The actual intention of these actors in the stories that horrify us is less important than the harm that is inflicted by their actions. My characterization of these events might seem unusual but please read.
I was captured and help in captivity... but everyone's story is unique and demands our attention. I have noticed that people watch stories, movies, and such as entertainment despite the disturbing nature of those stories. Can we call a true story about some six million people being murdered, entertainment? After I saw "Shindler's List" I started asking that question. Why did we go to what that movie? It was not "entertaining." Yet it was a must-see. I was profoundly shocked and dazed from the depravity depicted in the movie.
The movie did something that my education had failed to accomplish. This was a prototypical example or pure distilled evil. A swastika would never be seen in the same light again. Any person or group bearing such an emblem would be seen as a monster. They would conjure up feelings that John Carpenter's "Halloween" could not accomplish, despite a valiant effort on the part of the writers and directors. I began to think that any form of evil that could be conceived might be true.
We walked out of the movie and I was speechless and dazed like I had been assaulted by some fighter repeatedly landing blows to my head. It is very unusual for me to be speechless or at a loss for words.
A few years later, I was attacked and held captive for a period of time. It's hard to explain but sometimes the sense of still being held in captivity lingers and feels like it is happening right now in the present. Usually, this happens in my dreams and upon awakening, I realize that I am safe and that it was 'just a dream.' At least that is what my narrative memory knows. Memories of this are never so simple to keep in the past - memories of captivity. They jar our sense of time and reality.
Experiences like this make us feel less safe in the world. We fear the motives and intentions of others. In my captivity, it was all about survival and doing whatever it takes to not be hurt... I mean to feel any more hurt than I had already been hurt. Some of my captors seemed to have a level of humanity and I would cry out to them, hoping they would do something. I remember crying out "violence" as if that was going to get the attention of my captors. It was all I could come up with to express my terror.
My captors could see and hear me but there was no danger to them behind their glass walls. Whatever humanity they possessed would not be enough to expose them to any danger to their own selves.
Many of the captors lacked this normal human capacity or nature. My cries of distress got no reaction at all. They just walked by as if they were robots devoid of emotions. They were human in appearance but not in any other way did they resemble humans. They didn't attempt to torment me, they were just indifferent.
On the wall was a button that allowed us to communicate with them. Their response was flat, devoid of emotion, and lacking in any responsiveness or concern. Were the buttons and speakers an illusionary tactic to further torment us by holding out the false hope that we would get a real human response?
Finally, I was brought in front of a man with a black robe for some decision. Beside me was a man in a suit with cowboy boots. He was arguing that he wanted to prepare me for my trial or the next trial. He must have explained how I couldn't go very far anyway. He was right.
The man in the black robe agreed. I was taken to a room where my bloody clothes were still being held for the past 7 months. I had been wearing those clothes the day I was captured. The shirt was slightly dark green and did not show the blood quite as much as the shorts did. The bloodstains were far more obvious. Any keen observer would have noticed the blood that had soaked into the shirt.
I was very uncomfortable about putting these clothes back on but I was getting out, right? This was all I had to wear. It wasn't much better than the uniform they had us wear.
Despite being let out, I did not feel any safer. This was not far from where I was captured. I tried not to be noticed by any cars that were passing. I was hiding from view. I walked up the street to where the railroad tracks intersected with the road. I hid a few items in the bushes hoping to lighten my load. The idea of jumping on a train never crossed my mind. I was too frightened of being captured again and what might happen if I was hunted down and captured again.
I thought I knew of a place where I could go. I would blend in with the homeless for a while. The "shelter" was not far.
The above account of events is not fictional though it might seem that way. One might ask "when were you held in captivity, Bruce?" Indeed, it was horrifying and real.
I was an innocent victim of a violent and bloody assault. To add to the injury the perpetrator claimed she was a victim of an assault by me. The fact that I was the one who was covered in blood and wearing the same blood-drenched clothing seven months later when I was finally released from jail, only adds to the horror of it all and the kafkaesque nature of the experience. The captors did seem to lack any humanity, most of them.
The police bullied and humiliated me before I was put in jail... stripping me of my clothing and putting me into a suicide prevention vest of some sort and then photographing me. I wish a Jessica Jones superhero had been there to protect me from these villains.