Last night Sanj and I were watching a show, I’d never seen before, I think it’s called The Catch. In it, the story line talked about when a woman has a black dot on her palm. Are you familiar with it? I love how today there is an awareness for abuse in all forms. I know this picture says it has helped 6 women already but this is dated from 2015. I really hope that women who find the courage to seek help are given that. I am curious if professionals are aware of this campaign and what they would do to be helpful?
It’s no secret that we came from an abusive home. My mom sought help once, in 1970s and was shut down. Given it was a family member and not a professional but that shut down was all it took for us to live with craziness the next few decades.
Any woman (or man, as I realize abuse isn’t always gender specific) that is brave enough to put a black dot on their palm is a hero. The reality is abuse is still prevalent. It isn’t prejudice of economic status, race or gender. It is still happening today. I know that it takes such courage to seek help. It takes courage to stop protecting the abuser and making excuses for them. It is crazy that it is still happening and yet I suppose as long as there is sin, there will be abuse in various forms.
I feel so strongly about this. Over the years, I have heard from my own friends and family that they have been living through abuse (emotional or physical or both) and are finally standing up… I feel such pride for these women. They may feel shame for “allowing” it to happen and yet they are my heroes. No one allows it to happen. If this is your reality, it sucks but there is help and hope. Reach out to someone you trust. Don’t stop till you find help. It is out there.
I can’t believe I am writing this but obviously God has been healing me, healing my heart. I feel sadness for the abuser. Crazy isn’t it? Yet I do. Jesus loves them. So much. I believe that usually someone who is abusing is suffering themselves. I mean how do you hurt someone you love? How do you hurt someone you promised to love? How do you hurt your own flesh and blood?
I kinda feel a shiver as I wrote that. I think that the illness that made my dad hit us is likely in me. I remember feeling such anger and frustrations and fear that I was unable to control this rage in me. Now, this was likely or partly post partum … and yet the reality was I think I could have hit and hurt any one of those being that I adore … that are my life … that I promised to love. Ugh. I am grateful that I have a support system that wasn’t and still isn’t afraid to call me out. I was feeling so ugly and desperate inside and yet had no clue where it was coming from or how to rid myself of this horrid feeling.
I am a seeker of happiness. It is a constant prayer in my heart. I want to be a happy person. I want us to be a happy family ( not perfect ). I want joy to be part of my life. God has helped me seek this on a daily basis. And with that comes the reality that I need help. Insert a prescription for my crazy/happy pill. You know, a day or two ago, I ran out, and as I have often mentioned, I usually feel great. I think, maybe I’m ok and don’t need my pill. Sanj called me out last night. He said, “Reema, you know you need it. Just go get it.” Grrr. I hate having to take a pill be feel and be ok. And yet, I will swallow my pride and my @$?!@#$%$## pill. I hope one day my kids know and forgive me for all the times I have lost it and know that I take this pill, as I love them so much.
Sigh. So I can empathize with the abuser and those that are abused because I’ve seen and felt both ends. I am here writing this to be an encourager to both. If you are an abuser (and you know in your heart, if you are) there is help for you. It’s not a black dot on your palm but rather it’s that nudging you feel or that frustration you feel after losing it. It’s that promise that you make to her and yourself that NEXT TIME it will be different. There is help. Seek it. Please? Before it’s too late and you lose what is dearest to you.
To the abused… you are so brave. Braver than you think. Whether you use a black dot on your palm, or confide in someone or access one of the many organizations, you are strong enough to do. I promise you are! And I am proud of you for even considering it… that is the first step.
I think for those that have not suffered abuse, the one thing you can do is be non-judgemental. It’s easy to say, “Why did you stay?” Or “How could you?” And yet, unless we have walked in that person’s shoes, what do we really know? I challenge you to be the kind of person Jesus asks us to be. It’s so scary for some to seek help. If they come to you, turn to you, it’s really an honor and privilege. Don’t let them down. Just love them. Listen. You’ll know what they need if you listen to your heart.