I haven’t posted in a few months and have spent my energy recovering after mono and strep. I am back to work and have built up enough stamina to do one or two activities after I get home. I take care of the fur and feather needs, my own nutrition and then try to lay some more flooring. I usually manage two or three rows of boards before something starts to ache or I just run out of energy. I’m tackling 1,300 sq. ft. of flooring one row at a time! It will get done just not fast! I have not planted a single vegetable in the garden either.
While my body may be slightly worn down, my heart is absolutely broken. I cannot help someone who does not see the problem and we all know that “fixing” someone else’s problems is at best hypocritical and condescending and is not healthy behavior. I do not want the responsibility for controlling or making someone else’s choices. That being said, I cannot keep the tears from falling.
I have met a young mother of three, I will name her Phoenix here. Phoenix comes from the most heartbreaking childhood that was splashed across inter-national media when the details became known. Both of her biological parents are now in jail, her mother for at least 15 years and her father on consecutive life sentences. I am grateful they are out of their now adult children’s lives but the terror and havoc they wrecked still continues as it is ingrained into their very DNA after so many years of continual abuse. Because all of the victims involved are “aged out” and poor, they have exhausted all social services has to offer.
The father of Phoenix’s three children also comes from an extremely dysfunctional home that barely borders on legal behavior. Phoenix looks to me as a mom figure because we are both domestic violence survivors. I have made my own personal success my revenge and for years my mantra was “living well is the best revenge”. I caught on early in my recovery days that getting even or snarky would only further hurt me and not the person I wanted to hurt. I let it go, it was squealing like a piglet when I let go, but I was able to do it.
Phoenix has been to counseling, she has overcome so much. But, this family is trapped in an economic cycle of poverty. It is like trying to scale the wall of the Grand Canyon without climbing gear. She doesn’t even know she can climb much less what a carabiner, harness, belay or an ascender is. Telling her she can climb makes no impact on her. Opportunities have presented themselves to her in the last few weeks but she does not take advantage of them. Phoenix professes she is not afraid of the opportunities, just not interested. She does not see a better way of life for herself and her family.
You have heard of the Stockholm Syndrome where the captive begins to love the captor. Similarly, Phoenix is trapped in extreme poverty and poor living conditions because she cannot see the opportunities or where it will take her. Where she is at now is better than before. She passes on opportunities because she cannot see how they will benefit her future and presents indifference to the world. It is possible that she just does not believe she could be successful and it may even be mixed up with some survivor guilt. It would take a full time team of psychologists to unravel this depth of damage.
At times like this, I truly miss my beloved. He understood this so well. He came from this type of horror but moved past it. He loved me in spite of my own past. He would know what to say to comfort as well as to motivate someone to invest in themselves. He could convince people into believing in themselves because he could share his own story in a way that gave them hope.
Please pray for me as I make myself available to Phoenix when and if she ever decides to take the next step. Please pray for Phoenix, her partner and their three children. Pray that I will remember to love her in a healthy way in the hope that she will someday see better choices and opportunities.