One part of the trip stands out to me. I was looking around Midonik, a death camp in Poland. I saw the barracks where people were kept. There was one full of shoes. These shoes were stolen from the people who were rounded up like cattle. They were chained to the beds unless the guards unlocked the chains.
|Photo was taken by my 17-year-old self|
When I walked into the barracks, I saw all the shoes encased by glass on the beds. I felt completely withdrawn. I felt like I had left my body. I was hearing the screams and voices of the victims. It completely took me over. The air was thick and the emotions were so overwhelming, I collapsed. I remained there with a vivid image in my head of what happened exactly where I stood.
I could not help to imagine what they were feeling, who they were separated from and what horrific fate waits for them at this horrid place. All these emotions were taking over my body.
One of the chaperones found me a few minutes later. This I know now was autistic shutdown. This was when I was 17 years old. I was diagnosed as autistic at 32. I am 38 now. I remember it like it happened yesterday.
I have vivid nightmares of this exact scene.
Why did I take this trip when I was warned of extreme emotions? I always wanted to feel like others did, even as a child. How would I fully understand what happened if I did not go?
Other Photos from my trip are here: https://www.fierceautie.com/p/march-of-living-photos.html