I don’t understand. I keep thinking that I do understand. But I don’t. And I never will. We each see from our own eyes. We each act and feel and respond according to our individual experiences in our own lives. There is no way possible to assume that the person next to me is feeling a certain way, or will respond to a certain thing I do with or to them, without me having lived their life and understanding exactly why they are the way they are.
I can’t grasp why I feel, act and respond the way I do, sometimes, and I am me.
Everyone in my life has taken a turn casting a judgement on me, at one point or another. There is not one person I know who can deny this.
I am so used to getting knocked down hard, and then kicked while I’m down, every single time I open my heart and reach out to help someone. Several times I have gone too far with my attempts to help – resulting in a major miscommunication of some form, that ended up making the person who I was trying to help, suffer even more than when I started trying to help. And of course, then the poor person who I reached out to, looked at me with bewilderment and anger, for making their life worse instead of better. That’s where I took the biggest beatings. “You should have kept your mouth shut and stayed out of it.” “It was none of your business.” I don’t think those two sentences will ever stop repeating in my head each night. I’m not kidding. Every, single, night, as I lay down to sleep.
A situation arose in August, all too familiar, with a young soul reaching out for help from behind closed doors where the abuse was nearly reaching its violent peak. Something had to be done. He needed help. He was asking for help.
Uncertain as ever, I would carefully reach out and help. Sure enough, it would make his life worse, with his abuser catching onto my attempts to help him, and then punishing him for it. But he would ask again, weeks later, for me to try again to help him. He didn’t want to give up trying to escape that house. The abuse got worse. I truly didn’t know what to do at that point. Until his abuser turned its anger onto my daughter, and abused her right in front of me over the phone.
I went to the police, and then I went to a care agency who was dealing with the victim through another matter already. I insisted he was in danger, and I begged them to help him. I told his care representative that I didn’t know if I was doing the right thing. She had been well persuaded by his abuser that he was in very good hands, being well cared for and well disciplined – so she had a hard time taking me seriously, I could tell. That, and my age compared to that of his abuser’s, made it even harder for her to take me seriously.
They took my urgency into consideration, and gave the victim enough freedom to choose whether he wanted to leave the abuser’s home or not, after forcing him to remain where he was for the rest of that weekend, during which he was taken on a camping trip. He chose to leave. Our home was the only place he could go, so he since came to stay with us. I thought for a brief moment, “My god. I did it right. I succeeded in helping him!”
A week later I was set to go on a vacation with my two best friends. I left on a Thursday afternoon, after the victim and myself checked in with his care representative earlier that morning, at eleven. I was forty-five minutes into the trip, and his care rep was calling me, and demanding that he and I return to her office immediately, since some disturbing information had been brought to her attention. She told me we needed to have a meeting as soon as possible, this time with the abuser present.
I rushed home and picked him up and together we headed back to his care rep’s office, shaky and scared of what was on the horizon this time.
His abuser walked into the door immediately after us, into the waiting area. The look on its face was a smug one. It spoke a couple quiet words to the victim, taunting him. “You have no idea just how much shit you’re in.” it hissed at him. It let out a loud laugh and shook its head, feigning disbelief.
I gently reminded him to stay calm and ignore. Just ignore it. Everything will be okay. He looked at me with trust in his eyes. I was so terrified of letting him down.
The care representative appeared moments later, leading us into a large conference room, where he and I took two seats next to one another, and as far away from the abuser as possible. The care representative took her seat at the end, facing the three of us.
She directed her attention to the victim first and foremost, putting him on the spot and asking what really happened between himself and his abuser. He stammered, prompting a gentle prod from the care rep. She asked him, “So you got kicked out on Monday, then what?”
To which his abuser immediately denied, and began the onslaught of him right there, in front of myself and the care representative. The abuser looked him in the eyes and insisted several times that it never threw him out.
He looked back at it, and the second time it denied it, he yelled, “Fuck off! You threw me out right there and you left me!”
The abuser pulled back with a very fake shocked look, before screaming out loud, “I dropped you off, and was going to pick you up an hour later, and you weren’t there!”
The care representative quickly hushed the abuser and changed the topic, not allowing the victim to defend himself and clarify the miscommunication with the abuser about whether or not he’d been thrown out, or dropped off to be picked up again an hour later, as the abuser had alleged.
