Part 2: Alice’s Pool of Tears
“You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” said Alice, “a great girl like you,” (she might well say this), “to go on crying in this way! Stop this moment, I tell you!” But she went on all the same, shedding gallons of tears, until there was a large pool all round her, about four inches deep and reaching half down the hall.
Alice tried in vain to enter the beautiful gardens through a door too small. A false but valid thought, she feels that her inability to escape is a failed test of character. Alice can’t help but cry out of disappointment in herself for appearing helpless. Yet, this self-pity is only used to further drive her point of feeling weak.
While perhaps not quite as literal as Alice, many survivors drown, lost at sea in their emotions. Self-blame becomes common as societal expectations place responsibility on victims and define strength through a lack of feeling. Compassion for other survivors and an understanding that it’s the fault of the assailant and the assailant alone can get lost in translation when it comes to caring for one’s own self. In the words of one survivor, “Maybe one day I’ll forgive myself. But today is just not that day” (@regallyjay).