Earlier this week I went to the final performance of ‘A Memory, a monologue, a rant and a prayer’. It was sold out and the place was packed. The performances were amazing and the audience was moved and clapped and clapped. You can read some great reviews and descriptions, here, here and here.

I was moved during the performance. These stories were new to me, but the content they cover was not. I found myself swallowing hard during almost all of the performances.

The story of the young girls in the Congo hiding in barrels of fermenting banana beer, while rebels raped their mother was particularly haunting. But the one that struck a particular chord was the woman who made the wish; ‘May all your daughters’ first kiss be anticipated and wanted.’ Afterwards, I chatted polite chit-chat and then said my good-byes.

It was only once I left, that the tears came. Hot and salty and fierce.

My face twisted into that I’m-not-crying face as I walked down the street and I was pretty snotty by the time I got to my car.

All I could think about was my daughters.

I can’t protect them, I thought, completely overwhelmed.

My stories were suddenly irrelevant and all I could feel was rage. The rage I feel at the injustice of the assault, abuse and violence my daughters are going to be touched by.

My daughters, with their soft bodies, reaching for me, eyes and face wide open, love spilling out of them like over-ripe fruit. So quick to laugh and cry and love and live.

Life will be so cruel to them. It will hurt them. Forcing them to close their hearts and guard their souls. I’m sure most parents fear the day that their children experience true hurt and disappointment for the first time. But this fear, the fear of violation, abuse, violence and molestation is particularly awful.

My heart breaks for all the people who have had this experience thrust upon them.

I think that as a parent and having birthed these children, that I am unequivocally physically engaged in their wellbeing. I most certainly would take a bullet for them, without thinking even, I suspect.

But I rage when I think of how helpless I am to protect them from this reality. There are no words or actions which would adequately illustrate this feeling of frustration and helplessness, except perhaps pulling my hair completely out of my scalp.

Their innocence and trust and willingness to be kind and giving. It will shrivel away.

Maybe… that says more about me. About how I see the world, how I feel the world, how I move in the world and how I survive the world.

This left me feeling raw and I crawled into bed and distracted myself with old episodes of Mighty Boosh. Because most days and nights I have the strength to deal and to cope and to fight and support others. And other nights, I don’t.

That night, was just was one those nights.

But I realised this was not a good way to be, nor a good way to leave readers, so while I blogged this blog relatively soon, I waited to publish until I could add some resources.

So here is a link to Rainn for a brief overview and this one is from Child, Youth and Family warning, it’s a pdf. Please share any other resources you have found helpful.