Monday, May 17, 2010

Lost but not forgotten

Speaking with a woman in her seventies yesterday one of the first things she said was I have been married for 54 years. Before I had a chance to say congratulations she had already spit out how mean he was and the physical and verbal abuse she had endured through out her marriage. Her bond with her children, her decision to stay in a marriage with a violent alcoholic and her new independence since his death. One thing that took me by surprise was despite the visuals scars that could be seen on her body she shared a little information that since his death it has been a transition to sleep alone. As I listened my mind raced, Saint, Martyr or Victim? Five children, no drivers license, her parents gone at an early age, isolation, no siblings. Wow! I thought how badly the odds were stacked against her.
One of the other women who was working their today was quite opposite in her early 20's married and divorced the first year of her marriage. Independent, confident and appeared on track, though inside still suffering from the broken dreams of a future with whom she had believed to be her partner in love and life.
The two women dealt with life in the times that they lived through. One endured, one got out before children were introduced to a marriage. I thought there is a method to God's madness on the road we travel, but honestly the power and the answer lie with in us. Education being key, I knew more than ever that maybe it wasn't about how to get out that was so important but identifying the poison traits of dysfunction before you ever enter into a relationship. I compared the two stories one had a support, friends family and a network, the other was alone in the world, without friends, isolated and alone. I now realized the importance of the network and the new found ability to swallow and digest the signs of a victim. What were the common factors those who were seriously abused had a heart. It was almost as if the predator was hand picking their choice of victim for life. Those who they could string along with promises, only to over and over disappoint them with outburst and strikes against the soul.
As the conversation with both of these women continued my only response was to them, I don't know the answer or the why of it. I only know that we experience what we do for a reason. What have you learned what difference can you make in another persons life. As I was introduced to various members of the family of both women, the elderly woman who found strength in her children and the younger woman who had an extraordinary bond with her daughter, I shook my head to the evils of being human that had surfaced in both of these womens lives.
Some of us feel trapped and others strong enough to stand up for ourselves. One has to remember the fear and lack of fear in both of these situations. The younger woman feared staying a relationship, the other one feared for her life at the thought of getting out. As I hugged each woman felt their struggles on the journey, I also felt their courage to share, educate and allow me a glimpse of their trouble world.

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