Sunday, September 25, 2011

Captive Hearts

I want to talk about the people we rescued yesterday, but I want to do it in a way appropriate in relation to the horrors they've suffered. With that in mind, please understand that I won't be going into detail about them, as they've asked me not to. Instead, a general overview so as a sort of measuring stick for those of you out there to understand what kind of men we're facing.

I don't have to tell you what the marauders in the green camp did to those women, but the men suffered the same. That came as a surprise to me, but I suppose it shouldn't. Today's modern sociopath is much more open-minded than the monsters of yesterday.

I'm short on time, but it's vital to me that you understand the level of abuse leveled against these people. Sexual, physical, psychological. Every day for weeks for the most fortunate of them, almost a full year for one of the men. They'll carry scars visible and otherwise forever. One of them is almost as despondent as the poor girl we buried the other day, but not quite there. We're doing everything we can to help him.

They're hurt and frightened, but full of rage. The one comfort they had was each other. When the worst was upon them, the others were there to talk, to share the pain. It didn't make everything peachy and fun, but a simple human connection, others who understood and could identify, may have been what kept them all from suicide.

Wow, sorry. I want to tell you how we're trying to help the captives regain strength and doing what we can to prepare them to fight. There's a lot about them I want to say, but it's too hard. I'm sitting here doing everything I can not to break down. I've seen them first hand, helped suture their wounds. All of us catch the wild-eyed, furtive glances they all share, as if one of my team is about to brutalize them at any time. It's too much. It hurts me just to think about it.

It hurts to realize I've been so consumed with our mission and what we're doing now that I haven't really thought of home in days. Now I'm terrified something will happen to my loved ones, some horrific act that will shatter them.

It's hard to think of all the beautiful moments I've seen over the last year and a half. People coming together in times of crisis seems pale and insignificant against the dark things the captives have suffered. Knowing that even a small percentage of survivors are capable of things like this makes me want to vomit. I'm screwed up right now. I'm sorry.

I'm not doing justice to these folks, but I just can't do this today.

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