Have you heard of the White Room Torture? It
Isolation is the worst torture of all. And as a girl whose brain is working over time, I can honestly say: being alone with your thoughts can sometimes be motherbleeping scary.
But white torture isn't a thing only prisoners have to deal with. In our everyday life there are forms of white torture. Of course there not as extreme, but I'm sure they still leave a lot of damage.
The best example is bullying. And I'm not talking about bullies who hit kids in the stomach to get the lunch money (the kind of broad shouldered giants which hollywood films advertise). I'm talking about a form of "white bullying" that back in my school days was very commun among everyone in class:
Absolute Indifference.In school, the victims were basically ignored every day. The other kids didn't talk to them, they didn't invite them to birthday parties, they "forgot" to vote them in their team, etc. They simply didn't care at all. Being badmouthed and physically abused is one thing, but being absolutely not cared about is a whole new level of torture. I'm pretty damn sure it left a deeper wound than a hit, kick or cut. Psychological damage can't be repared easily with a bandaid... And it can be the trigger for insecurities and social anxiety.
I have to admit that I never considered myself a bully nor a victim until realising that not engaging is just as bad as being a bully and worse for future victims, because no one stands their ground for the next person.
But if you think it stops at school, you are really naive. Looking around in my everyday life it became more and more clear that we don't engage when people are in need of our help. We need to prevent injustice. And as much as we like to think that of course, we'll help in case of an emergency, there's a great chance that we'll look away, eventhough we know what's right and wrong.
Helping out a beat-up woman after the aftermath of domestic violence?
I've been watching an tv series lately called "What would you do?" where actors perform a certain situation where someone gets treated with injustice and with hidden cameras they try to find out who of the people around, gets up and helps the victim.
The situations vary from racial, social, gender or religious inequality to re-enacted news scandals such as drunken doctors off to surgery or domestic violence.
In some episodes my heart gets warmed up when people speak up or diffuse the situation, when they take all their courage and offer comfort or protect the victim.
But in other cases it is shocking to see when no one cares or doesn't want to get involved.
Girl gets abducted in broad daylight. Will people help her?
They explain that they don't know how to react, what to say or do instead they rather leave the scene.
Or what is even scarier when they side with the bad guy...
For example when faced with racism or homosexuality, older folks tend to agree with the bad guy who's openly discriminating his co-actor, because they still believe in their worn-out morals and social standards. (Just to clarify: this is not the norm, there are very lovely older people.)
And the absolute low point is reached when the producers change a tiny detail of the scene and the outcome is absolutely different:
In one episode the actors played a couple on their first date. When she leaves for the bathroom, he puts something in her drink. At first, you are happy to see that pretty much everyone reacts to this and help the girl out. But when they change her appearance, making her seem a little more slutty, their guardian angels disappear also. They stay silent when she takes a sip, they pretend to not hear something when she complains to feel funny. They let her walk out of the door with the potential rapist.
The same phenomenon can be found in different acted out scenes: When two actors played a couple where the boyfriend is obviously violent, the people stepped in as long as she was dressed "appropriately". After changing her dress, they even badmouthed her calling her a whore and him her pimp or saying she probably deserved this kind of treatment.
It was ridiculous how easy the bad guy got away with it and so scary to watch that no one cared. It made me cry.
I cannot say for myself that I'd do every single one of these situations right – maybe I've already failed some of them without even noticing – because we walk very ignorant through this world. But it would mean the world to me if this post could reach at least a few people waking them up out of their slumber and walk around a little more aware of the others, of danger and how to handle both of it.