Do I deserve the things I have been through?

Everyone needs to make sense of his/her life. Good and bad things happen for a reason, that is the way our brain works, that is what our relatives, other people and society as a whole tell us. The sensation of losing control of the environment around us, to be twisted in the storming wind, thus casually becoming victims of one’s destiny is painful and scary. Does not matter what anyone did in the past, does not matter whether someone chose to fly away from one’s homeland voluntarily or not, not a soul in this camp was able to predict the odyssey one has been through. Quoting someone else: ‘If you think, if you judge it conventionally, you will condemn them to five thousand years of prison plus expenses. But if you understand, if you let your eyes rest on them for a moment, although not lilies they are still victims of this world.’

It seems like an easy message to send, particularly to those who have been raped and mutilated, tortured and enslaved. Shockingly, those who suffered the most are also the people who blame themselves the most. They feel ashamed of not having been strong enough to defend themselves. They feel guilty for not having been good enough to keep the promise they had made to their families. They feel foolish for not having doubted the evil person who betrayed them. Today, sat a man crumpled on the ground; he covered his head trying to dissociate himself from the reality he faced; flashbacks that never left him alone. He felt ashamed of something he was not able to tell us. Lost in the darkness of his mind. This silent cry resonated in the cabin… deafening.

Text: Emanuele Politi