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.