Wow did I have the oddest reaction to a book recently. I am reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and was quite surprised by the turn it took. I obviously knew it was the background of the woman whose cells live on and on so science can have its way with them. I didn’t know that it would follow the horrible turn her children’s lives took. Frankly, there is A LOT of abuse going on.
Now here is where the weirdness took place. I have read a lot of books that dealt with abuse and violence and all kinds of dodgy stuff. Hell, serial killer books use to be my favorite. That was, apparently, before I had a baby. See, I read and watched things like that while pregnant and it had no effect on me. But when I was reading a scene in this book *spoiler alert* where her daughter is constantly molested and raped by her uncle and one of her sons is abused a la A Child Called It I about went ape shit. I was listening to the audio in my car and about ripped the steering wheel off my dash. I am pretty sure my blood pressure went through the roof and I was shaking. I just kept thinking, just try that on my son I dare you, just try it! I mean, I was so upset for the characters in the story, especially since it is all true, but I also couldn’t stop relating it to my own son.
Now this worries me because I did enjoy on a certain level reading and watching disturbing things like that, especially true stories, before my child arrived. I am now concerned that I will never be able to read or watch them again. I don’t enjoy crying so I don’t want to read and watch them to cry and be an incredibly stereotypical mother, but I also don’t want to turn into a person who ignores all bad in the world because it hurts so much. I truly hope that this is still a hormonal problem with me and that once all that is out of my system, especially after I’m done breast feeding, I will be normal again. However, I fear mental damage was done along with the physical damage and that I will never be Me again, only the shell of Me as Post-partum Me.