Lockdown Drill (solsc2015) 25/31

Mt.Shasta, our closest ‘sacred mountain.’ Because sometimes we need a little of that power.

Today we had a lockdown drill at our school. We knew it was coming, but not when. The last two have begun during morning break, when everyone was out on the playground. The students know just what to do. They run as fast as they can for whatever room is closest. They get on the floor, away from doors and windows and be very quiet until they are told otherwise. In the past years, these drills have been a source of a great deal of stress for me, but this time, apart from making sure to do everything right, I was without emotion through the whole thing.

Backtrack to May 1, 1992. I was a student teacher in our local high school when we had a school shooting, in the building in which I taught. I was trapped inside with my class of 25 students for seven hours. What happened that day carved a deep rut in my spirit, one which for many years held residues of fear that were easily excavated by seemingly insignificant happenings. When the sheriff came to talk to the staff about what had happened that day and he got it wrong because he was barely a kid then and he was just telling what he’d heard, I got up and left the room. One year I had to leave school early on May first because I couldn’t bear to be at school at the time it’d started. Lockdown drills left me trembling even twenty years later. Heaven help any student who dared joke about any aspect of it.

Today it was different, and I know why. Last summer I met a shaman, Lisa, a fellow writer at the retreat I attended.  We talked and as we became acquainted, she asked if I’d been in an accident or something, as she sensed something was amiss with me. I told her, “No, nothing I can think of.” And then, “Well, yeah, actually…” and I told her about the event at the high school. She immediately offered to help me do some work to clear that out of my system. She could tell that it was still affecting my life in some important ways. The work we did was profound. At the end of it she said that she thought things would be different for me, especially in regard to this detritus from the shooting.

And she was right. Today I very calmly and without any particular emotion, did what I had to during the drill, and later,  when the students asked, because another teacher told them I was there, I told them the story of that day. I had only told it a very few times in the past 23 years, but today I found I could do it.

I learned so much from Lisa that night.  Although I still don’t know how to understand some aspects of it, I think about the things she told me every day, still working through them. I’m so thankful to have this part of myself back. So. Thankful.



22 thoughts on “Lockdown Drill (solsc2015) 25/31

  1. Lisa Weikel says:

    YEA! Oh, Lynn – I’m SO delighted that things went so well for you today.

    I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to have been of service to you. As I think I mentioned when we worked together this summer, you have a story to tell. Those children and other teachers today? They NEEDED to hear your story – as do many, many others. For yours is a story of courage and survival (among other things). And healing.

    You were ready, and when you were, I just showed up to facilitate.

    What a wonderful time we had in Taos, eh? Wish we could do it again this year. I value our friendship and the time we had together.

    Thank you for this post and your very kind words. <>

  2. debbussewitz says:

    Healing comes in many ways. I am glad you were able to face today day today with courage, calmness and a sense of self–for both you and your students.

  3. lynnjake says:

    Lisa Weikel, I’m so glad you read it. I was hoping you would. I will always be grateful to you. I wish we could meet again this summer! Sometime we will.

  4. Lisa says:

    WOW! I’m glad you had someone help you through it. 23 years seems like a long time, but not when something is still haunting you. Sept 11 still gives me issues every year. I can’t talk about it, and I was 3 hours away from all the drama of the day.

  5. blkdrama says:

    So cool Lynn. I’m intrigued to know more about the process of learning you were able to do with Lisa. So fortunate that met up with her.

  6. janiceewing says:

    How fortunate that you met someone who was able to help you heal from that terrible experience. I’m sure that something like that stays with you forever, but you seem to have regained a sense of peace in spite of it.

  7. Leigh Anne says:

    What a scary time in your life. I cannot even imagine what that was like. It is sad that we have to have drills like that. So glad that you made it through.

  8. Tricia Ebarvia says:

    I’m sorry to hear about the shooting at your school those many years ago. Whenever we have our own lockdown/evacuation drills or go through training, I always have such a feeling of dread, so I can only imagine what you must go through. I could especially relate to your post when you talk about how you felt anytime anyone either brought it up, or worse, joked about it. My first year teacher was when 9/11 happened and one of my best friends was actually killed. I was in school when it happened and watched it unfold on the classroom television. For many years, I had a difficult time on that day. But at some point along the way, I was able to find some peace. I’m so glad that you were able to find a little bit today.

  9. franmccrackin says:

    Wow. I always have a problem with that kind of drill, without the trauma of having been in a real situation. So glad you have found healing. I wonder if you might write more about that experience sometime.

  10. Maureen Ingram says:

    What a beautiful and precious slice about healing. I am so happy for you, that you were able to process this horrid event. I believe your presence is so important to your students – to be able to tell them what happened, that you survived, you have lived, you have grown – wow. Hugs to you, on this day of reminders – and a day of strength!

  11. Patricia Kaiser says:

    Wow, Lynn, what an inspiring story! I’m curious about the work that you did with Lisa that day in Taos, and think it would make another awesome Slice. Sometimes I will have a person tell me about their trauma many times, and just listen. At the end of those repetitions, the trauma from the event is reduced tremendously, as the person can talk about it without having the person in the grip of the event (that’s a super shorthand way of describing the process). I’m wondering if you and Lisa did something similar? Sending you love and light, warrior-woman!

  12. lynnjake says:

    The drills are kind of scary, Fran, but I am glad the students know what to do. I am not sure about how or when I’ll write about it all. Probably sometime!

  13. lynnjake says:

    Patty, it wasn’t really like that. It was definitely a shamanic experience. I’d love to tell you about it sometime. Thanks for your words.

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