I cried this evening.
That in and of itself is not newsworthy, nor really is what I post here newsworthy, but I note it because tonight I cried for many things:
I thought of the victims in the Las Vegas shooting.
I thought of desperate people clinging to survival in Puerto Rico.
I saw a video yesterday afternoon where a police officer shoved an 8 year old black child to the ground in order to handcuff him.
I read a news article where a young boy, who was allowed to graduate earlier due to a terminal illness, had died yesterday.
I read that every single day, more than 21,000 children all around the world die of starvation. 21,000 a day. A day.
I read that the President of the United States rolled back LGBT protections, meaning that anyone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, can be denied service, housing, or employment, based on their orientation.
I read an article that says there are more than 148 million images and videos of missing and exploited children out there in the world, whether on the internet or by other means. 148 million innocents.
I felt so overwhelmed. As I have said in the past, and quite recently, I do good. I do my best to do good. I am flawed, I make mistakes, I take missteps, but my intentions are always to do good, to do the right thing. This? This is too much. My heart can’t take it. Wave after wave of anxiety attacks, as my body tries to deal with what my mind can’t handle. It’s like my soul just wants to separate from this body and flee, to find a safe corner to hide in, to never again make contact with the world, for fear of the evil that resides there.
It is not that I am pure, or that I have no flaws. I, too, have evil inside of me. We all have evil inside of us. It is a part of our nature. The key is what we do with that nature. Do we fight the evil and embrace the good? Or do we gather up the evil and do horrendous things to others? Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I know that there are millions of good people in the world, and for all of my faults I consider myself one of them, but how do we combat the evil? How do we fight back against this tidal wave of hate, bigotry, greed, the naked lusts for power, the unchained avarice, and the unbound, lecherous souls of men with influence?
So I cried. I wept. The tears just kept coming and coming. I just felt so powerless, these past few weeks just working on my every hope, and my last nerve. I do not wish to take away from soldiers who experienced battle, but it almost felt like I had some kind of PTSD, that my brain was trying to cope with a trauma I couldn’t process, so my mind kept moving in a loop, causing one anxiety attack after another, raising my paranoia, crushing my conscience with the weight of all I had seen, and cannot forget, no matter how much I want to do so, how much I want to go back and unsee it, how I wish to cast it away into outer darkness, banishing all of it from the earth in one mighty blast of bellowing, righteous fury.
I cannot. I cannot remove the evils, I cannot make them all go away at the sound of my voice, or the clatter of my keyboard as each keystroke places these words on your screen, and into your mind. So I just keep telling myself “do good. Don’t stop doing good. Keep doing good no matter what. Some people will love you for it, others will hate you for it, because you meddle with their ambitions. Some will not care either way.”
The last part hurts the most, I think. There are evil people in the world, people who exploit the innocent, who violate the rights, the hearts, the souls, the bodies of innocents, and they roam free. There are the good who chase after them, trying to catch them, to make them pay for that evil they have wrought, but then there are those who simply do not want to be a part of it, they have no desire because it does not affect them. I cannot do that. I have to help, I have to do good because it is in me to do good.
Now, of course, I repeat myself. The crying, it helped, but now that it’s done, now that I could let it all out, all of the pain, all of the heartache, the confusion, and the grief for those who are abused, exploited, murdered, curtailed, erased, disconnected from their humanity, I find that the problem still remains. What do I do next? My mind still wishes to flee, my body still tries to cope, my heart feels so weak, so dispirited.
I see their faces every day, the faces of the innocent I wish to protect. What can I do? How do others go about their lives every day, and not feel these things like I do? Oh, I don’t judge them for not having the same depth of feeling, I know there are people who feel this deeper than I do, but how do any of us manage to get through each day without falling to our knees and wishing for the sweet release of death? Because I have wished for it, especially when I have felt so overwhelmed, like I have these past weeks.
I don’t want these feelings anymore, I don’t want to feel this constant disassociation with my own body, with my own mind. I feel like an outsider, like a leper, as if I were being instantly judged by everyone, as if my words, my intentions, none of it mattered anymore, as if I were never to be loved anymore. That people would believe a lie over me, and while some may think that silly, it’s happened in my life, where I have been accused of things I never did, assumptions made against me that had no foundation in truth, but people chose to believe them because I have always been the odd duck, the black sheep, the weird one. Remember yesterday’s post? Yeah, that.
These days, every time I smile I feel like a fraud, like I should be ashamed of smiling, of taking joy or happiness in something. Because I know how much evil is in the world, I’ve seen some of it, and it is truly vile, it’s reprehensible, and though I have tried to negate it by doing good, by trying to make it go away, it hasn’t gone away. There’s always more evil to take the place of that empty space.
I don’t know what lies ahead for me. Deep in my heart, I believe that no good deed goes unpunished, that we live in a world which will sacrifice anyone in the name of justice, whether or not that sacrifice was just, because we live in a world now where legality is the same as morality. I know my own country has skewed terribly in that direction, that it has become more authoritarian. More people will suffer, more will face the wrath of a system that behaves as a hammer in search of a nail, that governs itself based on its own ends, rather than for those it claims to serve.
My heart aches, and I know there will be many more tears, because we have not seen the end of this. There will be more horrors, more evil, more malicious intent disguised as law and order, more knees in the backs of the innocent, more souls taken out of fear, greed, and ambition.
It is my fervent hope that I can continue to do good, that I can keep on fighting for the innocent, protecting the weak, uplifting the poor in spirit, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, bringing the outcast inside where it is warm and inviting.
Where are the lights of the world? My beacon is lit, how long will it last? Will it be snuffed out? Will it eventually flicker and die? I don’t know what will happen. For now, though, I cry. I weep. My chest heaves with the torrent. The tide comes in, and it goes out, and always there are tears. Always there are tears.
I cried this evening.