Friday, September 18, 2009

Survivor Connecting with a Victim Turned Survivor

Wow, that's all I have to say tonight.

Hello friends,

It has been an interesting day. It was long, but productive. First, I spent the day with one of my mentees, a twelve year old, who was a witness to his mother's death. I got a chance to see the resilience in him. I got a chance to witness what it must have been like for me at his age when I lost my mom and brother to domestic violence.

He is smart and very aware of what happened on that horrible day when he lost him mom to point blank range shots from a former boyfriend. He understands that it was an absolutely bad thing to go through and he recognizes that it is from jealousy. But, really? Is it just jealousy? Children are more astute than we think they are. He is connecting this jealousy to his mom's death in which I agree. But, there is something more horrible than that at hand. His mom's killer did not value human life at all for that moment in time. More importantly, he did not value himself.

A great deal of caring about others' lives is caring about your own life. My mom's killer had been in prison for over ten years for murder and when he was released he met my mother. He fell back into his same patterns of abuse toward women and tried to control my mother. He was not happy with himself at all. Taking my mom and brother's life was truly him hating himself.

I knew when I heard my mentee's story, I had a lot of work to do. I had to prepare to sacrifice my time, energy and effort to help him back to recovery. I also mentor his 19 year old brother. They both are suffering from a tremendous loss. Now, they grapple with the murder, but they have so much resolve. I am proud of them today. By taking a stand to live life in a decent way, they are standing up against this violence. I could not help but be a resource to them. That's why I am helping them to develop their passion.

I challenge you today to reach out to somebody. Encourage them. Show them that there are alternatives to negative behaviour and that there is love in all of us. Some person out there is begging for help without saying a word. Words escape them because they have lost all hope. I know. I have been there. Reach out. Put your hand out there for them to grab. It makes all the difference in the world.

Today, I saw my young mentee as a survivor. He once was controlled by his killer and now he is defining himself.

Keep up the good work my friend. I share your pain and I share your tragedy. Today, I share your hope.

Til next time.

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