What is a blog for, if not for getting your thoughts down and into some semblance of order? I’ll tell you now, this post has nothing whatsoever to do with expat life. Try as I might to redirect it, my mind is stuck on only one thing today, so here goes, may as well follow my instincts and say goodbye to rationality.
Not being hooked up to the drivel transmitted courtesy of cable, I’m not always on top of current events, but I came across a news story today that, although a few days old, is disturbing/upsetting/shocking and yet, at the same time it can’t be, because sadly, it is far from uncommon. I know this because for a period of time, like many others, my childhood years were marred by parental violence and cruelty. I spent a great deal of my adult life struggling to get my head straight in the wake of it, but despite the progress I’ve made and how far I’ve come, on days like today, when I come across a story like this, memories and feelings come flooding back – and that’s it… the day’s a write off for me. To many of you, I am just another anonymous person, blogging about a sad fact of our society, but for me to tell you this is costing me a lot. My heart is pounding and my palms are sweaty. My hands shake as I type. I’m familiar with the feelings, they’re the same ones I got years ago when I felt threatened – “fight or flight”.
I’m not looking for sympathy, many have had a tougher time than I. I suppose this is a step towards getting it out in the open. Only close friends and health professionals know this side of me. The strong sense that this is something to be kept hidden is difficult to shake off, even as an adult. But if society is to face up to this problem, it needs to be put in the public arena, however uncomfortable it makes people feel. It’s a luxury of a privileged society that allows it to turn it’s back on what doesn’t sit well with its self-image.
I can’t claim to abhor cruelty to children and bullying if I hold back my experiences. That is just continuing to collude with my abusers. Why should I be concerned about shielding them? How can I expect others to show strength and courage if I lack it myself? So this is me, adding myself to the montage of many. Stepping up to be counted rather than supporting from the safety of the sidelines. For what it’s worth…
Please be aware the following clip IS graphic. Just remember how this makes you feel and promise me you’ll never allow “bystander apathy” or social pressure to stand in the way of doing what your conscience tells you.
Those of you already familiar with this news story will know that the above footage is now seven years old but was not made public until a few days ago. For an update on the situation please see the clip below.