Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Halloween a year ago. My Guy on a Buffalo and I were still together. I never felt more beautiful than when we were together. Even with no make-up and messy hair and chapped lips.
Truth telling is hard. Oh so hard. I feel such a pull to share my experiences with My Guy on a Buffalo but at the same time I do not want to throw him under the bus. I love this man. He is a good man. His behavior towards me was abusive. I believe in using the correct terms. There is power in them. There is freedom. There is truth. But I hate to think of or refer to My Guy on a Buffalo as my “abuser.” Correct term. Doesn’t sit well. Why? Because that is not who. he. is. “Abuser” is not CORE Guy on a Buffalo. I do not want to label him as that. That is not who he is and he can be helped, healed. He can change.
I have this fear. My fear is that if I tell the truth, if I share my experiences (which I feel so pulled to do) that one day he might read them. That it will cause him shame that he might not escape from. That he will not feel worthy of healing or goodness. And he is worthy! Of healing, restoration, redemption! Being honest here: that it might impede any future relationship we might have together.
I recently wrote a POST about listening to those who share stories of abuse because it can save a life. But the abused are not the only ones worthy of being saved. The “abusers” are too. Granted, I am sure there are people out there who are just mean. But I am gonna go out on a limb and also say that most abusers abuse because of addiction or mental illness. We must help them too (Doesn’t mean we should stay in a bad/unsafe situation EVER). We cannot force any one to change, to seek help or be saved. But we can be aware. We can educate ourselves with knowledge and resources. We can also listen… to them.
I dont’t know. I just don’t know.
A few months ago the opportunity came to me to share the truth about my experience with the one person, in my mind, who would want to know because it has a direct impact on their life. I was completely surprised when this person told me they did not have the time to listen, they were too busy. This person wanted nothing to do with me. I could not believe it. I still do not believe it. I am sure they have their reasons (I can guess and empathize). And I am sure those reasons are completely valid. So making this about me and not about them, this is what I learned…
I did not know how important it was for me to be heard by this person until that moment. I was not aware that need existed. I don’t need this person to hear me out in order to heal or to move on with my life — but, oh– how it would help.
That same day I came across this video. I sat at my kitchen table and watched over and over just sobbing. After what I had just experienced, in watching this video I felt heard – by someone. These brave women are telling a story that some times I cannot tell, even to myself. Please don’t think that my situation was extreme as any of these because IT WAS NOT. Having that said, there are a lot of things, feelings and experiences that we do share.
Friends, Readers, please, PLEASE- if any person comes to you and is trying to share – LISTEN. Put your own crap aside for a minute and listen. Even if you don’t know what to say or what to do. Even if you feel uncomfortable or frustrated, maybe even defensive. PLEASE LISTEN. Providing a listening ear could #savealife.
To watch the video please CLICK HERE. It is the first video in the article. Thank you for taking the time to watch. xoxo