As I sit here thinking of how friendship is special, I think of how it isn’t set on a time limit or penciled scheduling; it’s constant, vigilant and caring. I think of how it’s there any given time speaking words of encouragement, listening and understanding, that it’s not setting terms. I think of how it’s the hand held out in time of need, a hand saying I am here to help you shoulder your troubles, just let them go.
I sit here thinking of abuse and how I wonder if I’ll ever close the bedroom door again, if the fear someone could come up to it unseen will ever allow me to close it. And I think of that hand. I wonder if I’ll ever sleep with my back turned to the door again. I wonder if the need to have it wide open is so I can see down the dark corridor of the hallway. I wonder if the need to know, to see what and who is there will ever stop and peace will fill my nights again.
And while thinking I find a nervousness inside me begin to churn and that I need that hand of friendship to talk with. I think of how I must constantly move, not knowing true restfulness; of how I suddenly find myself awake and sitting in the middle of the bed or sitting with my feet on the floor, ready for a quick exit. I think of how the smallest of unrecognized sound brings my head up, my ears and eyes alert. I think of the need to shelter myself; I think of that need to self-protect emotionally by internalizing the actions of another. I think of the mind-set of an abuser, wondering why they can’t reach out their hands in love and caring and not resentfulness, anger or violence. I wonder if it’s something inside them that creates a spur of the moment action or if it’s been there all along and suddenly rages.
I wonder about the anger that stems from the abusers’ health, and how ones physical health causes personality changes. I wonder if a way exists to really understand what goes on in another’s mind; the ones who appear born without conscience and only know how to live with an urge to cause hurt to animals or their fellow human beings. I think about the ‘I’m in it for the long haul’ effect, that ‘till death us do part’ line. And I know I must be there for the long haul but also need help with that hand of friendship beside me.
While I sit in the middle of the floor with space around me, I wonder why I need that space; if the need to know there’s an escape is a persistent factor in back of my mind. Why small spaces are not an option. And, I think of the hand of friendship, that one friend, who with patience waited for me to talk, giving me time to speak between the tears that I was shedding. Who with so much caring held out a hand and said, let me help shoulder your troubles; don’t you remember the faith you often spoke of in the past, of how you leaned on that faith? Let the hand of faith reach you tonight, take that hand held out to you. Take my hand of friendship as it was His and let the light of His love fill your heart; know you have the strength to endure, you will persevere, you will become a stronger person. You will overcome the obstacles you feel are binding you.
I think of all the Advocates out there, those Hands held out like the hand of Susan Murphy Milano, Anny Jacoby and Delilah; I think of all the other advocates and how they daily reach out and help. I think of how, by being the shoulder for abused ones’ tears, they are true Hands. I think of the hand of friendship that reached out to me, of the shows I have heard, the tears I’ve shed for victims, the joy I’ve felt knowing an abused person has found just the right Hand.
And so, I sit here tonight and think of how friendship is mostly the hand of God at work, always waiting for me to take His hand and put all the worries on His shoulders.
But still, I wonder about that escape.