Be compassionate today
I first want to start off by saying that I have never been abused, but I really felt the heart strings pulling at me to share the story of an old friend of mine. Right now, it’s July 2020, it’s crazy with COVID-19, and everyone is in solitude and silence. I find myself reflecting on my high school years (nearly a decade ago)… so crazy to say that, but yeah. It’s been almost 10 years since I was a nerdy freshman in high school. My friends have always been the outsiders. The kids that didn’t care at all about what other people thought, who weren’t worried about being homecoming queen or having a ton of friends but just cared about hanging around a close circle of teenagers that are as genuine as you can be. My friend was 100% genuine. His name was George and I still miss him and wonder every now and then where he would be now. He’d be 24, probably out of college and in who knows what career. His sister would still have her only brother to cheer for her when she graduated from college with honors. I would’ve been able to say some unsaid words to a friend who was unfortunately a better friend to me than I was to him…
December 11, 2011 – That morning he was killed by a drunk driver. His grandmother was driving. She survived, but he was killed upon impact. No, he didn’t die from being abused, but being brutally hit by his own mother nearly every night is why he had moved just a couple months before his death to go live with his grandmother…
I don’t know how you could possibly ever hurt your own child on purpose. I will never understand how a person can do that. Not only was my friend George constantly abused by his mother, but my other friend Amber had been raped by her own father when she was a little girl. When I’d met her and we’d become friends in high school he was already serving a long sentence in prison. The man who was supposed to love her the most, protect her, and show her what unconditional love is…did that repeatedly. Why?
I decided to share my story in hopes that maybe at least one person would be moved to also share their story even if they weren’t abused themselves. Several of my closest friends from back then were abused by the people who should’ve loved them the most. In addition to that though, they were like me. Not only did they suffer abuse at their home, but also at school from our peers. I really feel for kids now and I must say that I’m glad that my school days are all done for. It’s harder even today with social media and everything.
Abuse isn’t just physical, but emotional and psychological as well and boy, I could speak on the mental and psychological abuse I’ve faced, but I won’t. I decided to share to (no, it won’t give me peace or comfort) maybe inspire someone to do one random act of kindness to someone they see struggling. Often times, that’s all it takes. One person can impact so many people by just being compassionate. If anything, my childhood and the friends I’ve had have really shown me not to take love for granted when you’re blessed with a great family and to share love with others. Compassion is one of the best medicines for abuse I think. In addition to therapy and time.
Be compassionate today! Every day! It could really change someone’s life!
What advice would you offer to encourage others?
If you or someone you know is being abused please seek help. I’m so glad that there are foundations like this here to help those suffering. If you’re a friend to someone being abused (coming from personal experience) LISTEN BEFORE YOU SAY ANYTHING. You may feel like you need to give them some advice or solace, but the truth is you can’t for something like abuse. The best thing you can do is be there for them as a loyal friend and support them if they choose to report. And if they don’t, then do what you can to try and get them out of that dangerous situation.
For anyone being abused right now… I pray the suffering ends soon for you. I’ll end with a good quote from a good Goo Goo Dolls song (yeah yeah, kiddos, I’m old):
“I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we’ll find better days
So take these words and sing out loud
‘Cause everyone is forgiven now
‘Cause tonight’s the night the world begins again”
– “Better Days” by The Goo Goo Dolls
– George’s Friend
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