It's natural as humans to be human.With judgments and jealousies, drive, ambition, conflict and competitiveness...
sorrow/pain, celebration/grieving. There is opposition in all things.
We rise to the noble occasions and shy away from the uncomfortable truths.
My thoughts are deep rooted today, my feelings and emotions tell me that I am on the cusp of new healing. The hurt is always the worst before new light enters my mind and soul and heart and I find myself opening the door to the next chapter.
...Yet, it is my belief in the good side of humans, the compassionate side, that brings me to what I write today. This entry is going to be raw, it is my heart and soul today, and at some point I may come to my senses and remove it.
I hurt. I ache for children all over the world who suffer at the hands of humanity. Not the humanity that does good, the humanity that is selfish and the humanity that is a work in progress.
Being human we are going to make mistakes and sometimes we are the product of others mistakes. So how do we take the naturally evil and selfish side of humanity and create the beautiful and merciful qualities of compassion and consideration for all humankind.
Sadly, sometimes, children are subjected to terrible mistakes of others.
The truth is that there are a great deal more children being subjected to abuse than we want to believe and we generally don't want to hear or talk about it.
Today is celebration of the World For The Prevention of Child Abuse. Everyone of us should be willing to take a moment and recognize the role we play in the lives of children in our homes, our communities, our country and our World.
This is a global beauty that out of our simplest act we can effect the lives of so many children around us.
It begins with how we view our selves;
---in how we see and treat ourselves--- we respond by effecting the lives of our own children, our spouses, our nieces and nephews, grandchildren, our neighbors, others children, our leaders, the grocery store clerk, our cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, friends...
Children all over the world are being abused and what exactly can and are we willing to do to stand up for them.
The solution is wrapped up in the following; we quit being silent, we quit looking away, we stop ignoring the problem.
If you for even a second think "Thank Goodness I wasn't subjected to abuse", or sadly think "I wish I hadn't been", than you should be willing to do something.
Anything....is better than nothing.
Today. Tomorrow. Every Day!
My personal desire to bring this to light comes from so many of my own experiences.
As children we were abused. We were neglected, we were left, ignored, ...in silence.
A VERY painful SILENCE.
In the action of so many looking the other way because it was uncomfortable to see, to suspect,
that something could be wrong.
No one really stepped up, STooD up for us. It was scary for them, and a nightmare for us.
If they did want to, they didn't know how or what to do.
It was the times, you didn't get too involved with other people business....
...has anything really changed in today's world.
I like to believe we are in the beginning stages of change.
In our case many adults have regretted that they didn't do enough, that they didn't do anything. That they thought they couldn't. I can understand that. It is almost as hard to hear someone say NOW that they wished or they wanted to do something as it was to live through the actual abuse.
I don't like admitting that I understand it because it shows my own human weakness.
I should know better...
I do sometimes question things I see and even with what I experienced I have a really hard time stepping out of my own comfort zone.
There is the comfort of naivety and living obliviously
It is uncomfortable to say, "...hey, something doesn't seem just right here,
ARE YOU OKAY?"
...for fear that the answer is
"No, ....I'm not, my kids are not, life is tragic for us right now and we are suffering."
If that is the answer than I would have to do something. I would be involved.
Unfortunately, I have learned the hard way. Someone I could have helped committed suicide this month.
Yes, THIS month of this year.
...painfully reminding me of another someone....my foster mother,
who also died from sadness 21 years ago this month....
Fortunately another family that I am involved with is living in a shelter because of abuse,
the beginning of safety for them,
...and another family I know is running again....because people started to ask questions.
I asked questions.
I know first hand that sometimes there is nothing you can do.
But more often there is something you can do....
Once you do you have to be strong enough to hang in there with people, to have true Christlike compassion and Faith that what you can give will be enough.
Not one person can ever resolve the enormous problems that reside in abusive circumstances, but I can promise you that one person can be enough when that person is willing to say,
"I see you are going through something,
you are struggling,
you are hurting.
I love you.
I am sorry for your pain.
Can I sit with you,
can I hold your hand,
do you feel comfortable if I hug you?
Can I pray with you?"
That is enough in the moment,
the rest comes as the person feels valued,
as a person begins to value themselves....
enough to work through what they are feeling,
and to get out of whatever abuse they are going through.
Never can you completely solve ones sorrow,
only can you strengthen them to resolve it for themselves.
Children, on the other hand, absolutely need responsible people to stand up for them until they are old enough to stand up for their own healing.
And parents who are neglectful and abusive generally need the same love and compassion as those who they are neglecting and abusing.
