For 18 years this is what I’ve done. I’ve been Ella* – ABC News producer. I’m not sure what it’s going to be like without all this.
On the other hand, my kids are growing up and this is it. You get one shot with them. Pretty soon they won’t want me around. So I want to be with them and not have to run off to London or Turkey or a suicide bombing or war.
And let me tell you: things got so bad during the early 2000’s that I woke up literally doubled over with stomach pain every morning. I went to specialists and had X-Rays and blood work done. Nada.
Then I visited a gastroenterologist and we got to chatting. And we started talking about my work. I mentioned to him that there wasn’t one suicide bombing outside Jerusalem I didn’t cover throughout the years. Not one!
I’d get the page or call and have to pry my 6-year-old daughter off me to run to the scene. At bombings I was literally walking through a sea of dead bodies and body parts.
Then I’d get home and all I wanted to do was shower. And my daughter would run and cling to me because she wanted to be with me. And I’d dream about the bombings. Then wake up doubled over.
The doc closed my file and told me: Your problem isn’t here in the charts. It’s your work. You need to see a psychiatrist.
So I did. And the pain stopped.
Maybe not being a news producer will be a good thing.
Conversation with a recently laid off former colleague