We took the view right from the word go that our focus was going to be on helping Cayly (and her ex-boyfriend) to recover. We had happened had happened and there was nothing we could do to undo or change what had happened. The one we could do and had full control over was to help them recover, and this was our singular focus going forward.
Unfortunately, not everyone else felt the same way and many people reacted in ways that, although understandable, were not helpful in any way in the healing process. There were some who wanted revenge, to the extent that they were even willing to pay money for the criminals to be hunted down and killed. Others, from their anger, demanded justice, checking up on the police’s activities to make sure that they were doing their job properly. Of these, some were even angry with us for being so “soft” on the criminals, as if being angry would somehow have improved the situation. Perhaps if it was their own daughter that had been involved their attentions might have been somewhere other than on justice or revenge. We certainly had to contend with a lot of heated expression, often delivered in colourful language.
Socially, people either avoided the topic altogether or dealt with the awkwardness by making small talk or displaying false gaiety. Others said inappropriate and sometimes (naively so) things that were quite hurtful. Many took the opportunity to regale us with other people’s horror stories, as if now was the appropriate time to share these. The truth was we had our own real live horror story which was quite enough to handle without being burdened by more stories.
This was a very scary and lonely time for all of us, most especially Cayly, and the few who came and just sat with us, drank tea and the one or two friends who just lay on the bed with Cayly in silence, brought much comfort.
There were those who brought flowers, gifts, food and kept us in their prayers. To all of these we are very grateful for their love and support.
The next post is, Hiv/Aids