I'm not sure why I'm posting here, because I normally don't frequent this board. I guess 9/11 is something of a... delicate subject for me. I didn't know anyone who was killed in 9/11, it's the aftermath that's still going on that's affected my life the most.
I had dropped out of school the year before, I believe. I was supposed to graduate in '02, so I should've been a senior that year. I was very depressed and spent most of my time sleeping, that day was no different in that respect. My mom didn't wake me up until after the towers had fallen. She pounded on my door and woke me from a dead sleep, telling me that the world trade center towers had collapsed. That's exactly how she told me, just that the buildings had collapsed, and I only vaguely had any idea what the WTC was, so I had no idea what was going on. I was groggy and bleary and I got up to come to the living room and see what was going on.
By this point people were talking about how it was some kind of attack, and that the president was going to a secure location - which happened to be Omaha, Nebraska, where I lived. At this point, I was getting pretty nervous, and I logged on to AIM to talk to my fiance about what was going on. I was really upset by the images of the people fleeing and falling from the buildings, to this day if I think about it too hard I still get really upset. I have very strong empathetic reactions to things, and I don't feel like most people actually understand how strongly I feel when I empathize with someone. But I'm digressing.
I logged onto AIM, told my fiance about it, he said they were hearing about it in Norway (long-distance relationship), and I told him how the president was hiding in Omaha. That really upset him, he felt like the president was a "giant walking target" at that time, and I remember him asking if we had someplace safe to go. I reassured him I'd be fine. We spent the next several weeks glued to the TV, finding out more details.
Now, I mentioned at the beginning of this post that the aftermath is what affected my life the most. My mom became obsessed with 9/11. She became absorbed into the internet, poring over every minute detail she could find about it. She became obsessed with the conspiracy theories, and insists that the US knew, that they planned this, that they detonated the towers to make them collapse, that it was a missile and not a plane that hit the pentagon... she stopped cooking, stopped cleaning, stopped taking care of her children, drove my dad away because of this (though to be fair he was a terrible husband - a cheater and emotionally abusive, so it was only a matter of time before that would've fallen apart anyway). I moved out during this time because I couldn't live there with her like this. There was a period of about two years where the house had no heat, no running water, and was filled with garbage because she was obsessed with pursuing this (and some other things, but mostly 9/11). She and my three youngest siblings were kicked out of not one, but two houses because she had allowed them to get so bad, the county condemned them.
Though things have gotten a bit better with her (she no longer allows the house to deteriorate now that she has grandchildren), this is still going on to this day with her. I have her as my friend on Facebook but I have to keep her hidden, because she never stops posting these outlandish things, demanding "the truth", and bemoaning the fact that the general population doesn't believe her and the other people who believe these things. She's one of those people you'd imagine screaming into a megaphone about how the government is out to get us, the president is a pedophile appointed by the Illuminati, et cetera. Once she got a weird virus on her computer (gee, I wonder how that happened, all the highly trustworthy websites she visited...) and she was dead convinced it was the government trying to remote-wipe her computer because she 'knows too much'.
So... yeah. It feels kind of selfish, but my main thoughts these days about 9/11 are how it marks the point when my family began to fall apart, and how it's still such a huge part of my mom's life in a very bad way.