The victim had taken to lying about several different things, all of which he’d cleanly made me aware of when I’d first opened up my doors to him, so I knew, as his care representative picked him apart, that his abuser had gone through the cell phone that it had once allowed him to have, and had become aware itself of what had really been taking place with his desires to stay or go. Between the abuser and his care representative, they tore him to shreds, and completely reduced his appearance to that of a lying, thieving, backstabbing user. Then they looked at me and asked me, “Do you still open your doors to him, knowing he is a liar and cannot be trusted?”
I didn’t waiver. I nodded and I told them that I knew already of the truth. They both looked aggravated and disappointed by my answer. Now it was my turn to take a beating.
The abuser looked at the care rep in disbelief and shouted, “I’ve told you about her! You can’t be serious – she can’t actually be fit to take him in!”
The care rep looked back at the abuser and made to answer, but the abuser turned its attention to the victim, leaning in toward him and whispering, “Don’t you remember what we talked about this weekend? Huh? Don’t you remember telling me how you don’t really like her? You like her Step daughter, but you don’t like her, after the way she’s acted on several different occasions when you’ve been around? Go on, say it – you had no problem complaining to me this weekend, about her groping you! And touching her younger step son in front of everyone in inappropriate places while she was so drunk she couldn’t even stand straight? And what about her cheating with the dad’s buddy there, while we were camping? SAY it!”
When I first met the abuser, some four months before all this took place, I found it to be a quite open, seemingly helpful person, with wisdom that I felt I could look up to. Actually, I did look up to the abuser, as someone older than me, with way more experience with kids and relationships. I thought I could trust it. So I began a friendship with it, trusting it more and more and confiding in it about things that had taken place with my kids. Not one of my kids are mine biologically. They are biologically from their father, my husband, who I call my husband but am not yet married to (I consider it a stronger term of endearment, since I love him so), and their mother, who separated from my husband some four and a half years ago. To date, I have been with my husband for merely a couple days more than four years. I was accused of doing something I can’t even speak of, to my older son, back in April. I nearly left my husband, fearing at that time that I could end up spending the rest of my life in prison for a crime I never committed. Not just that – the accusation itself, left me feeling filthy and low, as a human being. I felt disgusting, despite not being guilty of the accusation. I confided in the abuser about this story, and the abuser comforted me and encouraged me. It made me trust the abuser more. And that day at the care rep’s office, when the abuser needed ammunition, it dug deep and found the sharpest daggers it could, to throw at me.
It hurt even more, when I watched the victim slump in his seat and hang his head in shame, mumbling his confession that yes, he had indeed said those things about me over the weekend. He followed that with, “I said whatever I had to, to get you off my back!”
The abuser’s eyes met mine with glee.
“Will you still take him in?” his care rep asked me.
The abuser went off a third time. About me again. This time, about drinking too much, and allowing my kids to drink as minors and do drugs and leave them unattended to their own demise. Anything to make me unfit again.
I looked over the abuser to the care rep.
“I went to the police before I came here. I took all the necessary steps to help this boy. You called me on Monday evening, if I remember correctly, asking me to take him in. I took him in. I’m feeding him. I’m clothing him. I’m trying to help him, not hurt him. You don’t want him in my house because you’re not sure I’m fit to care for him? Fine – just get him the hell out of the house he has been in, because he’s being abused there and my husband and I have witnessed it with our own eyes right on our property! What relevance does any of this hostility have to helping him? None of these accusations are proven, in fact, they’re slander at best, and they have nothing to do with helping this boy. I don’t think I need to be cut down and accused of cheating on my husband because I am trying to help someone who I know is being abused!”
His abuser cut the care rep off before she could speak, for something like the fifth time already.
“Don’t call him your Husband. Slut. You will never be worthy of becoming his wife. You’re not married to him, so don’t ever call him your husband. That’s an absolute insult to loyal, loving wives and husbands everywhere. I’ve been married twenty years. That’s worthy. Not you.” it hissed venomously at me.
Finally, the care rep addressed the abuser. She ordered it to back off, and “shut up”. Then she asked me one last time if I was still okay with the victim staying in my home. I nodded. So she adjourned the meeting and told the three of us that we would be meeting again, the following week on the same day.
The abuser gave me the same smug smile and laugh.
“My dad told me that you were nothing more than a homewrecker. I’m bringing my mom and dad with me next week. Be ready. Because they weren’t too impressed with your behavior when we went camping, either.” was its warning as we left the room.
