Secret doors have been everywhere lately. The Orphanage springs to mind. Then last week at my writing group someone read out something about a secret door with a creepy doll coming through it. Maybe it was a premonition about the story no one could have missed by now, of the Austrian girl Elisabeth Fritzl (now a middle-aged woman) kept in a cellar for 24 years and repeatedly raped by her own father.
I was in a shop today and someone made a joke about it. A joke about someone who had been kidnapped, sexually abused and put in prison, for an eternity, for nothing. Someone who had had one child die on her, and three snatched from her, whilst not being able to protect the ones who stayed with her. Ha ha. I went, ‘oh hilarious’ but afterwards I hated myself for not calling him out properly. What sort of feminist am I? What sort of man was he?
The girl’s story is bad enough- twenty-four years imprisoned. But three of her kids had never seen sunlight. Ever. The oldest one was nineteen years old… nineteen years. A whole life. In one cellar. You can’t wrap your head around that. No one can.
I have no words or thoughts to describe 'Mr Fritzl' as the papers keep calling him (why the politeness?). I've come to terms with the fact now that certain men are just monsters, with no empathy. The real story lies with what happened over those years and what happens next. Would he have just kept them under there forever? He would, wouldn't he? And what now? I just can't foresee a happy ending. It's Flowers in the Attic, it's just fucked beyond belief. It's beyond imagining. Could the mother have not known? I guess she could. Anything is hard to find if you will not open your eyes. Who knows, really.
What is it with Austrians and kidnapping? What is with men and control? It's a sick world. We just live it in, and become immune, and eventually we'll just laugh along with the jokes, like fucking idiots because what other choice do we have? If we actually stop and think about any of this stuff for a minute, we'll go absolutely doolally.