There seems to be no hope. I have cried since it’s the only reaction I am able to muster. For the last 2 weeks my Facebook page, the articles I have read, have all screamed RAPE. In bold letters, in shocked tones. There is no escaping the sheer violence against women in my country of birth and in the world. Somewhere a 3-year-old gets raped, somewhere else it is a 17-year-old and elsewhere it is a 23-year-old.
Every time I read something of this nature, I think I am immune. After all, there is only so much pain one can read about, only so much pain one can imagine. I try to go about my life and make an effort to forget headlines, to forget status updates. The attacks, though, have been relentless.
How do I reconcile this age of violence with the dreams I am encouraging DD to see? How do I tell her to go out there and brave the world? How do I convince myself that she will be fine when she’s out of my sight?
I have a fierce urge to hold onto her tightly and to keep her hidden in the house? If she escapes prying eyes, eyes that undress you as they look at you, will she be safe? If she escapes groping hands in crowded spaces, will she be safe? Or will there be attacks from within? A good friend, an acquaintance, a fellow traveler, a coworker – any of these could be the “alleged” perpetrator.
I had prayed ardently for a daughter, I had asked for one everyday, when pregnant. One of the first things I said to her when I held her for the first time was “I promise I will keep you safe.” Today, I know I cannot keep that promise. To have brought her into this world is akin to throwing her to the wolves. How do I reconcile myself to the fact that I have failed as a parent? The very thing, the first thing that my child expects of me is the one thing I cannot successfully do.
Today, I wish I could have kept her in my womb forever. It was absolutely the only time I could guarantee her safety.