Saturday, February 1, 2014
Brave is a place in which I share about domestic violence, my experience and my delight in the strength and bravery of humanity. Sometimes in my journey and writing there is much that is of delicate nature. Normally I reserve that for the Dark Corner below. But today my tears extended beyond just that Corner, today my tears touched the sky. And so, read for understanding, read for courage to face your challenge, read with sensitivity for what I hold dearest is below.
I am watching my children hurt. There is nothing that I have experienced thus far in my life that would prepare me or equip me for the emotions of seeing my children ache and face hurt. Suffering is not new to anyone- certainly not to us. We all to some extent will suffer, walk through difficult circumstances or have extremely difficult tasks that we are called to do. I might complain and groan about my faulty tv, my washing machine that has an airplane complex or my lack of sleep... but none of these holds a candle to watching my children hurt. This week has been difficult. Our counselor has often reminded me that at times going backwards is the only way to move forward. My children are going backwards- looking back on their own. Oh it makes me want to shake down the skies. I hurt for them. And as they hurt every trigger that I have is in full blown "thrashing in the wind" mode. Shaking down the skies sounds pretty good right now. Believe me each hand would hold on to those clouds really tight and I would not let go until I'd shaken every answer, and a whole lot of peace and hope down on my kids. Down on myself. Memories are disgustingly hard. I've known that at some point my kids would and will struggle. I have approached my own healing with an intensity and urgency because so much time has been wasted already. But we are moving backwards. This is not forever, it is just right now. I am however surprised at what we can handle. My own hurt and seeing my children hurt is bigger than the sky I would like to shake. And yet- so is my love for them. So is my tenderness and complete enjoyment of snuggling with them on a Saturday morning or after a nap. I love being able to wipe their tears away, to hold them, to sing them to sleep. I wouldn't trade that for the world. So maybe while this is so very hard- maybe it is the greatest gift I have- to get to be a comfort for my children. To get to be love to them. To be brave and share courage with my little babies. Be Brave my friends. There is so much to live for.
I lay on the floor before him, my two daughters beside me. My hands shaking with the desire to cover their ears, to shield them from his words.
I stood next to my son. His chin was lifted in defiance. My breathing shallow as I shook my head. Knowing I would get hurt at my defiance. Screaming inside for this to stop.
On the floor I clawed at his legs, reaching for his arms. He has taken my son, my baby son away from me. No, No, No, No, No I yelled as he threw him outside.
These are just the beginning of three stories. Three stories that were "normal" life. Three stories that are so sensitive I cannot tell them well. Our lives are precious and yet during that time were not valued and that thankfully occurs no more.
Violence that involves children is abhorrent. Studies suggest that nearly 10 million children witness domestic violence annually. That means EVERY YEAR. That is an enormous number of children that are hurting, children that have seen trauma or felt trauma. Children that were supposed to be cared for and held and loved that aren't. Children that aren't sure what is safe, that are fearful of the future and nervous about the past. Memories are forgotten but the emotions and senses always remember. My children do.
If you are being hurt let someone help you! You are worth the life you were given, and the fear you live in is NOT that life. The US has a wonderful hotline that can help you make a plan, connect you with resources- anything you need. Call the police. If you know of someone being hurt help them. Be the friend that stands with them, that doesn't give up even when they act weird and distant, that helps them get out. Be Brave.