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An Existential Crisis

08 February 2013, 14:07

I have been watching in horror as the story of Anene Booysen unfolds. My horror mounts to new levels at every detail of how this girl was treated. Not only did these savage parasites (I cannot liken them to animals – as animals do not do this) rape her but they felt it fitting to mutilate her and leave her to die. Imagine the thoughts and pain she was left to endure alone until someone found her. Imagine being treated so badly and wondering what you had ever done to deserve such treatment.

Then I think of her mother – who held her hand and watched her child die from the most unimaginable injuries. The family members who have to try pick up the pieces. I know as a mother, when it comes to your children, you would do anything for them, to shield them and relieve their pain. As the crime is unimaginable, how do you reason with the motive and evil behind it? How do you ever come to terms with something like this?

And then I flip my thinking and I wonder – what on this earth could possess anyone to ever do that to another person? How do you even imagine treating someone like that. I speculate that there will be lots of stories coming out of this – like they were drinking or on drugs or in a gang, doing an initiation. And I hope that someone tells them that no matter what you drank or what pill you took or what you smoked or who you “hang” with – that in order to do something so heinous, you would have to have an innate evil deep within. That there are NO excuses for this situation. That saying sorry will NEVER be enough. It’s not enough for the mother who held her hand and saw the mutilation and hurt in her child’s eyes, it’s not enough for the doctors and hospital staff who treated her, it’s not enough for the people who loved her and it is not enough for all the people in this country – the parents, mothers and daughters and sons and husbands and wives. It’s never going to be enough for every rape victim or any person who has been abused at the hands of others.

What scares me now is that you think it could never happen to you. Or to anyone in your life. When I dropped my 5 year old off at school this morning, my anxiety levels shot through the roof. I can’t be with her every minute of every day to protect her and I can never prepare her for the horror that sometimes accompanies real life (be it stories or experiences). Every night when I look under her bed for monsters, I will be praying that these are the only monsters she will ever fear and that she never meets a real life monster.

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