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On the outside looking in December 3, 2009

Posted by jassnight in Health, Holiday, Job Search, Life, Love.
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He was faced with death at an impressionable age.   His sister committed suicide last year. He found her body covered in blood as it drained out of her wrists. It became difficult to follow the mainstream after that. With no guidance or grounding to morn in a healthy way, drugs and alcohol are used to temper the agony.  Rehab and counseling can only do so much.

She is on her own now. Her husband of 20 years died last year. His pension died with him and now it is only social security. The mortgage is due. The heat is off. The electricity is next. She misses him terribly.

She is a single mom with three beautiful children. Between caring for her children and working two jobs back to back (overlapping three days with two shifts,) she is lucky to have one Friday night every two weeks to call her own.  She worries endlessly about having the resources to keep her family fed, clothed, dry and warm. She calls it a good day when her car is still in the driveway and has not been repossessed. She is dealing with a relentless ex-husband who is constantly dragging her into court to shirk his responsibilities to his children and to generally make her life miserable because he can afford to and she can’t.  She has dealt with two bouts of cancer and fears every upcoming appointment and what it may find. She is tired, stressed, overworked and living day to day, dollar to dollar.

He is dependent on drugs to be able to cope with life. His fears and anxieties are about life in general. He can no longer work. He lives on social security alone. His loving parents are long gone, the rest of his family has abandoned him. He lives in an upstairs apartment but incapable of caring for his immediate space. He sleeps most of the time. He has lost faith in love, connection, and life. He is trapped in an internal struggle with his own soul.

She is in a loveless marriage. With three young children there is nowhere else to be. She has no means to support herself and her children without him. He has her trapped and he knows it. There is verbal and sexual abuse. There is an allowance issued. The odometer is checked every week. The phone bill is monitored. She is a prisoner only for her children.

She has lost family and friends. It seems like everything she loves dies. She lives in the pain that it may be her fault. She is afraid to love again. She is lonely. She is alone.

He was laid off last year. Unemployment is ending soon and there are no opportunities in sight. He is too old and too broke to go back to school to learn new skills. His children have families of their own and are having problems themselves. The bills are piling up. He no longer owns a car. He is about to lose his home.

Merry Christmas


Mountains and Molehills November 14, 2009

Posted by jassnight in Friendship, Life, Relationship.
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Mountains and MolehillsI recently had a light discussion about need with my good friend Nicki. The discussion centered around how difficult it is for a friend to admit that they need a friend in their life. I am one to tell it like it is. You have heard me say it before in this forum. I need friends. I need connections and I am not shy about telling somebody that I need and want them in my life. However, last night, I discovered a whole new dimension to need. It is one thing to need people in your life; it is another to be needed.

By circumstance or by divine fate, a friend of mine reached out to me last night. She was in crisis mode and needed me. I new the signs very well because I have been there myself. It was just a struggle for her to cope in the moment. Breath to breath felt like an eternity. She reached out and I was there. Sometimes a friend just needs someone to listen and that is enough. I felt needed. During that time of connection with her in this struggle, I lost myself and my mountains became insignificant little molehills compared to the pain that she was in. I became immersed in the pain with her. I was one with her. By the end of the evening she found ground and re-emergence of time and place. For the time being, her struggle was manageable. I felt honored that I was a part of bringing her back to this world and in this, my own struggle had taken a hiatus.

I have not felt this way in a long time.  Lately I have been wrapped up in my own need for connection but have not had much opportunity to be and feel needed. The two don’t come close to having the same emotional effect. Feeling needed by someone will trump the need for someone every time.  It instantly makes your mountains turn into trivial little molehills.

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”