Propaganda. Racism. Poverty. Discrimination. Rebellion. Genocide.
Narcissism. Blackmail. Lying. Corporate fraud. Conspiracies. Bureaucracy. Scandals. Theft. Forgery. Incompetence. Abusive leadership.
Sexual harassment. Alcohol. Drugs. Pornography. Prostitution. Addiction.
Infidelity. Backbiting. Neglectful parenting. Betrayal. Sociopathy. Domestic violence.
All covered by a heavy layer of pretense to keep things running. This has been an adventure of a year for me.
Life had been fairly vanilla for me so seeing all this was shocking and overwhelming for me, to say the least. Did I not know that such things happen in the world and define a lot in human history? Of course, I did. But reading about it with empathy or knowing the facts and figures does not come even close to first hand experience – seeing the people that inflict this on others and seeing the ones – myself included – that suffer for it. Part of me is still processing all of this. Some story or incident pops into my head before I even start my day and it follows me like a shadow as I try to go about my day, normal as possible. The passing of time makes it marginally easier but I know I am not the person with the same thoughts and goals that I was a year ago.
I am thankful everyday for my safety, freedom, and sanity but still, it is hard. Recovery and better understanding will continue with time, I hope. But there is more to it. I felt like I lost something back there – the fighter in me. I encountered a lot that naïve little me was not prepared to deal with. I grew from it and pretended everything was fine to survive day by day. I do not judge myself for it; I really did not know what to do at the time. So, I did the bare minimum: 1) protecting myself, and 2) making sure I was never a person that was hurting others like this. I had to remember my difference between right and wrong and keep that difference. I think I did okay with these goals.
Now, I want more for myself. If you read the front page of this website, you see I imagine myself and everyone else as having the power to change things. While growing up and even now, I am told a lot of things are not my problem to deal with or it is too complicated for me. It might be complicated but just walking away bothers me. It really, really bothers me.
I do still stand against everything I saw. Every single, horrible thing. And I know it won’t be my last time facing anything like this. Whether it finds me again or I choose to find and face it myself, I want to be stronger and wiser for that day. Next time, I want to be ready to put up a good fight.
An Uber driver once told me: Hold firmly to living by the beliefs and principles you know to be right. If you see any wrong done by them, try to do something about it; put your effort and resources into influencing positive change. If you cannot do something about it, speak up and share your ideas; find power in increasing the number of voices. Sometimes, you might not even be able to do that. But never, never give up. No matter what, keep the idea in your heart. Protect yourself from the harms and influence and don’t get complacent.
To be honest, I did get complacent for a bit – when I did not fully understand what was happening – and it hurt me. But I was lucky enough to get back to myself. I remember what I stand for and let it make me stronger. Now, I am making an effort to understand everything better and start talking about it. One day, I hope I can do something about it; till then I am going to continue gearing up for it.