Sunday, March 25, 2012

...have you walked a mile, in these shoes...?

...I was putting Jordan to bed tonight...and it occurred that I already have a man in my life...his name is Jordan...he will most likely always live with me, always need me around...and there may not be one man in ten million that will ever look upon him that way I how could I date a man who wouldn't? People who have physical or mental disabilities cannot help it...they do not choose to be thought of as burdens or inconvenient...they are shunned, cast aside and ignored by a large portion of the population, even by members of their own families...but you know what? I don't have to take care of Jordan, I get to take care of is a privilege and a joy...
There are few pains in life as acute as the loss of a child. I almost know what this feels like. Or maybe I know altogether what it feels like. Because while I have my son Jordan as a disabled young man, I did indeed lose my child who had been born whole and healthy.

It gnaws at a parent when their child suffers something they cannot fix, mend or make amends for...and it damages without repentance. Never mind all of the complications that came with our story; because even if no hindrances accompanied his injuries back in 2000, his injuries still would have left a gaping wound in all of our lives.

I have faith in God.  I cannot imagine what any of this would have been like to face had I not. Still over the years I have questioned everything; my faith is not perfect, merely resilient.

So in almost every way imaginable I can relate to the partial loss of a child, every bit as much as the complete. Jordan wafts between his world and ours. Sometimes he has great clarity and resolve, but mostly he struggles with making sense of the world. The poetry in is that he doesn't realize that we all struggle to make sense of the world around us. There is great joy in the fact that Jordan has no clue he is disabled.

But unlike a parent who has had to bury a child, I die a little every day in all the things that Jordan will never do, accomplish or see. Everyday I mourn for this little guy, who is so easy to love...and yet is all but cast aside. I am not jealous of those that bury their children; I am grateful for all I have in still having Jordan. All I can liken this feeling to is a sore that never heals; because we wake up to both loss and gain everyday.

May 10, 2000 is our own personal ground was the unraveling and the exposing of all faults, sins and frailties...and we get bombarded almost daily with could haves and should haves.

Jordan is preparing for junior high. Which is a far cry from the original prognosis that he would be a vegetable at 7 months. So of course we are grateful. And his charm, wit and intelligence can light up a room, as much as his limitations can suck the breath from my very lungs.

So why do you ask do I write a blog about helping women overcome abusive relationships? Because it wasn't right what happened to Jordan. It wasn't right that his own father had been abusive. It wasn't that my own family could not be bothered with us in any substantial way...but mainly it wasn't right that my self-esteem and confidence was so lacking and damaged that the best possible choices I had to make still contributed to the events of May of 2000.

Blogging about empowering women, is not about putting men down, even abusive ones. The abusive ones will meet their day of reckoning either in this life, or as part of their judgement. Blogging about empowering women is about helping hurting women to see that if they keep picking broken men, it is because they themselves are also broken.

There is a lie out there that we have to have a man in our lives in order to be complete...while that can be true, it doesn't have to be true. It becomes a lie when we, as women, put having a man in our lives over taking care of ourselves.

I wanted desperately my own father's approval, but he was by nature withholding and indifferent. So I went out in search of making my own family. The thing was I couldn't have possibly known what to look for in a man, except for the qualities of being withholding and indifferent. The more withholding and indifferent a man was, the more I worked at making him love me. Winning such a man over became a hobby, then a sport, then my entire way of life. Which left me no time for self improvement, realization or enjoyment. The only goal was landing a guy. And since I was starting out with withholding and indifferent men, it left much to be desired in actually finding a man with decent, loving or caring characteristics. With each new broken relationship came new baggage, new hurts and wounds, and eventual desolation. My first relationship abused that daylights out of me...the next relationship included a miscarriage...the next, vile sexual habits and disrespect...the next, abuse from a child...the next rape, verbal abuse, control, and threats of suicide...then came the supposed friend, who in 2000, decided it was okay to prey upon me and my two children. He abused my 4 year old daughter and almost killed my 7 month old son...and with all that I was slammed in the face with every unhealthy relationship I had ever undertaken, every flaw I possessed and every weakness that was part of my nature.

So not only were both of my children hurt...and there was nothing I could do to alleviate that pain...I had to come to terms with the grim realization that had I had a healthy self image, any confidence and assertiveness to speak of, that I would have never been in such a position...Judah, my daughter's innocence died, Jordan's life literally almost came to an end...and my entire concept of myself was obliterated...not to mention coming face to face with glaring family, if I seem a bit too, whatever...there is just cause...try not to judge...

And I will try not to judge you,as well...see because before all of this I was so sure of who I was, what I believed and what I was capable of...I was judgmental...I was critical...I was so certain that my faults could not have been as bad as other's people's. I was wrong. People smoke, sleep around, steal from their jobs, run red lights, cheat on their spouses and other things...and those things do not come close to putting them on the path of destruction that lead to my son nearly dying in early May of 2000. To everyone I have judged, I am sorry. I do not know where you are in the world, but know that what I did was out of ignorance and self-preservation. It was not my nature to be critical or self-righteous...they were traits spoon fed to me by some of those I loved most. But...I could have refused. I could have adopted compassion instead. I partook in that which I hated most, and became the same. This is part of the weight I carry. Because those that I was so sure I was better than? Guess what? Those sins that I had judged in others? Well, none of those other people's sins led to their children being abused. Or led to their son almost dying and becoming permanently disabled.

I didn't physically harm either of my children; but I was so battered emotionally, that I couldn't see what was so obvious to a healthy person.

Getting to healthy is so any relationship...even if you have to let go of the relationship to do it. That one truth, is why I blog. To have even one women make a shift before having to face catastrophe and desolation, is all I can hope for having survived this. To never have you have to walk a mile in my shoes...that is what I owe to my children, especially Jordan.

...the miracle that is my daughter, Judah...

(Jordan ~ the  inspiration for the novel "The House that Silence Bought")

If you need immediate assistance, dial 911. 
The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

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