If pain and suffering were likened to a room in a house, it would probably be the room way down at the end of the hallway where only children and guests accidentally enter because they thought it might be the bathroom. Upon entering they quickly exit making sure not to linger, or to see some unwanted thing. They pull the door closed until it clicks and they hastily relocate back to the main part of the house.
Most long-term residents of "pain and suffering" are not there by choice. Sometimes the most awful of circumstances have thrust them through the doorway and keeps them locked up day and night. Additionally, there are those that make frequent stops in the room of suffering, and for various reasons, they make it out. Still, there are those who make this room their constant destination. For long periods of time they enjoin themselves with the contents of the room (shame, guilt, confusion, remorse) mostly because they have found a sense of belonging.
Then there are those who have lived in ignorance about this room. They are unaware of it's power and they are often confused by the those who have been in the room for any length of time --and for one reason or another they find themselves inside for the very first time.
This is me.
So the question I ask myself is, what do I do now? How long do I stay? How am I supposed to act?
For the longest time my only connection with this room was to counsel (or interview) people that had come through the doorway. Like a dutiful worker, I would stand outside the room by the door - sometimes holding it open for the guests as they ventured in and sometimes opening it for them when they wanted out. I would say things like, "How are you feeling?" and "Do you want to talk about what happened?", or even "I totally understand ."
But I didn't understand. And now that I'm in the room, while everything within me wants to bolt out, I'm going to stay. I'm staying because in one sense I have to, and in another sense because I am curious about it all.
I am curious about the room of pain and suffering and though I want to flee, I will not.