“Comfort, yes, comfort my people,” says your God. Isaiah 40:1 TLB
Years ago as a teenager, I came across the bestselling novel Cry, the beloved country by Alan Paton. I don’t remember much of what I read but I do remember saying, “Thank God my country is peaceful.” Can I still say the same words with respect to the beloved country of my birth: Cameroon? Absolutely Not!
When I hear the stories from loved ones and friends, see the videos and images on social media and read the news from multiple post and channels, I can’t help but cry.
Why do I cry? I will tell you.
I cry for the young girls, boys, children, women, and men who are being raped daily.
I cry for the people who have been maimed; rendered paralyzed and incapacitated.
I cry for the souls whose breath have been snatched by the crisis.
I cry for the children, mother, father, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins grieving the sudden departure of their loved one and breadwinner.
I cry for the loving family who has no choice but to relocate to the forest because their homes have been burned to ashes or their existence on earth is threatened.
I cry for the vibrant villages which are now deserted because its inhabitants have to run away from stray bullets.
I cry for the homes tearing apart because the heat from the unstable source of income impends internal peace.
I cry for young men and women in the diaspora who pick up a phone call just to be informed that the entire family back home has been wiped away by a bomb dropped by a helicopter.
This list can go on and on…
But, why do I cry?
I cry because the effects of trauma last way longer than the initial incident.
Above all else, I cry for the millions of trauma survivors all around the world drowning in their silence.
They are silent because when they first spoke out about their abuse, violence and grieve, no one believed them. Others laughed, mocked at them while another group joked about the incident.
That doesn’t tell everyone’s story. Perhaps, they are silent because they are still to muster the courage to speak up or they just don’t have the right words to explain their circumstances.
That leads us to the question; what will happen to the new breed of trauma survivors who will emerge from this ongoing crisis?
Are they going to join the bandwagon to buckle in their emotional struggles?