Expat Thoughts In Brief 2: Recurrent Repat Nightmares

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Since my post announcing that I’m moving back to the US, I haven’t written much else about the impending move (T-minus two months). And that isn’t because I’m not excited—northern California seems awesome and I’m so ready to leave Florence.

But right now, I’m struggling with a recurrent nightmare (or all-day-mare): gun violence in the US. Shootings in streets, concerts, places of worship, cinemas, everywhere. The specific fear of my night and waking hours is gun violence in schools; my husband is a teacher, my son is in preschool, and I work at a university. And the truly frightening thing is that this isn’t just a farfetched worry, like giant spiders, but a real current issue plaguing the US.

How can I not become paranoid each morning when I send my son to school and my husband to work? How can I not be concerned about the long-term mental-health effects of the live shooter drills that children of all ages in school must practice?

Have any of you who have repatriated, or likewise become an expat, had to deal with the jarring realities of your new or former home?