Don’t get me wrong. I respond with tears and a tight throat to the trailer’s soaring music and images of beautiful girls in distant places laughing (we are meant to feel these girls finally have something to make them smile, and who isn’t for that!?). It breaks my heart when I am confronted by crass examples of geographical fate: Just because I live in northern Europe, I have the choice of combining Western medicine, Chinese medicine, homeopathy, herbal natural medicines, and psychodynamic psychotherapy. While my kind and intelligent friend’s sister living in southern Europe has no choices available for her mental health at all.
I have met too many people on my travels in India and the Middle East who were ‘badly-educated’ but wise and emotionally mature and generous, and I have met too few people in the US and Europe, despite their advanced academic degrees, who were wise and emotionally mature and generous. Thus I cannot jump onto the bandwagon of those who advocate access to education as a cure-all.
A girl who has been raped or who has been neglected and abused as a young child will never really recover. With luck, with strength and love and with a gift of concentration on prayer or meditation or psychotherapy, she might manage to live a functional life. She might thus make a difference for other girls, or somehow manage to raise her own children to a better life. But, her own life is already ruined. It will very-likely be accompanied by nightmares, by depression and anxiety, by psychosomatic symptoms that cause her back, stomach, head pain. She will probably suppress these thoughts and memories, and that act of suppression will carry serious consequences for herself and everyone who loves her because she will close herself off.
That is bleak. Yes, and we need to start somewhere to improve the world. Perhaps her pain and suffering will be ‘worth it’ if she manages to raise her own children with more security and safety. My objection is not to the attempts to change the world, but to the marketing campaigns and the offering of absolute solutions. “Here is the answer.”
It is like being told if you drink a certain tea you will no longer be obese or addicted. You have to change everything else in your life, too. And you have to find out what brought you to obesity or addiction in the first place. And this means what happened when your mother was pregnant with you, whether your were nursed or not, whether you were carried and mirrored and adored or not, whether you had enough food in your stomach, whether you experienced trauma or not.
Note: This is a reaction to a trailer I saw last year. I just decided to post it today, as the release that comes from being on sabbatical brings with it a desire to start writing in the blog again. I realize I am being emotional in my reaction rather than learned. Patience!