It’s 3 am and I’m awoken from my dream, or maybe it was more of a nightmare. It’s not a recurring dream, but I’ve had similar ones before. I am holding a sword in my right hand and I really want to kill someone. Then I wake up and realise it was just a dream. It was very real, I could feel the weight of the weapon in hand and imagine how pleasurable it would be to use it to hurt someone who had be…trayed my trust.
If you need a visual, think Hattori Hanzo in Kill Bill 2 or the more recent Wolverine. Yup, I love samurai swords.
It’s 3 am, everyone else is fast asleep. I get up. I feel like I’ve had a full night’s sleep. No point rolling around in bed trying to re-enter slumber land. It’s the perfect time to write, no interruptions, no noise.
I go online and was just about to start penning my thoughts when a friend sends a private message. How I hate interruptions, and more so when I’m angry. Because this friend is a good friend, I read the message. It deserved a reply despite the hour. Then I thought for moment, this is great, I could ask my friends help. Certainly talking about this might shed some perspective.
Like most friends, my friend would never turn down an offer to listen. Briefly describing the scenario, before I could get into finer details my friend interjected. I cant remember the exact words used although it was only a few hours ago, but in essence, my friend revealed that my friend was a ‘trans’. I hate to assume, so I made my friend explain what it meant. I told my friend that doesn’t change anything, and I wanted to proceed to tell my story, when my friend interrupted me for the second time.
Again, I’m not sure how the topic came about, it was unrelated to my initial problem, but all of a sudden we were talking about child rape and sexual abuse. My friend had been a victim for most of my friends childhood. I felt like I wanted to kill somebody else with my sword now.
I was distracted from my own problems for a while. Maybe this was my friends tactic, I don’t know. But clearly, my friend is good at this. Perhaps all those years of psychiatric treatment and therapy made my friend that way.
I asked whether my friend ever told anyone. Of course my friend was only 5 years old when the abuse started, but surely somewhere along the way of a decade, the thought must have crossed my friends mind.
When my friend said no, I found it hard to believe, but then the explanation of it made sense somewhat. “In a country where the solution would be to marry off the child to the rapist?” My friend had a valid point there.
I thought for quite a long time about how my friend had dealt with life’s problems, how my friend did not harbour any hatred or guilt, which is good. I just cant imagine myself being equally forgiving. Here I was, mad at my other friend for breaking a promise. And here was this friend of mine who had suffered in silence for years, and yet was able to talk about the experience in a matter of fact way.
The perpetrator it turns out, was also a child, and had also been raped. One of the ways children respond to traumatic experiences is through re-enactment. While my friend slowly revealed the darkest secrets of my friends past that I would otherwise never have known, I promised my friend that if I ever make it as a politician, that would be the first law I would advocate to change. I also asked my friend for permission to share my friends story.
My friend agreed on the basis that identities will be protected.
“Of course”, I reassured my friend. “The way I write, the only person who would know the source, is the source”.
Mentally, I had re-placed my sword back in its scabbard.See More