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Trouble reconciling that humans can do this to other humans

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Hello, and I hope but don't know how you or anyone can help.

With the Ukraine invasion being devastating itself, the news of the bodies found tortured is beyond my capacity to cope with how any human being can harm another this way.

There's a part of me that needs to believe that these crimes were committed by some force that cannot possibly be human.

I am so sorry to post this if it triggers anyone, but I am so bereft of common sense at this moment. 

I simply cannot fathom within myself the suffering and cruelty imposed on these people, and I don't know how I can come back to my self after viewing these atrocities.

Thank you for hearing me,

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19 minutes ago, Cynder said:

I agree.  I can't handle all the gory details of what is going on over there.  It's just too much.  

Thank you so much for responding, Cynder. I know that this isn't about me, and I can appreciate that this impacts every one of us in our own way.

I can't recall ever feeling this kind of disbelief and dissociation over "what constitutes a human being," except in learning of cases of genocide, and I'm trying hard to not shut down.

While I can be temporarily rattled by learning of harms of others over the course of history, or even just over the course of my own small lifetime, I am struggling with how we all must go on in contrast to what (and WHO) has abruptly and deliberately tortured and snuffed the lives of so many valid and loving and important human beings.

I wish that I was better anchored in a belief about each of us transitioning to a better place as some kind of stellar reward for having served this time in 'life school'.

The fact that armies of so-called-human beings can operate as such a heartless and merciless and sadistic force isn't just about the suffering they've inflicted on those innocent people, but also a far larger statement about a world that DOES fecklessly allow such a militarized sociopathy--as though history has not seen this before?

What ever happened to "WE WILL NEVER FOGET?" ... and how could the entire world be without an answer to stop this?

(((HUG))), and thank you for going to such a dark and horrible place with me,




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First off, I would give you such big hugs. I'm so sorry you are struggling. You've been such a steady, strong force for so many and have added so much good to this forum. 

What you are describing sounds like a form of trauma. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't know, but witnessing terrible things can cause trauma reactions in some people. I truly believe many, many people are experiencing various degrees of trauma during this time, just like you. You are not alone. I can say personally, I've been struggling with some difficulties with my mental health triggered by this war. I worked many years to try and come to terms with previous trauma, and I know I'm more susceptible to it. The question you gave of "how do I come back to myself after viewing these atrocities?" is one that I grappled with a lot! There's no easy answer. And I will say as well that same as you, I am not anchored in any beliefs about transitioning to a greater reward after this life school, as you put it. 

So with all that in mind, what bits of knowledge can I pass on, things that have helped? 

Assess where you are at. If you can, keep your doctor in the loop. It's important to have a doctor who understands how mental health and physical health are linked. Get a check up, see if your blood pressure etc is high. My cholesterol changes when I'm very stressed! Check to make sure you are getting all your body needs. Because you will need to go through some healing. Trauma disrupts the body, and it can even change our brains. It's not light stuff. 

Other things to access, are you experiencing any memory loss? Depression? Anxiety? Are you having intrusive thoughts? Nightmares? Can you sleep? 

As far as what you can do, I'm going to start rattling off some things that have helped me. It's not everything, but maybe you can apply something and see some shift or bit of peace... 

*strict sleep schedule, make it your safe space, build a place you can escape to when overwhelmed

*limit exposure to the news and social media

*basics of good health, eating well, exercise, relaxation, sleep

*may sound cheesy but have a few "happy places" you can go to mentally very quickly. Some of mine are thinking of the dogs running free at a dog park I go to sometimes, calm winter morning where I'm getting up lazily to the smell of coffee and maple syrup and bacon, etc. 

*creative outlets, especially if it uses both your hands, really good for your brain. Music, painting, baking, crafting etc. 

*grounding. I use various methods. Anything that helps bring you in your body and now. My cat, I joke she's a therapy animal, but she kinda really is. I use making tea, holding ice cubes, yoga. 

*connecting to a larger power. Don't have to be religious nor believe in heavenly rewards. You own personal connection to bigger than human. For me, it's nature. I watch the northern lights. I gaze at the moon. I love nature walks. It reminds me humans aren't the be all end all. 

*laughter. Gotta find humour when you can. Can be the silliest thing, but it's not frivolous, it's really good if you can find a laugh

*your people. Make time to be around them, hug them, connect on that basic level. Don't be afraid to ask for extra love..

*giving. Give and help where you can. It not just nice it's healing. It helps forge those new pathways in processing this new jarring information. 

