Thursday, August 17, 2006

Prozac Prose Warning

DAMN serious alert - despair ahead. Really. Don't read this if you're expecting typical Tiff.....


Even though I see the funny side of things more often than not, sometimes things are of a nature that I'm incapable of twisting them into anything even remotely amusing, no matter how hard I might try.

For example:

A story of a woman, wracked with depression, who hangs herself. She is found by her mother, and mourned by her husband and young children. What pain she must have been in to take that awful final step into oblivion. How tortured she must have been to reach that decision. What a chasm of loss has been left behind to be filled with her memory.

A story of a man, found years after allegedly killing a little girl (it was an accident, he professes. It still doesn't negate the fact that she's dead). What vast howling plain is the soul of a person capable of committing such a deed, how empty of empathy and devoid of the necessary safeguards of compassion and reason is it to do such a thing?

A story of suicide bombers barely old enough to shave, strapping explosives to their chests and proudly snuffing out the lives of strangers in a bid to enter the afterlife as a hero, a martyr, a paragon of religious fervor who is worthy of dozens of otherworldy virgins. What's to be gained from this? What's to be learned from the mass extinction of shoppers at the bazaar, or commuters on the bus, or travellers in the plane?

A story, told many times over, of genocide, fratricide, infanticide, suicide, pick-a-"cide," of violence or graft or jealousy or helplessness or victimzation that's enough to make a dedicated ignorer of angst a complete welter of emotion.

Every so often a door in my created reality opens a crack to the outside world, a gap just large enough to pain to enter. I try to shut it out, but know it's out there, waiting for my next weak moment. How to fight it? How to live with the knowledge that out there are people suffering so greatly that the thought of it is strong enough to take my breath away? How to deal with the inhumanity, the poverty, the violence, the pain of the collective suffering of so many?

It's far too difficult to try to understand, all on my own. It's far too difficult to try to fix, all on my own. It's far too difficult to try to fight, all on my own. So I shut the door again, and try to find my sense of humor, using it to fill the gaps to keep me safe inside my own little world.

And somehow, that just doesn't seem right.

I should be angry. I should have an outlet. I should open that door and embrace what pain I can, absorbing it and vanquishing it. I should DO something, anything, to help.

I should, but instead I hide in my comfortable world, in my artificial reality, ignoring the shouts of despair that are still faintly present, no matter how many layers of ignorance and avoidance are applied to the cracks I've tried to fix.

And then I shame myself with my weakness, believing, wrongly, that shame is action enough.


Some days are just LIKE that, I guess.


Hyperion said...

Cheer up. There's always mayhem....

Anonymous said...

You know, some days just ARE like that.

KOM said...

I've thought about this myself.

I have to believe that willful negligence is a survival mechanism, rather than a shameful cowardice. You say, "How tortured she must have been to reach that decision." Indeed. Opening the door to despair too widely can be a terrible mistake.

Carrie said...

My boss was telling me the other day that the storm was so heavy the night before, she imagined what life was like for the people in Lebanon or Iraq.

It is really sad. But what do we do?

tiff said...

hyp - well, there's THAT, of course.

WN - thankfully they come few and far between

KOM - I take heart in your comment, but wonder if continued blithefulness is better. :>

carrie - I have no idea what we do. Throw money at the issue(s)? volunteer? yes to both, but it seems like even that isn't enough.

Rick said...

Sometimes the weight of the world descends on us, just to prove us weak. There are many bad things beyond our control and I have to believe they exist to teach us the meaning of "wrong."

Tomorrow will be better.

Tracy Lynn said...

I truly believe that it all starts at home and that the best defence against the darkness is to live a life of integrity and honor, even if you don't do wildly heroic things daily. The effects still ripple out, and I have to believe they have an effect, otherwise, why continue on?

trinamick said...

We each try to live our lives a little better, and look forward to the future with hope. If we only focus on the bad in the world, it will quickly drown us. In my job, I get surrounded by all the idiots, negligent parents, drunk drivers, etc. that make everyone else's life harder. I try to be thankful of every little thing that makes my life a little brighter.

Dragon said...


rennratt said...

Every time you smile at an exhausted mom in a store, every door you hold open, every time you cause someone to laugh until they nearly wet themselves - it ALL helps.

And teaching your children to be sensitive to others helps, too.

I had to stop watching the news after 9/11/01. I had a baby to look after - and the grief thing just wasn't getting it done.

Rick is right. Tomorrow WILL be better.

tiff said...

rick - wise words, and I beleive it took me about 2 hours to loose the angst. apparently I'm ADD in my funks as well.

TL - beautifully put!

dragon - thanks. :>

renn - the "laughing until they almost wet themselves" thing is my new life goal.

thanks, all, for your sensitive words of support.

dreadmouse said...

I'm with you. The evil that humanity lays on itself is overwhelming. I can't change it, and it hurts me terribly to try.

I admire the crusaders out there, but I'm just not one of them. I do the best I can in my own life, I don't feel like that's enough, but it seems to be all I can manage right now.

tiff said...

dreadmouse - someday I'll turn crusader. I just have to get the kids growed up first. It's in me, I know it, but now is not the time for me.

Thanks for stopping by!