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Friday, February 26, 2016

Haunted

It started very simply. Before heading out with Trent to do the grocery shopping that we needed to get done that day, I was fiddling around on the computer. I decided to take a few minutes to catch up with what my friends had posted on a social network whose name rhymes with "Space Nook." There were the usual types of memes that one expects to find, the updates from friends' lives, and the standard adorable videos. It was a virtual visit much like any other.

Then I saw that a video had been posted by one of my friends. Everything written there was in Spanish, of which I speak a bit but without being proficient. I saw that there was something on the post that mentioned this being considered an "art." "Oh, my gosh," I thought, "something about bullfighting?" I am very much against bullfighting, and thought perhaps it was an anti-bullfighting video that I could understand without listening to narration. I don't know if there was any narration, actually. I didn't use the sound or my headphones because I knew that if it was in Spanish I wouldn't be able to understand very much of what was said.

What I saw ended up being hundreds of times worse than what I was expecting or was prepared for. I will spare you the details of the video. Suffice it to say that it entailed a gory and horrific encounter between two animals of different species. Neither of these animals is a hunter, so there was no hunter/prey instinct involved. What made the situation even more terrible is that the animals were forced together by humans. When things got awful, the "humans" walked away and watched the scene play itself out without any regard to suffering or pain. 

I can't tell you why I was unable to stop the video, other than my ingrained belief in the mercy and goodness of human beings. I was waiting, hoping, for someone to intervene, and nobody did. When the video was over, I was stunned and shaken. I use that word literally because I was trembling from the shock of the barbaric scenes I had just witnessed. I place no blame on the creatures involved, they were just being animals in an unfortunate situation created by humans. I told Trent that I was in shock, sharing the bare bones of the story. I had to say something, anything, to lessen the burden on my mind and to keep myself from falling into a mental pit of shock and sorrow.

After we got home from our shopping, did some chores, and ate dinner, we sat down to relax and watch a bit of television. At an earlier time than usual, Trent said his goodnights and went to bed. I was wide awake and continued reading the book I had at hand. As I progressed through the pages of the book, I kept having mental images of the horrors I had seen earlier. My eyes were reading the well-crafted story but my brain kept replaying the scenes over and over again.

I finally put the book aside and decided to try to find something to clear the recurring images from my mind. I watched numerous videos online, videos that required no deep thought. They were light, entertaining, and fun. But still, I was haunted. Finally, I was too exhausted to keep searching for escape. I turned on an audiobook and after some struggle, finally went to sleep.

This morning, I was having an online chat with two of my dear friends on Rhymes-With-Space-Nook when one of them said something that made me realize what might have been going on in my mind. She mentioned that she suffered from PTSD, something that afflicts me as well. Was this video haunting me because it stirred subconscious memories of my mother's violent death? Was it my psyche crying out againt the terrible acts humans perpetrate on each other and on other, and more innocent, creatures? Or was it just me being overwhelmed by callous behavior that was too much for my mind to understand? I will probably never know the answer. I just hope that over the coming hours and days, I can become less haunted by the horrors I've recently seen. I know that now I will be far more careful with what I choose to view online. Some things are just too heartbreaking to see or share.





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