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My Fear for my Siblings by Daniela Gaspar

The news can make me very uneasy. I tend to stay away from the television whenever there's an emotional report. I start to overthink distressful situations going on in the world. School shootings are my worst fears. I have a younger brother now at the age of fifteen and my youngest sister is five. It was only my brother who worried me when I was fifteen and he was ten. He’s very important to me as he is also the only brother I have. The bond between us is really close and secure. We do everything together and always partner up. My family during that time was a family of six so in the family vehicle it would be my brother Emanuel and I in the back. We always took the back seat and everyone knew it. We would even accompany each other on the smallest things like throwing out the trash. We had nicknames for each other. We used the reference of Scooby Doo; he calls me Raggy for the character Shaggy and I call him Scoob for, of course, Scooby Doo. Even to this day we still call each other by our nicknames. Anxiety was a factor for me. I would have breakdowns about it during my classes whenever I experienced a sudden discomfort and overthought. I would spend most days with the guidance counselor who tried to calm me down, followed by a call to my parents. My guidance counselor suggested I go to therapy to have someone to talk to and find helpful solutions. Both my parents tried calming me down and telling me everything was gonna be alright, but how can someone be calm knowing anything could happen at any time?

I never found schools to have protection for kids. You're taught in case of lockdown to hide but for what? Hiding will not help you in classrooms that all look the same. The hundred kids who have to hide in a classroom? To lock the doors? Like a gunshot to the doorknob won't open it right away. Shooters don’t choose a pistol or a shotgun to use. They choose a gun that has high ammo and multiple rounds of fire. People will die if hiding and/or running so what will benefit them? How could you possibly run away from a bullet that is way faster than you? How does this not affect someone as much as it does to me and how do they control it? At times I feel like I'm crazy for how much I overthink while everyone else seems to remain so calm. My sister was never a worry to me when she was young obviously since she was just a baby and didn’t go to school. Until she started going to preschool those thoughts of my brother came rushing back to me. I was good for some time and relaxed about thinking for my brother but now this was about my baby sister. I started thinking of the Sandy Hook shooting. All those babies that never got to have the life they deserved and went down in the worst way possible. They died not knowing what was happening and only had fear, wanting their parents for comfort but that was not possible. The thinking got to me since the police and enforcement take time to get there and every second counts in shootings. Every second can save a life. Especially in small schools where damage could happen in less than 10 minutes. My brother has a reading disability, and he is slow on certain things. He takes a long time to react and always has his head down when walking. It worries me that if anything were to happen he would be injured or even the most unthinkable could happen to him. I need him to be on top of his planning and escape routes. I want him to be fast on his feet and thinking methods. I want my sister to be safe and stay quiet and follow rules to be safe.

Most of all, I want to see my siblings grow up and live their life. I think it’s better to die of old age because they got to live those long years and have the experiences, we all hope to have. My brother, now 15 and my youngest sister who is 5, are my concerns in school. I have had talks with my brother, and I'm more confident that he’ll be prepared even though it’s not something anyone is ever prepared for. That is my biggest fear that still follows me till this day.

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