It was hard for me to accept that I couldn't go back from knowing and witnessing certain things. But acceptance is sort of key. Trauma changes you. But we keep changing. I just try to do my best to change in a direction that will bring me forward. With more to add to this world. 

I see the world and humans as being capable of great good and great evil. Evil isn't a popular word anymore, there's this desire to see everything as relative. But I do think it's a constant battle of good and evil. The bad snuffs out the light with fear and hopelessness. So I hold on to hope, it's at my core, it may be stubbornness even but it's there. I believe you have it too. 

I did a lot of reading. Are you familiar with Romeo Dellaire? He experienced witnessing such horrific things, felt the most incredible depths of helplessness to stop bad things. And the apathy of people, the lack of action. He still works so damn hard to change things.. I absolutely admire him, and it inspires me. Is there someone who you see doing work like this who can inspire when things are looking the worst? 

I want to say too.. There's people on this forum who are inspirations for how they have lived and evolved through traumas and some of them helped change my life, just to get through some really bad times and as support. 

So I hope you find all the support, help, love, catfeeder... Your post really got to me. 

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Thankfully you cannot fathom doing those things to other living creatures. It shows you are a human with empathy, kindness and love towards other living things.

I don't look too closely at the videos and pics because I know they'll upset me. What I've chosen to do is donate money and things to humanitarian efforts. I have donated money to World Central Kitchen. I have donated items to some Afghan refugees who settled in my neighborhood. I have provided items and food to the homeless population in my area. I will continue to donate money and items. It's not saving lives but it helps just a bit. It makes me feel like I'm fighting against those who perpetuate atrocities and help in a small way to defeat them. I can't physically fight but I can put my dollars and extra items towards helping.

I'm sorry you're upset. I completely understand.

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It takes a special kind of psyche to do stuff like that. Soldiers in war, for example. You are literally living from today to tomorrow. You killing somebody, even kids, as much as it seems out of anything normal to us, to them, its just Tuesday. Its literally like M Bison said in "Street Fighter"


Chun-Li: My father saved his village at the cost of his own life. You had him shot as you ran away. A hero at a thousand paces.
M. Bison: I'm sorry. I don't remember any of it.
Chun-Li: You don't remember?!
Bison: For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for me, it was Tuesday.

Also, I would kindly recommend to just not watch the news. Not only just because it affects you dearly, but because but because they are precisely using it in order for you to be affected and distracted. As my brother said: "Just turn off the news and go talk to your neighbour, world would be a better place if we do that."

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You may want to read the book “Humankind – A Hopeful History” by Rutger Bregman.

I received it as a Christmas gift from a friend last year. I found it a fascinating book, it gives a new view on humankind, even though the images from Ukraine make me doubt seeing the good in people.

The images are unbelievable and difficult to watch and yet personally, I can’t not watch. I have to watch, even though I am crying while doing so. But I feel if I don’t watch, I turn a blind eye. Living in Western Europe, it is so difficult to accept that these atrocities are happening so close to home.

If seeing these images impacts you so much, it is better to not watch. You need to look out for yourself. Only you know how much you can tolerate, because you can’t unsee them.

What helps me to distract myself is cooking. I have cooked so much food recently and I am freezing and canning it. It helps me to calm down. Also, since Europe gets a lot of its oil and natural gas from Russia, I have switched my heating a few degrees lower, I have heard from more people who are doing the same. Already since COVID, I don’t go places where I don’t necessarily need to be, so I use less gas for my car and I will continue doing that. Less demand for oil and gas, less money available for war. I donated money to Unicef, because children are always the hardest hit by wars and children are our future.

Please take good care of yourself!

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I'm sorry, catfeeder.  Grisly photographs and news of murdered civilians while standing in bread lines, killing civilians as they fall to the ground with spilled potatoes out of a bag,  raping women and girls in front of their families and executing them, knowing they're without heat, food, water and desperate refugees fleeing for their lives is extremely disturbing for me, too.  😡 ☹️  This is what war is. 

I have several newspapers subscription deliveries to my house.  Viewing horrific war scenes is depressing and scary indeed.  It's reminiscent of all wars for centuries.  Times haven't really changed at all.  It's the same torture, rapes, executions, suffering, death, starvation and fear.  War is war. 

It's universal that most people are consumed with their own troubles, survival and daily lives.  It's easy to grow numb to other people's harrowing and dire plights which is human nature. 

I too have difficulty with the reality of some beasts in this world.  Creatures who inflict this level of indescribable cruelty defies comprehension. 



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It is very hard to witness and impossible to understand. It is overwhelming. You're not alone Cat.

