leave me alone), I had no idea how to make that happen. There was a lot of other fucking bullshit that is even harder to sum up in a paragraph here, but in short–It was not a good time. (In hindsight, being such a mess over all of that makes, well, a lot more sense than it did at the time. Which Rin has pointed out and tries to remind me if I forget that in a fit of MommyGuilt.)
I glued myself to news stories and news feeds until I couldn’t see anything BUT the towers falling because I couldn’t *do* anything else. I suppose in the back of my head I felt that since I couldn’t do anything I could at least watch what those poor people went through. I did this until I made myself ill and my Mom finally convinced me that I needed to stop not just for my sake but for the baby’s. I spent the night sobbing, wondering why anyone would want to bring a child into this world where people so cruelly killed their fellow man and for what? My Mom wisely pointed out that the world needs the brightness and joy that children can being and it at least soothed a little of that fear. 
Every year after that, I’ve spent at least some time re-watching the coverage, looking at pictures and names and death tolls and the little bits of new information since because I felt some measure of duty to do so. This year, though, I *knew* I didn’t need to do that. I told Rin that I should probably stay off of social media today (though I’ve not kept to that super well, oops) because I didn’t want to get caught up in all of it. Why? Because reliving those awful moments aren’t what actually helps the world be better. Making myself sick with repeated images of both the national tragedy and my personal soap opera life at the time don’t help. I’m not suggesting we forget or pretend it never happened, but this year, I didn’t feel the need to self-flagellate in the name of history. 
I don’t have a good answer as to why right now. I suspect that it’s the work of Glennon, of Jenny, of Liz, of Brené – the work that says, “love wins” & “we belong to each other” & shame isn’t a thing to hold on to but is a construct that holds us back & that the world is dark & scary but your tribe is out there, bringing light & love & hope. It’s the work that’s taken hold in my heart and reminds me that fifteen years later, I’m in a better place, in better relationships, that my daughter is healthy & loved & wonderful. (Okay, except when she’s not wonderful, but we’re working on that.) It’s the work that reminds me that even though there are people in this country who’d have us believe that we should be always afraid (especially of *those* people who aren’t like us) that we have more to celebrate than to fear because we belong to each other and there are people working to prove that every single day by simply living their lives in truth and love and compassion. Fifteen years ago, I was *terrified* of what the future held; today, I’m still afraid sometimes, but I’m also aware that life is what it is. There are no guarantees and no easy buttons; no insurance policy is good enough to protect you from what happens even if you can afford it, so it’s better to acknowledge that and live with an open heart even though it can hurt. Fifteen years ago, despite being hundreds of miles away from New York, I felt I needed to be punished for living while so many others didn’t because I wasn’t worthy of living compared to some of the people who died that day. Today, I understand the absurdity of that idea because I know that no one is more or less worthy in that regard than anyone else.
Today, I’m worried about my country & the direction some people would have us go in. I’m worried about the messages of hate, intolerance, and injustice that seem to dominate the media. But instead of letting that worry consume me, I’m looking for the stories of love, hope, compassion, and respect; I’m looking for the voices seeking justice and understanding, the voices teaching tolerance and truth. I believe that we can do better because I see people who are doing better. I know we have a long way to go, but I think there are people who can help us on that path. So, today, while I grieve for the losses we felt that day 15 years ago, I am holding space for those people and their families instead of drowning in the images of that day. And I grieve for the lives lost since that day from our soldiers to the innocents who’ve died on the path of war and fear that we’ve traveled since that day. What I’m not doing is letting this day become a monument of unending sorrow, of self-flagellation, or of guilt. Love is the name of the day.
Now, I’m going to go spend more time not on the Internets because I need to do that, & I’m going to let the thought of this day being a sort of independence day sink in because it’s a realization that is a long time in coming and it’s incredibly important. I’ll never forget what happened that day, but I’m not going to let it eat me alive anymore, either. 
Post script: Okay, so I did put this down earlier, but before I got up to have dinner and family time I realized it was too long for pure stream of consciousness and all of its rambling run-ons, so I set it aside to come back to tonight for a bit of tidying up. But I realized that while I do think that the media circus and misery porn is unhealthy and too easily pushed into lines that work against love and compassion, I wanted to make it clear that I’m also NOT judging others for still having trouble with the anniversary, or certainly with broader elements of life since then. I don’t expect the world to turn up for a genuine round of Kumbaya and magically have it stick. (That takes work, people. The kind I referenced above.) However, I do hope that we can all move in and toward compassionate learning, which also includes (to and of?) oneself. So I decided to share some of my new realizations here today. Which I’m going to go ahead and post now before the idea becomes too unnerving to Keep Swimming on through. 
Also? Huge thanks to Rin who waded through my stream of consciousness earlier and helped turned this into something, well, readable.

Jim’s post can now be found on his blog, Stonekettle Station.