I met a young woman back in 2008 who was bright, sunny and quick witted with a quip or a comeback. She always had a smile on her face and was willing to serve those in need in the best way she knew how. She loved to sing and still seemed to retain the innocence of a child in her demeanor as she aspired toward her dream.
Weeks after we met, she encountered a man while he was working on her mother’s house. A man who I was introduced to during the early phase of their relationship. He seemed to be guarded at first then shared that he was separated from his wife. Later that same evening my friend informed me later that his divorce proceedings were well underway.
When he left we sat to talk for while as she was struggling inside herself with the issue of being with a man who was still ‘technically’ married, because of her own inner values and beliefs. In her mind she could not shake the feeling that she was doing something “wrong” just by being with him. I knew it was battle that was hers to resolve, so I sat and just listened to her trying to reason it all out. All she needed was someone to listen.
It wasn’t long before I heard from her again and I drove out to see her. I clearly remember the evening when she told me she was pregnant with his child. She was beside herself, pacing back and forth, running her hand up and down on the hood of her vehicle and bouncing like a superball on steroids in her mind.
She was stunned beyond belief, questioning how this could happen and I tried to get her to relax by making her laugh, so I started out by saying “well my mom told me a story about he birds and the bees…” and I did get her to chuckle a little bit, but it lasted a millisecond before she jumped right back into her laying out her “fears.” She was concerned about how she was going to raise this child, worried about this man’s volatility, the impasse in communications, while attributing it all to the emotional weight of his pending divorce.
When she told him she was pregnant, he was not happy about the news. It was quite obvious when the man walks away while running his hand through his hair, shaking his head and then kicks a trash can and something invisible to follow up on the first and storms off.
Their subsequent communications became an ongoing verbal boxing match that only increased tension between them, until the ringmaster rings the bell to signal both opponents to return to their respective corner of the ring. He was blaming her for being so ‘stupid’ to let this happen.
Some how they came to an agreement when they both asked me to mediate, in the hope they could find a common ground on which to communicate without shouting and perhaps build their relationship in light of the news of her pregnancy.
Shortly thereafter our path of friendship separated – a separation that was not a matter of choice, but one that seemed to be a Divine design. It appeared as if we were destined to part ways to deal with our own personal circumstances.
My boyfriend at the time (now my husband) was laid off from his job and we had to move. My 5-year budding business as a licensed massage and bodywork therapist was severely impacted as we struggled financially to keep our head above water. Impacted to the point that I chose to relinquish my cell phone from our fileted budget. Needless to say my friend and I lost touch with each other for several years.
A few months ago, I received a call from an unknown phone number. The Divine hand that separated our friendship brought us back together. She managed to hunt me down after several months of trying to locate me. At first I did not recognize her voice, and questioned my own mind when she said her first name, as her voice sounded quite different from the person I once knew. The lilting tone of her voice sounded like the din of a cracked set of cymbals on a damaged drum set, so I made arrangements for us to meet.
When we reconnected, I can honestly say, that she was a different person from the person I had met years ago. She looked pale and tired. The years of tears, struggle, frustration, anxiety, stress and abuse were written all over her soul. Her ‘light’ had been significantly dimmed, and intuitively I understood why she was the way she was now. I was seeing a mirror of myself from many years ago. So I listened and saw how her challenges had changed her through the relentless circumstances she has been through.
It turns out, that since we last saw each other, my friend and her son both, experienced physical, verbal, mental and emotional abuse from this same man for nearly 10 years of their lives. Her abuser has made several attempts over the years to gain more and more time with his son through the court system. In January of this year he filed yet another case, only this time to gain permanent custody of their child.
That court hearing took place this past Tuesday…
Stay tuned for Part II in my next post.