All you need is someone to hear you out…

Note: This article is part of the series ‘Is Harry Potter A Series For Kids?’

He took a deep breath and began to tell them. As he spoke, visions of everything that had passed that night seemed to rise before his eyes; he saw the sparkling surface of the potion that had revived Voldemort; he saw the Death Eaters Apparating between the graves around them; he saw Cedric’s body, lying on the ground beside the cup.

Once or twice, Sirius made a noise as though about to say something, his hand still tight on Harry’s shoulder, but Dumbledore raised his hand to stop him, and Harry was glad of this, because it was easier to keep going now he had started. It was even a relief; he felt almost as though something poisonous were being extracted from him. It was costing him every bit of determination he had to keep talking, yet he sensed that once he had finished, he would feel better.                                                                             – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The excerpt is from the book Harry Potter and the Goblet of  Fire. This scene takes place after Harry returns from the graveyard. Harry is exhausted, tired and moreover he is emotionally shaken. A fourteen year old boy had just witnessed  how  harsh and unfair life can get. Cedric Diggory was killed just because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He was called a spare. As if his life had no value. Like his life meant nothing.

To Lord Voldemort no life mattered except his own. He did not have any regard for his enemy  nor did he have any affection for his followers. He was perfectly heartless. But that is not my point today.

One day, I was reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. When I reached this part something struck me as really odd. Whenever I read this particular part, I used to be so caught up in the story that I never really paid any attention to the exact  words which have  been used.

‘If I thought I could help you ,’ Dumbledore sad gently, ‘by putting you into an enchanted sleep, and allowing you to postpone the moment when you would have to think about what has happened tonight, I would do it. But I know better.  Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it. You have shown bravery beyond anything I could have expected of you. I ask you to demonstrate your courage one more time. I ask you to tell us what happened.’                                                     – Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

To someone who never really understood the wisdom behind the words, I always thought that Prof. Dumbledore had behaved in a really  heartless manner. Making Harry repeat all the things that happened at the graveyard  was not fair. He had been through a terrible ordeal and making him relive all of that immediately…

 THAT was the exact  point. He had been through a terrible ordeal. All the pain, fear, anguish was trapped inside him. It was imperative that all of that was extracted from him. “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” Making him forget the pain for a little while was the easiest but not best solution.

If any memory is suppressed, then it comes back to you when you are least expecting it. And when you do remember it, you again try to suppress it because no one wants to confront something that is unpleasant or scary.

So the best possible solution was to get him describe it in detail to someone. Prof. Dumbledore does not even allow Sirius to say single word in between. He just lets Harry speak. And when it is all done he give Harry a potion for dreamless sleep.

Now we are just muggles. We don’t have any potions for dreamless sleep or anything. But looking beyond the magical bits, there is a very profound piece of wisdom. Any sort of unpleasant memory or incident should not be suppressed in any way. Get it out of your system. Like when someone gets bitten by a snake, the first thing to do is to stop the poison from spreading the next steep is to extract the poison from the person’s body.

Unpleasant memories are like poison. They need to extracted from your mind. There is no delete button for our brain. One click the data is lost forever.

I think the best way to deal with it is to just talk. Talk to someone who is unbiased. Someone who will not question you, judge you or advise you. Someone who will just let you speak.Speak until you are ready to stop. Until you feel lighter. Until you get all of it out of your system. And then not discuss it with you. Someone who will not question you about anything unless YOU want to discus it.

I know, this is like demanding too much from the person who you choose to talk with. But the fact of life is that, sometimes you don’t need advice. You  don’t even need to hear the typical, ” I  am always with you no matter what.” crap because let’s face it, no one sticks around for the rest of your life.  You definitely don’t need anyone’s sympathy or pity.

All you need is a pair of willing ears and a set of eyes that spell neutral emotions.

( A few days ago I discovered that one  of my friends from my school days used to write a blog. While going through his posts, I came across one titled Light in the Dark. In this article he encourages people to share their thoughts and problems with friends as it makes you feel lighter. He mentions that he found it easier to open up to his friend when it was dark. He wonders why that was so?

PS: Abhishek, I think I have an answer to your question. Read on to find out! 😉)

I think opening up to someone in the dark is a lot easier because darkness masks everything. You cannot see the other person. And most importantly the other person cannot see you. Darkness, at least to me is, in a very way, comforting. Like after having a nightmare, you feel very secure under your blanket? Darkness is that blanket that hides you from this world!

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