Abusers need people to stand up to them and say STOP.... What you are doing is WRONG!
It has taken years of work and pleading for healing for me to realize that there are always two victims.
It wasn't ever just about me being subjected to abuse and neglect, it was about the turmoil, the retched disgusting refuge that my parents were personally living through that caused them to allow the abuse or to act abusively.
Everyone of us has a story.
Every person has been somewhere in their life, been through something.
If not abuse, they have been thru grief and sorrow of another sort.
Knowing this truth can't we all just be a little more compassionate, try to be a little more understanding, a LOT MORE forgiving, and a LOT more willing to be honest and truthful and openly Love One Another.
The greatest sorrow that we will ever experience will come in the form of another person letting us know that they were pleading/begging/needing us, and we forsook them. We walked away, we turned a blind eye, a blind heart, a silence.
Silence that kills....Silence that destroys, that sucks the childhood from the child and replaces it with darkness and sorrow, and pain.
Ache that takes a lifetime to get over.
What to know the side effects of abuse?
Ask me. I can tell you many many of them.
Ask my husband....he suffers the side effects...
Ask my children....what they don't understand now, they will someday.
There is something that we all can do.
We can love.
We can pray.
We can ask hard questions, we can look one another in the eyes and see their heart and soul. We can stop looking away.
I find myself in quiet pondering, in reflection....of where I have been and where I am going.
My sweet Aunt who has mentioned a few times to me that she wished there was something more that she could have/would have done....knowing what we children went through.
She has listened to me in times of trial and sorrow and healing she has come to a place in her life where she has a great desire and a willingness to take the hard steps of helping others who are in trouble. She invited my sister and I to join her at the Christmas Box House International breakfast with Richard Paul Evans. We did. Last week, early Thursday morning.
At this event I sat with my sister, my arm around her as we both wept openly
watching the video which so descriptively shows the need for people to care about this issue.
To care bout abuse.
The video hit our hearts hard.
We know what it is like to be forgotten.
To be forsaken by those who should love you the most.
We know what it is like to need someone to care.
Someone to love,
to speak up,
to stand up for you until you can stand for yourself.
The Christmas Box House is an organization that provides temporary shelter for abused and abandoned children. This time of year they reach out to communities for help.
I was honored to be one of her guests, and to give what I could.
As I left I stopped by the giving tree... A Christmas tree with paper ornaments.
Each ornament had a child's name, age, and a gift that they could use or would desire.
I picked a few, I can't wait to take my kids shopping, help them to lovingly wrap, and deliver these simple gifts.
Gifts that will help my children to know that they are greatly blessed,
and gifts that will help another child to know that they are not forgotten.
The GREATEST gift you can give a child is LOVE in their childhood.
Deserves a Childhood
-the motto of the Christmas Box House Organization.
My childhood may not have been the easiest, but we did have wonderful times, and great love between us as siblings. While many may have forgotten us, looked away, wept in silence,
we were together
...we did laugh, we did love, and we did grow,
and we did weep.
...we are not done weeping.
We still hurt and ache, and the fact is
that our abuse is still
collecting dust under so many peoples rugs
collecting dust under so many peoples rugs
..people who don't want to accept the yucky truth that it happened...
Family members still look away,
We are grown up now, and we are close.
We love one another, we laugh, we cry and as we FORGIVE....
A lot of people think that when you heal you forgive.
I know it is the exact opposite.
As we forgive....we heal.
We survived....once victims of abuse,
we are now Survivors.
We choose to heal....
We have a greater strength
to make sure that none of our children
or any child
whom we ever meet
has to live with the pain of silence.
I realize that I can not stop every child from experiencing what we did, but I have hope that if I stop suffering in silence that all of us together can and will make a difference in the lives of our own children and every child we can reach.
Abuse is human, it happens....but it doesn't have to happen in silence....
No one has to feel alone,
if every one of us is willing to take another hand,
and hold them in our heart.
Abuse is sadly a part of natural human instinct.
We all do it.
We do it when we choose to ignore one another,
to be angry,
to be unforgiving,
to be judgmental.
It begins with self and ends with ish.
But there is HOPE that we can become more aware of how our actions effect others and how our lack of action affect others.
Please, even if it is only a moment of your time. ...think of someone you know who might need you to hold their hand, ...someone you can forgive...someone you can be a lot more kind to in your life. We all need to be noticed, to be seen, to be heard.
To be loved.
Celebrate and become part of the
World FOR the PREVENTION of CHILD ABUSE
by standing up and STANDING against abuse.