I wrote this: "I've been having trouble writing. Too many thoughts, and neither my mind nor my thoughts are well organized. Never have been, and never will be. . ." as a preface (more or less) to nearly two dozen blog entries that are languishing in my drafts folder. I'll be posting them and calling it good, whether they're "good" or not.
Two people I did not know personally died this week of overdose and suicide. One you've heard of, and the other you probably didn't.
For each, there has been much discussion. I am surprised (yes, surprised) at how little intelligent discussion there has been about both suicide and drug addiction.
Every time someone dies in these manners, it's an opportunity to reach out to those who are suffering, but that opportunity seems to come and go, come and go, and poof! Gone. Until the next time. I find myself offended by so much commentary, reading things such as "suicide is stupid," by someone who's had many a book published and is supposedly smarter than I am. Is that all you can say?
Suicide is neither smart nor stupid. The same with taking drugs.
When I think about Amy Winehouse, and look back over some interviews with her written by an old friend of mine, I see something of myself when I was young, and I feel terribly sad.
I am so tired of hearing about the "diseases" of depression and drug addiction. I just don't buy it. Dis-ease, yes, but "disease?" Nope. If these conditions were illnesses, there'd be a cure, and the only cure I know of is usually too painfully slow for most people to engage in.
Please find me someone who hates themselves enough to destroy themselves who has not been abused in some fashion when they were children. Introduce me to that person and then perhaps I'll believe that any of these conditions are diseases.
Last night I thought, briefly, of some of the lives of kids I knew:
Raped by father, repeatedly. Moved from town to town so father wouldn't get caught.
Thrown down the stairs by father. Broken leg, arm, ribs.
15-year-old girl thrown out of the house because mother thinks she's "a bad seed." Begged for forgiveness. Made to live in hall closet.
Daughter thrown out glass window because father learns she's pregnant.
Father hung himself. Mother had sex with daughters.
Thrown out of house at 12 for "bad attitude." "Go prostitute yourself for money!" Did.
I could go on, but it's only depressing. One thinks, "Well, at least they weren't forced to carry guns and kill." We can tell ourselves all sorts of stories to make it seem not so bad. These kids lived in America, and they didn't starve to death. . .
Many of the young people I once knew are dead. Those that are alive, most of them have come to terms with their past. Most of them have forgiven those who trespassed against them.
Is that really okay? I've always thought forgiveness was the best strategy, but I'm starting to change my mind some. Is it really possible to forgive and forget without losing a part of one's humanity?
Every bit of minimizing we do allows kids to continue to be abused. Abuse, even one incident of it, creates lasting scars.
Image note: If you're trying to figure out what this has to do with the post, the answer is "nothing." I figured I'd use some of the images I have as desktop pics, all of which have been painted by little known painters.
Juan van der Hamen "Still Life with Artichokes, Figs, Peaches, and Apples," 1629.