Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For Freedom

“We were like a fire triangle, he was the oxygen, I was the flame, and together we made the fuel. All mixed together we were a fire. Somehow we needed each other to keep going. It ended like someone pouring water on our fire. It went out all of a sudden and without warning. As fast as it started, it was out”
(The Freedom Writers’ Diary, p 131).


This book has gone to vulnerable depths that I would never have expected to find in the lives of high schoolers. I feel as though high schoolers spend the entirety of their time in school learning how to wear a mask with their fellow peers and family. We learn that it’s safer. We learn that no one truly wants to hear about our problems and the circling thoughts in our minds. Sometimes it feels as though our minds are going to consume our ability to live. As I read The Freedom Writers’ Diary, I was inspired by their level of vulnerability and feeling.

Recently, the song Love the Way You Lie with Rihanna and Eminem has become hugely popular for its emotionally charged lines. Basically, it speaks of an abusive love relationship with lines such as, “I laid hands on her/I'll never stoop so low again/I guess I don't know my own strength.” It’s a relationship that neither side can escape from because they are fiercely attracted to each other but continually jealous of the other. It’s an explosive situation. Especially with lines proclaiming, “Just gonna stand there/And watch me burn/But that's alright/Because I like/The way it hurts.” It’s a song that romanticizes abuse. The music video makes abuse seem beautiful and desired even though destructive. It’s horrifying.

While I read Diary 63 on page 131 in The Freedom Writers’ Diary, the record of the abuse in this entry carried an odd similarity with the song Love the Way You Lie. Both are emotionally charged. Both focus on abuse. Both show the horror and strange magnetism that these relationships contain. Of course, the diary entry exposes abuse for what it is. It shows the pain, the difficulty, and the side effects. The diary entry is raw. Meanwhile, the music video of Love the Way You Lie shows two beautiful people both having explosive personalities equally abusing each other. The music video romanticizes abuse by not showing the bruises and the emotional difficulties of abuse. However, it is good to know that music artists aren’t afraid to write such controversial music.

Personally, I find abuse horrific. And yet, it has an ability to immobilize those caught in abuse and those outside of abuse. I have never been physically abused. As those who are caught in abuse have no idea how to free themselves, I have no idea how to be useful. Even if I know someone who is in the midst of an abusive situation, I might not even know of it. Naturally, I would want to aid them in their emotional and physical escape from such a relationship. However, I have no idea how to incite escape. Abuse is real.

movie trailer for Freedom Writers