what one should NOT read before bed
Posted May 19, 2012on:
I clearly went into this knowing better, but I still picked up the book and held down the lump in my throat, read through it like looking into the mouth of a monster, half recoiling and half wishing to look because it’s yawning wide and encompassing.
It’s this book, and it’s not for the faint of heart, especially Trang and chi. Quyen.
I mean, I’ve read my fair share of horror stories and shitty stuffs that happen to unfortunate people, from the holocaust to the Khmer Rouge purge, to the Rape of Nanjing, to child soldiers, to serious pathological cases of child abuse etc. etc., but nothing felt as close to home as the book I read last night.
Child molestation and pedophiles. I may love reading me some Lolita books for fictional enjoyment, but when faced with in in the form of nonfiction, the word “capital punishment” floats right up to the top, even though I’ve supposedly understood that there are ways that the brain gets wired beyond our control. I’ve seen obsession in action, I’ve seen how a person fights in vain against compulsions, how I have felt sorry for them. But with child molestation and forceful rape, I just can’t extend the compassion. I can’t do it.
The book was painful to get through, not only because what happened to the author (despite her assertions that she’s trying to put it behind, and that she’s been in therapy for a year, looking forward to her future and finding happiness) I just felt a sense of detachment in the writing. And the pain underneath is unbearable & unthinkable to even touch, for both the reader and the writer. I couldn’t help but feel despair.
Good thing I put the book about child soldier in Africa back. I know I will come for it soon enough, but for now, some “lighter” reading on the state of muslim youth in Pakistan will do. Don’t ask me why I read about all the pains and sufferings and problems of our world. I don’t know. I’m just drawn to them as if I have a magnetic pole in my head. I read them without any solution, without any answer. It always feel like walking in the dark. I just think, these people, they have survived it, and they speak up, then I must listen.