from a dark place

I am in a dark place.

I finished the book I was reading over the weekend and I have been bitter and sad ever since.

When I got it, I thought it was going to be some sort of mystery/thriller type of book; I just wanted a silly book to read on my journey to /from work.

The story was unimpressive, not particularly well written. In it, the author was trying to bring awareness on the struggles and dangers children and teenagers, from a variety of social backgrounds, face and how society deals with it, by shocking.

Somewhere after 2/3rds of the dull story, something happened and it felt like a blow to the stomach. I meant to just read a chapter before going to bed and ended up going to the living room to finish it. I couldn’t read whole paragraphs, I did not want to read the details of what she was describing. I skimmed through the pages, trying to retain the plot without going into the details; I found myself desperately looking for a glimpse of hope or resolution, a happy ending that never came.

Why did I continue reading? Because I needed her to save those children. I did not want to have that image that shocked me, lingering in my head. I wanted her to make it better.

I know that terrible things happen to children every day, and the thought of it causes a vertigo feeling and this feeling has multiplied since I have a child of my own.

Now,  every child real or invented, in a movie, in a story, in the news feels like my own child. My heart aches, I literally feel a pang of pain, when I hear or read anything that relates to mistreatment or abandonment of a child.

When I was in college I tried to do something about this feeling. I volunteered in a safe house for children, who were victim of mistreatment and/or were waiting for their parents to come out of jail. I was young and didn’t know what to do, all I could do for them was give attention and care.

I am a “hugger”, I have always been, it makes me feel safe and protected, it makes me feel loved. I spent most of my time back then hugging and caring for infants, with a huge knot in my throat. Knowing that I was not doing anything to help, that what i was giving was only temporary, was extremely painful. I spent all of that period submerged in guilt and sadness.

I couldn’t find a way to overcome this and cowardly I stopped going.

The book, stirred all that was buried inside me.  I still don’t know what to do.

I have spent this weekend’s nights crying and the days weepy, how can I explain it? It doesn’t make much sense. But I am hurting.

What can I do? I don’t seem to find an answer.

How can I help? how can i make a difference? I want to but I don’t know how. And the inability to find a way is burning.

I am not hurting for the characters of a book that don’t exist, I am hurting for all those children I can not protect.

4 thoughts on “from a dark place

  1. I can’t stand it when authors do that. It feels like such a betrayal to the innocent people who really do suffer. How can a person think of it, and not try to fix it, even if only in their fictional representation? How can a person portray children suffering in a place without love, and not save them?

    I can’t convey how much you were helping, just holding those babies. When children are lost, because they don’t really belong to anybody, exactly what they need is for those temporary people to treat them with love and take care of them. Love seeps in and lives in all the corners of a person – you just try to believe that some of those children kept being held up and loved by people like you, and the ones who only experienced that rarely, still the feeling of being loved sticks around somewhere inside of them, so they are somehow better off than they would have been. Love is always a net positive, and every bit we get is a gift. Those poor kids deserved better than they got – they deserved the best! But when they don’t get the best, every shining face of love that crossed their path is an argument to convince them that they are worthwhile and wonderful people, and that is one of the best things that can be hoped for, for anybody!

  2. I know how you feel. The first time I read Lovely Bones, (before they made the movie), it really upset me. I have two daughters, and even though now I think the book is good, at the time it really put me in a bad place. I knew the story was fiction, but losing a child is not, and as a mother it isn’t something I even wanted to think about.

    I think some people take on the pain of the world…at least I sometimes feel like I am doing that. But then I look at my girls, and try to send that love out into the world.

  3. I know how you feel I see so many kids being neglected and things around and hear horrible stories on the news about things happening to them. I just want to take them all in and same them all. I feel so sick when I see it and helpless. I just want to hide my kids a way from it all and keep anything from happening to them.

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