Seems like such an odd question – is terrorism working? I guess to answer that question accurately I would have to know exactly what terrorists are trying to achieve in the first place. I don’t understand how or why those people act like they do but simply, I suppose that their goal is to inflict “terror” on the rest of us – either as a punishment for not adhering to their religious ideology or simply because they’ve been brainwashed to do so.

Time after time, attack after attack – the likes of which are becoming more frequent and appear to be done in an “ad hoc” manner. Now vehicles have become a common weapon of choice and all of a sudden simply walking down a footpath is fraught with danger.

After every terrorist attack there are always stories of good vs evil. Of those who ran to help and to assist and save and of those who carried out the crime in the first place. Inevitably we hear the resolve of peacefulness and determination not to let callous murderers change the way the rest of us live our lives, or stop us from doing what brings us joy.

But if I must be honest with myself I have to admit that for me, their terrorism strategies are working. Not in the way that I’m about to jump on any religious bandwagon, but it certainly has had an effect on me when it comes to choosing how and where I spend my time.

Wherever I go now, I know my closest exits. When sitting at a restaurant I want to choose the seat facing the door, so I can see who is coming in and what they are doing. If I’m in the cinemas, I know how many rows there are to the emergency exits. I never liked being in crowded places, but now I find myself trying not to put myself in that position. I have decided not to purchase tickets to concerts and sporting events and if I said that it’s not because I’m a little bit scared, I’d be completely lying. I no longer want to attend large community events with my children.

I wouldn’t say that I’m paranoid about it, but it certainly enters my mind during certain situations and it has certainly played a part in me choosing not to do different activities at times. It hasn’t been something that has happened overnight, but slowly it has become a part of me.

I know that we aren’t supposed to “let them win” by changing our way of life. And for the most part I’m not, because we still have to live our lives and part of that is being in public places. It also isn’t something I think about every second of every day, but quite honestly, if their aim has been to instil fear and as part of that to change the way we live, or what we do, then for me, unfortunately it’s working.

Where to from here? I don’t know the answer to that. I’m worried that the more it happens, the more it becomes a part of everyday life and maybe, horrifyingly, we also become desensitized to it. I hope that doesn’t happen.

For me, right now, terrorism is having an effect and I don’t know how to change that.

x Karina