shock, fear and hope for the future

seagull in the stormI’m struggling to find the words right now. Finding out the result of the EU referendum last Friday was like a punch to the guts. I was already reeling in the climate of hate and vicious rhetoric and violent action that had built up over the preceding weeks, and had hoped against hope we would vote for togetherness and stability. That the lies of the leave campaign (which have emerged so clearly since the result was announced) would would be revealed in time. That hatred of the political elite (who, honestly, I can’t stand either) wouldn’t lead people to vote against membership of a union which affords us so much protection in so many areas and in so many ways.

But it happened. Britain voted leave. And I still can’t get my head round it. Despite my usual positive outlook, I’ve been struggling to say ‘never mind, move on, look to the future, think positive’ or any of that. Because the future is so uncertain and the repercussions are already scaring me. The racism that the vote has legitimised, the jeering ‘We won, so get out of our country!’ mentality that is bubbling up all over the place makes my blood run cold. And the leave camp is already going back on pledges like ‘We will give £350 million a week to the NHS’ and major campaign issues like putting an end to free movement of labour (which personally I have no issue with at all) that people based their votes on. Some leave voters are already disillusioned and angry. Many remain voters are distraught. What’s going to happen next? Where’s it going to lead? I worry for all of us, I really do.

But. BUT…

Amidst all of this, you know what makes my heart sing? The wonderful, thoughtful, compassionate people that appear left, right and centre in my life. My family and my friends, the people I bump into in the playground, or at soft play parties or in muddy fields (well, I do live in rural Northumberland). The people who fill my social media feeds with understanding and love. All of them. All of you. That’s what gives me hope.

I said today on Facebook that I was stepping back from it for a bit – just to give myself some space. I am exceedingly lucky that – despite what I’ve heard about the bile that’s been spouted on social media – my personal feed is full of kind, empathetic people. But there’s so much information being shared and so much worry and so much pain – grief even, at this result. And I can’t face it all. I can’t take it all in. I’m like some kind of overused sponge – it’s exhausting me.

So, like I said, I updated my status with a little ‘I’m taking a break but I want you to know you’ve all provided me with so much solace these past few weeks’ kind of thing. And then something lovely started happening – I started getting direct messages and texts from friends. Little “I hope you’re ok’s” and “I know what you mean’s” and “I feel that way too’s”. Wonderful, warm, genuine messages of solidarity and hope. Man, they made me smile. I’d been sending some of my own over the past few weeks but after receiving these ones, I thought I’d up the pace and let more of the people I care about know that I care.

And it’s started to make me feel better. It might not be much, but it feels like something I can actually do. A way of looking to the future with something other than fear. Because it means something, doesn’t it? – to be loving. To be loved.

That’s what I’m focusing on now.

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13 thoughts on “shock, fear and hope for the future

  1. Dana

    I think it’s smart to take a break. You are an excellent model in social media self-care, and I should do the same for my own reasons. Keep close to your heart the hope and kindness and love you are witnessing through friends and family. I’m thinking of you as well. xoxo
    Dana recently posted…Summer Writing, LivingMy Profile

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  2. Turning Up In Devon

    Hi Maddy,
    I too am still reeling from the E.U Ref result. I spent much of the weekend glued to the news (around parenting) and have gone through a myriad of emotions from shock, to grief, anger and sadness. I didn’t feel up to finishing my latest post for Turning Up In Devon and so I will post it next Monday. It’s easy to feel defeated but I’ve had a word with myself! There is a way forward, we have to teach our children that we are part of something bigger (on all levels) and that hating and intolerance should never be accepted. See you next week xx #whatimwriting

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  3. Marija Smits

    Such a thoughtful post, Maddy. And yes it’s true: “Because it means something, doesn’t it? – to be loving. To be loved.”

    To be loving and to be loved means a lot.

    Sending you much love!
    Marija Smits recently posted…Home page textMy Profile

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  4. Powerporter

    I can only agree with everything you have said! I have never been big into politics but I feel so immersed in it at present that at times it felt like I was drowning so I too grabbed a life jacket and pulled myself out of the murky waters of social media. I spent all day on Friday watching the TV coverage absolutely dumbfounded by our country. I’m glad we can all stand together in unity about our wish to remain. I’m sorry it has affected you also, let’s hope as the dust settles and the politicians realise what may happen they will be less and less likely to press that button on our untimely exit from the EU. #whatiamwriting

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  5. Geraldine

    It’s really terrifying times with the result of this vote. I only hope there is some positive movement in this now. You’re right to take a break, it can be overwhelming. Beautiful to see the response you received. #whatimwriting
    Geraldine recently posted…Bamboozled by BloggingMy Profile

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  6. Sophie Lovett

    It is certainly a time of heightened emotions all round, and like you I have been floored (in a good way) by the amount of love and unity that has been flowing out of my Facebook feed. I just hope that, along with the revelations that have come out of the more distressing aspects of the week’s news, this all translates into some real positive action, and we can start to see a general shift to more open, compassionate politics. I realise that might be a bit of a pipe dream, but I’m sticking to it for now! xx
    Sophie Lovett recently posted…Beyond BrexitMy Profile

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  7. mama elsie

    This is very sad and disheartening times indeed but it is incredibly heartening to see the show of solidarity amongst the people that I believe are responsible for the real strength of this country. It certainly does mean a lot to be loved and it’s what we must all focus on in light of the unknown path ahead.
    mama elsie recently posted…another place to fallMy Profile

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  8. Alice @ The Filling Glass

    Its quite incredible, isn’t it, the feelings that are aroused by reaching out to others and being reached out to yourself? I personally have made a particular effort in recent moths with this and it is so beneficial. I’m glad you have such supportive friends, you deserve them. I think our immediate communities and connections are undervalued in our current society, but for any change to be successful it has to come from the grassroots, rather than be imposed. Which works both ways – trying not to be political though! xxx
    Alice @ The Filling Glass recently posted…Gratitude Journal JuneMy Profile

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