Friday, October 23, 2009

Water for a Friend

I have never had a secret, nothing in my life has ever been so traumatic that I feel the need to hide an event deep within the closet of my mind. I supposed that stems mostly from my perception that my life has been pretty easy.

My heart is aching for a friend who has carried some very dark, very awful secrets with him for much of his young life. The kinds of secrets that spill out when there is nothing left but pain, anger, and betrayal. The kinds of secrets that were happening not far from me geographically, but miles away from my own experience. Devastating, horrible, life-sucking, criminal secrets.

As I'm learning these things about my friend, I am shattered to know that I was there, yet so insulated and immature that I didn't reach out to him. I'm not sure that I could have as a teenager. I can, now, as an adult, as a parent. I can stand up and say that what happened to him is more wrong than anything that should ever happen to any person. His tormentors used inhuman power against him, I hate them for that. I hate them for reforging him, for forcing him to endure the hot coals and freezing water of abuse. I am so sorry.

I know that there isn't any way for me to re-write his past. I hope that he will look to me as a person on whom he can count in the future. I feel selfish in even expressing my grief for his childhood, knowing that the scream pounding in my chest is nothing compared to the silent howl of his youth.

This has been pressing on me for about a week now, ever since I read a response to an entry in his blog. The response was written by two friends who have chosen to abandon him because his changed views on religion and faith disagree with theirs and they are offended by his deserved anger. I won't drag my feelings to his blog, I won't put my thoughts into a place that is his because this isn't my story and it is so not about me. This goes in my blog.

What is the Christian thing to do? Tromp all over the blog of a very real, very raw, very recovering person because his righteous anger upsets your crinoline sensibility? Or do you bring your friend a cool drink of water as he suffers on the cross of his past?

I'm bringing water, how about you?

1 comment:

Ht. Tom said...

Much love to you, my friend.

How were we ever to know what was really going on in the lives of our friends as we were growing up. Hell, my own family didn't even know what I was dealing with back during high school. That's the shame that the perpetrators use to control.

Just so you know, you were there for me even though you didn't know what was going on. It was the fun that I had with you and so many others in choir and theatre that got me through those years without giving into the toxic shame and suicidal ideations. Also, you were one of the kindest people I knew then through all my theatre years. I don't remember you ever being mean to anybody.

Please know that I'm a survivor. And you are too! I don't know if I could survive that bathroom, flu, incident that you relayed a few days ago. Yikes! You are more resilient that you know, and what we can do is learn from what happened to me and make the world a better place for our children, nieces and nephews, neighbors, and orphans of the generations to come.

Don't worry about about releasing the floods of your water on my blog. I'd love to chat with you on the phone. I'll email you my number.

All the best to you and the kids.