Saturday, November 04, 2006

Friends and Compassion

I have a friend (shocking, I know ;) ). Though we have never met in person, she seems to be a very sweet, loving, kind hearted and smart individual and I have grown to care a great deal about her over the past couple of years. We talk on line on a regular basis, and have shared a couple of phone conversations.

As of late I am very worried about her. I fear for her overall safety, her mental health and her children. I am afraid of what private hell she must be going through. It hurts to know she has no one to talk to and is monitored for everything she says and does and thinks. No one deserves to live like that, and for such a wonderful, sweet, giving person it must be just awful. Based on what she has said in the past, she really has little or no support from friends and no one she can really talk to.

I have always been a rescuer. That is, I hate to see anything or anyone injured or in bad situations. As a child I rescued animals; big or small, domestic or wild, bug or beast - and tried to "fix" them before sending them on their way. I actually felt physical pain when witnessing an injured animal, and for many years my parents thought for sure I would grow up to be a veterinarian. My mom used to have tomato plants and very often I would find broken or split branches. Physically feeling the pain the plant must have "felt", I would do my best to fix it. I had a system of taking a wet paper towel and wrapping the split up and tying it off in the hopes that it would grow back together and not die. Often times it worked, but when it didn't - I would be heart-broken. In high school we took on friends of mine that for whatever reason needed a place to stay. We must have housed 10 different kids over the course of four years for anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months. Our house during my senior year of high school was a revolving door for kicked out or runaway teenagers!

I think what troubles me the most about all of these situations though, is the knowledge that there is really nothing I can do. Especially in adult life; people have to recognize their own issues and decide whether or not to change their lives. I can only provide support, encouragement or a shoulder to cry on. I cannot make things better; I cannot fix them or their problems. If I were independently wealthy, maybe I could help someone get on their feet - help them with the monetary stuff and relieve that burden for them. I hope someday I will be able to do those kind of things; but right now I can only give what I have; which isn't much, and it often depresses me.

I am fighting every urge I have to hop a flight to the afore mentioned friend's house and swoop down and scoop her up and whisk her away. In my mind that would make everything better, but in reality I know the problems she faces would follow her. I know she cannot escape what she is in without a major life changing decision. I want to tell her that situations like that don't normally magically change for the better; but I do hope in her case she receives a miracle. I hope God answers her prayers before any permanent scaring occurs to her or her children. There are so many things I want to say; but it is not my place and I have to grit my teeth and vent to my husband about it behind closed doors (sorry dear). I hate that I care for someone and knowing full well their are many of us out there willing to help in any way we can, this friend keeps us all at arm's length and is trying to do it on her own.

But I know - we never really know someone. We know nothing of what actually goes on behind closed doors. Our personal realities are far, far more complex and intense than we let on to the outside world - even our closest friends and family haven't a clue. I often wonder how much better our lives could be if we could be more open and honest with each other. I know I've mentioned this in previous posts - but we are here to help each other, people! We are put here to support one another and fellowship and care - why else would we be given the gifts of compassion and kindness?

And I also am aware that if she reads this, she may never speak to me again. I really hope that is not the case, and that she sees this as my way of venting and trying to reach her in a way I haven't been able to before. I honestly don't know what good it will do though.

My train of thought keeps getting derailed by a whining toddler that can't figure out what he wants. I sit here typing my heart out about compassion and caring, all the while trying desperately to ignore the melt down happening right beside me. I want to give in to his cries and screams of "NO!" to every question I ask and just give him what he ultimately wants. But I know that doing that will only make things worse next time - so here I sit, holding back my own tears, trying to be strong and "teach" my child to say "yes, please" - or frankly, anything besides "no". He screams in that high pitched, whiney voice "watch the turtle show?" and I ask him if that is what he wants and his response is "NO!" (insert smiley of confused look here)

I guess I have written enough for now. I love you all!


karrie said...

Dawn, I worry too. And I cannot even find her phone #. I'm horrible at keeping in touch via the phone. And I feel badly about that at times like this.

I hear you on wishing there was something that you could do. I think it would be pretty funny if a posse of a dozen+, pissed off mamas showed up at her door.

Anonymous said...

Dawn...I am with you here too. I by mature am a rescuer too. I have gone through 1000 scenraios on what I can do to help her. I worry every day, I pray every day, I hurt every day thinking about what she is living through and with. I worry about the kids too. I would do the same thing you would do if I could.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you too, if I'm thinking of our same friend.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry your friend is in such pain. considering that so many of our BBC girlfriends have posted here, this "SCENARIO" sounds OHHH SO FAMILIAR. LOL. just wondering who this person is in your post.OH could It be MEEEEEE.???????? If it is NOT, I do Hurt for your friend. Your heart is so big, But like you said MY sweet, This GF of yours has to make her own decisions. If it is, than I am truly and deeply touched that I stopped by here today.

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