Malaria was rampant, as were diseases from the water and food. The culture was radically different from their own. The majority of these Bosnians were Muslim, but they were more modern and Westernized than they were religious. Suddenly they were in a fundamentalist Islamic country. Because their Pakistani hosts were offering them even more than they offered most of their own citizens, more than most countries had offered them anywhere in the world, the Bosnians felt guilty not feeling more grateful. They spent their days waiting—waiting for the weather to cool off, waiting to get out of Pakistan those that were waiting for entry into America had been waiting the longest , waiting for news of their hometown, waiting for the nightmares to pass, waiting.
Each day I would sit with these refugees for many hours in a saunalike room; we would form a huge circle and the people would tell their stories. Everyone was sick in some way, everyone deeply traumatized from the horrific events they had suffered in the war. And yet, there was great humor, generosity, and community. During my last days there, I became very ill with some kind of flu.
The Bosnians overwhelmed me with kindness, offering me homemade remedies and soups. There was this particular little bottle of nose drops that had clearly passed through the entire community. When they offered it to me, I felt I was undergoing a rite of passage. Now I was infected with refugee illness, with a tiny bit of their suffering. I had a fever and my nose was running. I sat on a mattress in a degree room while an older woman with shaking hands was telling her story. They took my first neighbor, my best friend, into the street. There were fifteen soldiers. There in front of her husband and children and neighbors they raped her one after the other until all fifteen had raped her.
They did this in front of all of us. They did it to teach us a lesson. We want them to know what happened here. We do not understand how they have abandoned us. Did the Serbs make the Muslims feel bad about being Muslim? Did they take their dignity and self-esteem? They raped many women.
They did not take our dignity though.
They did not touch it. The women who were raped did not lose their dignity. What they lost was their minds. In that moment I loved these Bosnians completely. I loved their stove-made bread and their meat-filled peppers that they cooked for us each day in the heat. I loved that they had survived and their hearts were intact and their kindness was so deeply present even now after everything.
We raged at the cruelty they had suffered. And in the center of this weeping, in the center of this sweating and running nose, I found an odd, perfect strength. It is the strength that comes from surrender, from dissolving. I returned to the States on a plane that nearly crashed over the Atlantic.
In midflight it simply dropped thousands of feet out of the sky. Passengers went flying, luggage was released from the overhead compartments, and objects were hurling through space. Parents were rocking their children. Many were praying and chanting, some were crying, others were perfectly still.
Losing It in Our Security-Obsessed World
The woman next to me took my hand and said she needed to tell someone goodbye. We were walking through our final moment. Then somehow the falling stopped, the plane got caught on some ledge of air. Flight attendants had brain concussions. Passengers had spiritual experiences they felt compelled to share with strangers. Eventually I came back to earth—well, the plane landed. In fact, something crucial inside me had changed. Sure footing was gone. I had seen how easily neighbors and supposed friends could turn against their friends and neighbors.
I had seen how in a split second a comfortable life could become a nightmare. I had seen how quickly fascist thugs could rise to power by manipulating the people with tactics of racism and terror. Suddenly nothing was secure. Nothing was what it appeared to be. My life in the U. Most of me remained in Croatia and Pakistan with those women. The memory of their stories and faces and beings made my falsely constructed and misdirected life impossible. I was completely disoriented, unwilling and unable to participate in business as usual. The deconstruction of the notion of security threw me into the center of sadness, rage, and a torrent of other emotions.
Oddly though, I was not depressed. Lost, searching, emotional, but not depressed. It had been my denial itself, not the painful things I had been denying, that had been depressing and isolating me. It had been my clinging to what I instinctively knew were lies and illusions that had reduced and imprisoned me. Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
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And this is the good news. But only if you are not seeking security as the point of your life. Now the brilliant playwright gives us her first major work written exclusively for the printed page. The us-versus-them mentality, Ensler explains, has closed our minds and hardened our compassionate hearts. Provocative, illuminating, inspiring, and boldly envisioned, Insecure at Last challenges us to reconsider what it means to be free, to discover that our strength is not born out of that which protects us.
Ensler offers us the opportunity to reevaluate our everyday lives, expose our vulnerability, and, in doing so, experience true freedom and fulfillment. Read more Read less. Add both to Cart Add both to List. One of these items ships sooner than the other. Buy the selected items together This item: Ships from and sold by Amazon.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Revised and Updated Edition. I Am an Emotional Creature: Controlling Sexuality At The Border. Sponsored products related to this item What's this? A Philosophy of Nature. If Barbara Kingsolver's novels and Chris Hedges' books had a love-child of prophetic fiction, this would be it. The Dandelion Insurrection Study Guide: Guide to nonviolent change and to a fun, bold novel, loved by students and teachers alike.
Taught in literature and resistance courses nationwide! Soul Guide On Planet Earth. Find out why is it important to realize your true self and how to do so. Awaken your soul with the help of the "Soul Guide on Planet Earth". Villard; Reprint edition December 26, Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: She is the author of the political memoir… More about Eve Ensler.
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The Pursuit of Happiness: What if a few new habits could improve your happiness? Imagine waking up in the morning feeling happy and ready to take on the day. What if a few new habits could improve your positive thinking? Product details File Size: Villard October 3, Publication Date: October 3, Sold by: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention eve ensler vagina monologues violence against women read this book security father political personal rage memoir saw stop wanting.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Eve Ensler continues to speak to me in this book, as she addresses the mindset and politics of "security". She illuminates the real needs of people and reminds us of our interdependence, our need to be treated with kindness and that security is, or can be, a trap that encourages us to fear.
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Not her best, in my opinion, but well worth reading. Her ability to be and show her own vulnerability is powerful. One person found this helpful. I started this book thinking it was something else entirely.
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I've read everything she has written.