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When Did This Become Normal?

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By Lizzie | Subscribe: http://bit.ly/sub2storybooth | Comment, like, share this story.
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Growing up, Lizzie never realized how deeply she was affected by what she saw on the news and experienced at school. But when she took the time to look back, she started to understand that events she experienced really impacted her way of thinking and daily life, and the level of her anxiety.

When Lizzie was younger, she lived at Fort Hood - the biggest U.S. military base in the country. She was there when a horrible shooting happened. The day after the horrific event, she went to school and saw armed guards surrounding the building. When she approached a guard, he assured her that he was there to protect her. But because Lizzie was so young, she didn't understand why she needed to be protected at school. At such a young age, the whole thing was really confusing.

Then, when Lizzie was in middle school, another student brought a weapon to school. The student was caught before he was able to use his weapon, and the school was able to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. However, even though Lizzie was so grateful that things didn't escalate, the whole experience still really scared her.

After that, Lizzie felt a similar sense of fear, confusion and sadness when she heard about the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook. She couldn't imagine how the victims must have felt, and she hugged her younger brother and told him she loved him after hearing about what happened on the news.

Then, when Lizzie was a senior in high school, she found out about another tragedy at Stoneman Douglas. As much as it broke her heart to hear about yet another school shooting, Lizzie couldn't help but feel numb to the pain - and that scared her even more.

After each event, Lizzie became more anxious in her daily life. When her school had an active shooter drill, she couldn't help but fear the worst, and she immediately texted her brother to make sure he was okay.

Lizzie believes that, although this is hard for anyone to comprehend, it is especially difficult for kids and teenagers. She doesn't understand why her generation has to feel any sense of fear when walking into a school, going to a store or heading to a movie. She may think to herself, "When did this become normal?" However, Lizzie has hope for the future. She thinks that her generation will be the change that the world needs to make a difference, and she is hopeful that future generations will not have experience what Lizzie and her classmates went through.

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