Thursday, November 28, 2013

Asking for help

Welcome. I'm very honored by your presence. My words may be small, my experience is just one in the millions. But I hope that you will be encouraged- as the magical thing about courage is that we share it! Welcome to Brave. 

My children ask for help. Ok, I might have to rephrase that- (small chuckle from me) my children beg, cry, yell, weep, whine, whisper, sing and speak their need for my help. With five of them 90% of my time is spent addressing these reminders that we live as a unit and we are unable to function on our own. Grownups can of course make it on their own- but I do believe probably 90% of the time they too are begging, crying, yelling, weeping and wailing for help of some kind. People were meant to live with each other. Meant to have help, meant to share this horrible and wonderful experience we call life. Today look at the people around you that you depend on- that you cry to, that you listen to, that you share brownies with, kisses with and those spectacular things we call hugs. Look at the people that you let into your own personal bubble, the people that know you when you are being really crabby, the people that know you can't cook well yet eat your version of ummm.... hot dogs for dinner again. See them and be filled with thanks. Be filled through what you see, what you hear and what you feel.

My Dark Corner is below. This is my personal experience with domestic violence and a life of threatening fear. I no longer live in that life. Read it to be aware. Read it to gain understanding. Read it to empathize with the millions that live it everyday. Read it to remind yourself that someone else's life may look ok but in their home it may not be. Read it to let me share my brave with you.

Dark Corner:
This was my deepest shame. 
I looked up. My eyes would not focus. The wind tunnel of anger was taking over the house. I was on the floor- my head or rather my hair in his hands. I could no longer keep my eyes open but I did know that was important. I had to stay awake. He is screaming about my death. I lay there thinking about whether feeling where my head was- was important. He.. is.. screaming... about... my... death... I opened my eyes really wide, very wide. My children were standing a few feet away all watching silently. He was screaming but no one else was making any noise. It was so quiet. I made my eyes focus for a minute and catch the eye of my oldest son. I whispered, "Please help." My head hit the floor one more time hard. And the wind tunnel moved away. My children still stood in their little line. One of my daughters came and handed me a handful of my hair. I brought myself to my knees, everything was reeling. My daughter and I picked up my hair. I had just asked my children for help. The thought of what might have happened if they had is overwhelmingly dark. I carried the deepest shame that I can imagine at the thought of... I cannot even now finish that sentence. I would handle the darkness- I never again would ask for help. I was alone. It was just too risky for the dream of help. 

To live without hope is death. I saw myself die a long time ago. I had ceased to function as a person, as a mother, as a partner- as anything. I was as detached as I could be. BUT there is hope. There is a new day. Someone shared courage with me, I will share that miraculous story soon, and life began again. There is new life! 
The US believes that nearly 55-95% of women that suffer physical abuse from a partner will never contact a non-government aid organization, shelter or the police. Domestic violence continues because of the silence. Nearly 10 million children worldwide see domestic violence annually. Domestic violence continues because of the silence. 

The bravest thing one can do is to hope. There is hope. Whether you are surviving, in the middle of some form of terror or whether your greatest trial is stretching your meager budget- there is hope. And on this amazing Thanksgiving day- be thankful for those whom you can ask for help from. Be Brave.