I awoke this morning from dreams that my four year-old daughter had been kidnapped and abused--it goes without saying, but I will write it anyway: this was the worst nightmare I have ever had. The worst part of the dream was the aftermath. She was found after four months or so of being held. I was so happy and so relieved to get her back, but then I saw how much she had changed because of what had been done to her and how it would stay with her and taint the rest of her life, maybe ruin it. That knowledge crushed me.
I know that the dream was probably triggered by the recent reporting on JonBenet Ramsey and Natascha Kampusch, but it started me thinking about survivors of violence. How do you, how can you put your life back together after any kind of long-term systematic abuse? What do you become if you survive? Everyone deserves the opportunity to grow up and live without fear, without violence, and without pain. But how many people in the world actually live that reality? Spin a globe, put your finger down at random and see what you see. And that's only talking about physical threat. What about growing up in an environment of petty rules and restrictions with no freedom or potential. Do you stop dreaming after awhile? How long? How many places in the world is that situation the norm? Spin the globe again.