One mom sent her daughter an 'I love you' text message while at work and was deeply troubled by her response.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on August 1, 2023. It has since been updated
Trigger warning: This article contains themes of gun violence that some readers may find distressing.
All this mom wanted to do was tell her young daughter that she loves her. However, the 13-year-old's response shocked her and broke her heart. In a TikTok video, the mother, Shari, whose username is @gen3raleducation, explained that her young daughter was home while she was away at work, which was about an hour away. She just wanted to let her daughter know she was thinking about her. "I'm at the office and my daughter, who is going to be 14 in August, is at home by herself today," she explained while filming from her desk.
After sending an, "I love you" text, she said she "got up to take care of something. I came back and I had two missed text messages saying, 'Are you okay?'" Before the confused mom could even read the second message, her phone started to ring. "I answered the phone and she was like, 'Are you OK?'" Shari explained. Confused by her daughter's concern, she asked the young teen what she meant and Shari's daughter heartbreakingly explained that she shouldn't have sent the "I love you" text without any context. "That's what you send when you're in trouble... like a school shooting," her daughter told her.
The response left her mother absolutely devastated. "I couldn't text my daughter in the middle of the afternoon to tell her I love her because she thought I was in danger," she said as she ended her video, adding, "F--- this s---." Sadly many others could relate to what was said. @rosemaryhuard175 commented, "The trauma these children have been put through with active shooter drills. The results are gonna be horrible. They should all be getting therapy now." @jennygee444 added, "Yes. Teacher here. Not at all surprised by her PTSD. Hugs to you and your baby."
This year—which is not even over yet—has had 28 mass killings with 140 total victims in the U.S. According to PBS, in the period between January 1 to June 30, the nation saw the deadliest six months of mass killings recorded since at least 2006. In 181 days, 140 people died in one country. "What a ghastly milestone," said Brent Leatherwood, whose three children were killed in class at a private Christian school in Nashville on March 27. "You never think your family would be a part of a statistic like that." Such incidents also cause increased stress to those who survived the attacks.
According to the American Psychological Association, more than 79 percent of adults in the country say they experience stress as a result of the possibility of a mass shooting, reports Social Work Today. "It's clear that mass shootings are taking a toll on our mental health, and we should be particularly concerned that they are affecting the way many of us are living our daily lives," said Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D., APA's chief executive officer. "The more these events happen in places where people can see themselves frequenting, the greater the mental health impact will be. We don't have to experience these events directly for them to affect us. Simply hearing about them can have an emotional impact, and this can have negative repercussions for our mental and physical health."