I try to limit my access to the news.  I wish there were more I could do.  It's very hard to cope with those feelings of helplessness and even knowing what should be done. Other than it shouldn't happen.

We talk so much on here about how we can't know what another person thinks or does. How to stop a madman?

Hang in there best you can.  Endure and save yourself for better days. ❤

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Hey Cat,


All I can say is I’m so sorry, so sorry for what is happening and how it is affecting everyone, especially those there living it.


I completely get where you’re coming from. I think anyone with half a heart is feeling sick to their stomach, worried and losing sleep at the moment. 

Me and my husband know a solider who was quite high up who did three tours in Afghanistan for the British Army. I’m going to spare the details but this is a terrible side fact of war. Two Taliban members, they knew they had done something atrocious, so when him and another comrade got their hands on them, he told me and my husband “We didn’t make it quick”. If it makes you feel any better these two guys were pure evil and probably deserved whatever they got. But! It goes in circles. Some soldiers will be total psychopaths. Most are just ordinary people doing their job. Some get caught up in the high intensity of being in the middle of a war zone and it gets t*t for tat. 

As others have said, try not to watch the news. Try to distract yourself, as selfish as that may seem, but you have to preserve your own mood and well being through all this.


I am normally a person who leans over to the pessimistic side of things, but, y’know, this might be wishful thinking on my part Cat but I just have a feeling things might be starting to change and we can get over this and the end of this year and next year might be much brighter once we come out the other end. Russia has lost all credibility, they have threatened and now it’s costing them far too much; they can’t afford it, they don’t have the military technology, the rest of the world has stuck together, Ukraine never rolled over. I believe we can come out of this another lesson learnt, appreciating our democracy, safety and freedoms like never before. I think good will win, I really do.


Like yourself and others maybe here, I am unfortunately not religious, I have no other comfort to look up to the sky for, but I do think, in humanity, the good outweighs the bad. 

We’re all gonna pull through this. I think Russia is doomed now. It’s getting knocked down a few pegs. We thankfully might not hear from them again! I don’t know, I’m just suddenly feeling more optimistic about the future. 

Think of all the people who got away, think of all the lives that have been saved, think about the surge of help and warmth most people have addressed this with. Not all hope is lost.


Treat yourself if you can. Even if it’s a lovely cup of coffee, a cat nap, a hot bath, a good book, a daft comedy film, a meal out, a new something you fancied, a walk somewhere outside that is peaceful, listen too your favourite album, cook or bake, re-vamp your garden, re-decorate! Hobby, craft! Anything to keep yourself in good spirits and to take your very humanitarian, kind and lovely mind off things. It is helping no one there and especially not you to think of such things. I can’t stress this enough again but: it helped me massively, turn off the news. Don’t talk of it all the time to friends and your partner unless you really feel like it will therapeutically help you.


I got into a bad habit of every night, after putting all our babies to bed, I would off load all my worries and frets onto my husband about, what will happen now and how bad can this get and I would work myself up into an even bigger mental frenzy. In the end my husband said, what can we do? Please Lo; let’s not talk about it unless you really feel it will help you. Let’s put an upbeat movie on. And he was right, it gradually has helped.


All the best Cat, we are all in the same boat going through the same feelings. So much support and well wishes your way. There will be an end to this, let us hope it is soon, we can look forward to the day this is a memory we can let fade into the distance.



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Dear friends,
I can’t thank you enough for your kindness, and I should have known how helpful you would be.

I’ve seen you step up for so many people over the years, and I’m especially grateful for your tenderness because I have not been able to discuss my own mental state over this with anyone during this time.

It’s not that I don’t believe people would understand, but rather, it’s been more helpful to allow the focus of others to drive mine during our interactions. This has kept me from derailing even while it removes my concern about derailing someone else.

You each have made such thoughtful points that I want to address as I am able. I am taking your advice to tend to myself, and I’m using vacation time to travel with a friend and visit family.

I appreciate you more than I can say.

Any additional comments are welcome, and I am inspired by you to continue this conversation.

(((Thank you.)))

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You are so welcome Cat, you help more than enough people on here and we all help each other.


Enjoy your trip with your friend! The best idea! What are you gonna wear? 🤣


Sorry, my clothes obsession slipped out! 

Enjoy enjoy!


Lo x

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The media in general has gotten increasing more gory and graphic. 

Even during the pandemic, it was disgusting pictures of comatose people on ventilators. Who would allow that invasion of privacy?

Then there's excessive hyperbole. Deliberately inflammatory language again to attract views and clicks.

