WOWZA! What an overwhelming response from the first post.
Thank you for all of your continued prayers, positive meditations and projections of protective light over us. We are truly blessed in our extended communities of support.
I also received too many (one is too many) similarly awful tales that you were brave enough to share. I am paraphrasing one situation here, to protect your privacy:
“Thank you for sharing this.
My husband threatened to kill me and our son too,
but then changed his mind because we weren’t worth going to jail for”
This is in our sweet little community and playing out
right underneath our noses
Most of you also reached out to ask what you could do to help. YOU are brave and courageous to engage and ask. I am not sure that if I were in your shoes, I could harness that bravery. Actually, I am fairly certain that I would not. Not because I don’t care, but these situations are uncontrollably frightening: no pause button, no do-over, no Cliff’s notes, no IMBD preview, and no secure tidy ending.
If you are still with me, and wondering
What to do…
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF SO THAT YOU CAN BE A RESOURCE.
You must remember to put on your oxygen mask before assisting other passengers in this life, including children. Without you having oxygen, you’re risking all of us perishing without your help. And, we need your help.
CHECK IN WITH YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
Be respectfully relentless, if you have to. In crisis, our decision making and perception compasses are off balance and we are often unable to determine situations for what they are, but feel as if we are keenly aware. Remind us we are loved and how your words and actions are coming from a place of love.
STOP DEHUMANIZING PEOPLE THAT YOU DO NOT APPRECIATE.
We ALL struggle. We ALL love. We are ALL humans trying to be humans. Sometimes, we ALL miss the mark. No group of humans are not humans trying to be humans. I am not suggesting to not have healthy boundaries/ideologies/values which guide your behaviors and life. I am suggesting that once you place someone into “they are all scary and awful and hateful and the most terrible etc,” you have given yourself, and others, permission to treat another human in an inhumane way. Stop doing that.
Stop giving up your responsibility to other humans.
Pray for them.
Send them positive light.
Meditate on their human-ness.
This may seem contradictory to your awareness of someone being abusive or mistreated. It is not. They are humans struggling without support. You might choose to not invite them into your home, or introduce them to your children, but you might choose to take an extra bag of toiletries to your local shelter this week, or donate to another local resource who is already servicing professional interventions. (for example, if you are driven to help overseas refugee children, find their local resource and donate to them – Red Cross, UNICEF etc)
KNOW YOUR COMMUNITY RESOURCES.
Your friend that is in an abusive relationship needs professional help. You can provide your friend with telephone numbers, or make those telephone calls yourself. This is not dehumanizing your friend or the abuser. Both your friend and the abuser need interventions other than what they are experiencing, professional interventions, before someone is hurt further. Their intervention may include a religious leader, legal advisor, the police, social services, a judge, rehab, or some other mental health/professional intervention. Make one of these professional intervention entities a recipient of your philanthropy, either with money or time. They can use your support too.
Wouldn’t you rather donate to your local domestic abuse shelter so that they can provide adequate counseling and legal support, rather than donate $20 for a t-shirt at your friend’s 5K because they were murdered by an abuser?
You are not responsible for the decisions that either your friend or the abuser make. You can be responsible for knowing what resources are available in your community. Believe me when I tell you, ALL of us know someone in, or has been in, an abusive relationship. ALL OF US do.
Agencies you might want to be aware of:
Emergency Assistance 911 (call for ANY suspected emergency situation)
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) (multilingual/ confidential)
National Alliance on Mental Illness 1.800.950.2624 (confidential)
I ASK EACH OF YOU TO CHECK ON A COMMUNITY AREA THAT YOU FREQUENT
– the grocery store, your library, the salon, the gym, etc and see if there is a brochure or list of community services for people in crisis, available there. If there is not, contact one of your local agencies (domestic violence shelter, non-emergency police number, food bank) and see where you might volunteer to distribute their list of resources, or to put a list together. I bet your local library has a community resource brochure or web page. If not, ask to volunteer there to put one together, then distribute it to the community areas that you frequent.
Thank you for your enthusiasm and interest in helping. You are the key to our living, not just surviving.
Love, Ms Herisme and Son Heishim