Today, I practiced what I preached, I had posted this video earlier in the week, attempting to stress the enormous need to not only take the time to watch this video, but to also try to take the message to heart and leave your emotional door open to those who may need it. A few folks watched it, but I honestly thought given the nature of the subject matter that FAR more would watch, and share this video, especially since I have an unbelievably large number of empowered, strong and inspiring female friends ( and many of you men can be included in this, as my male friends are a pool of gentlemen of many shades and respect woman of all ages and facets of their lives!!!), I was surprised the video and it’s contents didn’t generate bit more of a stir, but, I now know, it in fact, caused a huge stir, right here in my very person.
I encountered a young girl in town this week as I was admiring her beautiful brindle coated dog, and she my Yin-Yang tattoo, right off the bat, I was struck by how from word one, she looked me directly in the eyes as we spoke, and how there was a juxtapositon of a bold, brazen rebel, and the distinct detection of someone who had an enormous, deeper then words wound. As we chatted standing happily in the rain, she was saying how much she loves the rain and mentioned she was trying to save up to one day get herself a tattoo, though she is not yet old enough, girls like her always find a way! And before I could blink, I was asking her if she had any interest in earning some money by helping me tackle our woefully over grown garden beds, she could see from my using a walker to get about town that I had physical limitations, and eagerly, and emphatically said yes, and when! We exchanged numbers and agreed to talk today to set something off, from there I ambled on over to the superb skate shop here in town to visit Shop Cat, and his owner.
Forward to today, days after having made her aquaintance, and also having posted this video, and she was all raring to go today, she said she was looking forward to helping me find the flowers lurking in all of the over growth, seeing that I have been unable to do any upkeep these 2 years with my set backs from my spine surgeries. I hadn’t planned on today, but thought, why not, Rob and I would get our errands done, and barring lightning, that she would come around 5-6pm and we would work on the arduous task.
Shortly after arriving call, a distressed call from her prompted me to tell her to come right over, she was in tears over major boy AND friends drama, I fixed her the sweet tea she wanted after handing her the box of tissues and sat and listened to her for a bit. Right off, I knew her current troubles were but a tear in a salty sea compared to what she would open up to me about. I toojk both of our phones, layed them face down on a table and told her, now we work and have girl talk, she looked a trifle startled but just went with it. I had all the tools and gloves, cushions for us to sit on and we worked out a simple game plan and went to work, talking the whole time. But I soon just listened and she told me that when she was a bit younger, she had been sexually abused for 3 years, as well as an assortment of other physical abuse, and just let her talk, I listened, I had the uncomfortable conversation, I asked her questions, and she actively sought my help. The words of the video reverberated off of my marrow, and I offered to be a friend, to listen, and to go with her to open group sesions for survivors. SURVIVORS, NOT victim, she is surviving all of this, and in words, I held the mirror to her face and told her of her value, her worth, that it is all still there, that no one took that from her, and she never need to seek validation from others, as her strength, that was the testimony that though she thought she had, that she in fact, had not given up on herself. I told her to declare today HER independence day, that every weed we ripped away from a beautiful blossom, was removing that which was negative, unhealthy or unworthy of her so that she may see her own beauty in every sense. Soon she was telling me of positive things, accoplishments, ways she has helped others and she even had her shoulders squared back, unlike the wilted blossom that arrived on our porch earlier. I made certain she understood that I myself could not be her source of true help, but as her friend, I would help her aquire every tool made available to her so that she grow away from this and into herself.
Her grandmother came by earlier to ensure all was on the up and up here, and I found her to be quite my kinda gall as well, and showed her what we were working on, Rob came out to say hello and we exchanged phone numbers so that she knew how to find us when her granddaughter is at our home. When we finished 2/3 of the VERY difficult, hard work, we called it a day and decided the last portion, which will be more time consuming, will be completed another day soon. She worked far longer and much harder then I originally thought, so I gave her an additional amount and said, save the rest, but use this for something nice for yourself, YOU’VE EARNED IT!!! And as she gave me a hug goodbye, I said to her, you are safe here, you do know that, right, and for a moment, her chin quivered, and she smiled and said yes, very much! I called her grandmother to let her know she was on her way home and what a great job she did and how much I enjoyed her company and help, her grandmother asked if she had confided in me, and I told her she had, at that I wish to be positive female presence for her if she would be okay with it, and her grandmother eagerly thanked me, for with all this girl had been through, on top of the typical female teenage issues in this day in age, that she worried so deeply for her. I promised the grandmother that I would continue to speak to her about being a positive, strong, empowered female and to do what I could to go with her to find a place to seek additional guidance and places of safety to speak her truths, free of judgement. I also had some ground rules of the few basic things that would not be tolerated at our home ( the usual things any adult would ask of wild spirited teenage girl ) and both she and her grandmother were aware, she was allowed a screw up, as no one is any way perfect, but that if she were to ever do or having anything illegal on her person on our property, that she could not be here, I will do much for others in need, but I can not abide by putting myself and those around me in legal or physical jeopardy.
I saw something both something very sad, and very special in her, and as we all should, I will champion her efforts to move forward with love and positivity, as she deserves every chance to be so much more then the perceived notion that she is the sum total of that which has been inflicted upon her, she is NOT a victim, she is a SURVIVOR, a beautiful young soul that deserves a chance to flourish and find all that is beautiful in both life, and, herself. No doubt her journey will be one of length and tenacity, but I feel that she is ready to navigate the waters to a place where peace can be found.
I ask any person who takes the time read my rambling version of a most worthwhile story, HER story, which, well, has just begun, to PLEASE, even to just repost the video if you do not wish to share my entire telling of her story, every time someone views and reposts this video, 2 different seeds may be planted, hopefully a change in ones perception as to being open and willing to give of ones self to those in need, AND, to help those in need, find their voice, to speak up, because any person who has been violated, every minute they remain mute, no longer need be. Please take a moment to go to the link below, it’s less then 2 minutes of your time that can perhaps make the difference of a lifetime