There's an unseemly in your face style of media coverage even in better media coverage.

While say the NYT is better than the curated sensationalism on typical social media feeds, there's still a trend toward more and more gory and graphic images.

People are getting ultra concentrated doses of all this because of too much screen time whether it's tv phones computers etc. 

Wars and cruelty sadly happen all the time. But now it's just not the front page or evening news, it's all day every day repeated over and over in palm of people's hands viewing too much social media news feeds.

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AVOID television. It might be a  unpopular opinion but the media literally has only job, report stuff which will get them ratings. 

It's like the start of the song SUGAR by S. O. A. D, they have ratings and need cintent out fast so you can watch it. The "viewer discretion is advised" message is there for a reason and people that have a weak mind should just not watch itz it's as easy as that. 

Let curiosity go, avoid news and live YOUR Life, not the one media wants you to see. 

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That is correct. There are tragedies unfolding everywhere every day.

This isn't relationship "abuse and violence", this is allowing media to oversaturate your head and therefore your heart.

There's a lot more going on in the world than this war, that is equally disturbing. It's just not getting the media and social media attention.

Choose what you allow into your mind and heart.

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I have to totally agree with Wiseman and Question here Cat.


Horrible things happen everyday every year all over the world. This is big news understandably, but the media want you to click and watch, they hardly ever say or report anything lovely or good do they? It’s terrible really. I’m not suggesting they should patronise us all but really, some of the things! 

I don’t think it is weak minded at all to be sickened and worried about what is going on. I think we have all struggled avoiding this in some way. Doom and gloom it is, 24/7, perpetuated by the media! 

Morrissey has a great and reverent line in his song ‘Spent The Day In Bed’ it states:


”I tell all my friends stop watching the news, because the news is designed to frighten you, to make you feel small and alone, to make you feel your mind isn’t your own!”



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1 hour ago, Wiseman2 said:

Yes. The cover of Time magazine was a field of body bags. So victims are used by media to make money.

Why this is posted in a relationship section is unclear. There's already a thread in off topic about world events.


Wiseman, you were doing so well with the compassion but, you just blew it hun!


Y’know, not everyone is an absolute robot to the rules on here, or puts too much importance in it my dear! Mistake was made, it doesn’t matter. This is a help and support forum, we’re just giving help and support here babes.


Let it go. Loosen up. 



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38 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

Ditto lol

Glad we agree on your compulsion darling, you haven’t made admin just yet! 

Throw me an infraction when ya do! Unless this comment now needs moving somewhere else, this is relationship section after all right? 

Where do we file, response to sarcastic and uppity behaviour queries? 

Sure you can tell them for me. Copy and paste. 


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Folks, my topic being the treatment of human beings, I'd appreciate your cooperation in not getting my thread shut down before I've had the opportunity to address some of the helpful points that people here have generously offered.

I'm capable of using discretion in what I choose to learn of world events.


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Being disagreed with is the last thing we need to be upset about. In fact, people not being able to tolerate one another's opinions and needing to have the last word is a huge part of why the world is the way it is.

Tolerance, acceptance and even celebration of our differences of opinion is a much better way to go. How boring the world would be if we all liked all the same things and had the same opinions!

One positive I've taken from these awful crimes against humanity is I'm learning more about the world around me.  For example, I thought Azerbaijan was a city in Iran, not a country. Learning more every day so I can try to be a better person.

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On 4/6/2022 at 8:48 AM, Seraphim said:

I hear you, Cat, so much. I have taken to hiding in my room while hubby watches the news. It is emotionally so crippling. I just can’t take it and feel physically and mentally sick. 

Thank you, Seraphim. Yes, I've found it helpful to limit my exposure as I process what I've already seen. Unfortunately, it's been my own mind behaving as my own worst enemy in ways that you and others here can recognize from experience.

With the exception of my sleep, which has been badly disrupted this week, I have improved since my OP with the help of you good folks here.

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13 minutes ago, catfeeder said:

Thank you, Seraphim. Yes, I've found it helpful to limit my exposure as I process what I've already seen. Unfortunately, it's been my own mind behaving as my own worst enemy in ways that you and others here can recognize from experience.

With the exception of my sleep, which has been badly disrupted this week, I have improved since my OP with the help of you good folks here.

It is so so difficult I understand. We can’t unsee what we have seen and the brain runs with it. 

I have gone so far as to have bags packed in case the world gets worse. 

If you have chance take  long walks which are really good for keeping us rooted in the present moment . ❤️

We are here for you. 

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