I dropped the victim at home, having said nothing to him the whole drive. I got out of the truck myself, and took a walk into the field, bursting into tears. I didn’t know that he’d gone into the house and told my daughter that she should go find me. She was trailing behind me, calling out, but I couldn’t hear her with the wind blowing around me. It wasn’t until I looked back toward the house that I saw her walking up the hill toward me.
I told her what had taken place. I told her about the rotten accusations. The things that the abuser had said about me cheating on my husband, her dad. With the dad of one of her best friends. She reacted with shock.
She talked with me for a while out in the field, coaxing me back to the house and urging me to resume my vacation, three hours later than I’d tried to leave.
So I went on vacation with my two best friends, and returned several days later, to deal with a new reality.
I contacted the care representative’s supervisor after some digging into the victim’s rights. We had a right to refuse meeting with the abuser in the room again. So I spoke with the supervisor and explained how I felt after what had taken place, and told her that I, nor he, were willing to be held in the same room as the abuser again after the last time. She understood my request and assured me it was not going to happen again.
We met with his care representative later that week, shocked and terrified to see his abuser waiting outside the building. We were both so frightened that we were trembling. But his care rep came and retrieved us, and we didn’t see the abuser again after that.
We were promptly informed that his care rep did not approve of his stay at my residence, for several reasons, including possible break up with my daughter, which I completely understood. She claimed she didn’t want to divulge the other reasons for her feelings. I am certain I know what they are.
I have met the care rep with the victim some four or five times since the explosive meeting with the abuser present. I can tell that this woman took a lot of the things that the abuser said about me, into consideration and as such treats me with remarkably less respect than anyone else I have ever dealt with in situations such as this.
It hurts. They say words don’t hurt you if you don’t let them. They do. I despise the abuser for the things it said to and about me that day at the care rep’s office. And I can’t comfortably seat myself in the same room as the victim without someone else present. Much the same as with my older son. Things will never return to normal. I will never be able to touch either one again in this lifetime. It’s just too awkward and too terrifying for me.
I’ve had to put distance and awkwardness between myself and my husband’s best friend since that day, also. It’s been so hard on me.
I look at this boy who I helped. I helped him. And everyone else destroyed me for doing so. No one looks at me and says, “You took a hell of a beating for that kid. You’re a kind person, going through all that for him. I can’t imagine.”
I look at this boy who I helped. Sometimes I feel resentful, knowing that things like that came out of his mouth about me. It takes constantly reminding myself that he only did what he had to, to get his tormentor to abuse him even a little bit less. It was at my expense. His care rep hasn’t offered me any sort of compensation, be it financial, emotional, or anything at all, for my efforts and for the abuse I took in helping him escape. I feel bitter some days. I wonder if he will remember my efforts ten years from now.
I wonder if anyone ever went through this much pain just to see me get out alive. Or if anyone would go through it all, for my sake.
The more I reach out to help others, the harder the beatings I take. I’ve helped more than just this boy. I have helped past roommates escape poverty, by sympathizing for them and letting them go months without paying rent, or lowering their rent so that I thought they could utilize the most of their income to get started in life. They wasted my efforts, and deserted me when I needed help the most.
No one understands why I help them. No one understands that I would help my worst enemy, if it meant sparing them from some of the suffering I have gone through in my lifetime so far. I keep getting hurt for helping people. I keep growing more hateful of myself as a person, whenever I fail my mission to help someone obtain their ultimate goal. I stand back and watch others suffer more than I step in to help anymore.
The boy has lived with us two months now. My daughter has been in our home for a year. She seemed to understand. I pray that she still does understand.
I don’t need a pat on the back for everything I’ve done for others. I just want to express the hurt, I suppose. Because it does hurt. I give everything to help. I don’t ask for anything back. Well maybe I would ask for something in return. And that request would be, if I help you, with anything, or if I try to help and I fail, please don’t hurt me for it. I will never stop trying to help.
This document was originally created on the fifth of October, in 2016. It is now March 7th, 2017. The victim has lived with us for more than seven months at this point.
My daughter returned to school on the first of February this year. The victim took a full time job where my husband works, perhaps two weeks following my daughter’s return to school. He earns a guideline income thirty percent higher than my own now. He is clean. He is healthy. He is happy. My daughter is clean, and healthy, and happy. Neither of the two made the choice to abandon my husband and I, as I had originally feared out of my own insecurities.
The victim calls my husband “Dad”. He treats me with respect, obeys my requests and rules, and works hard at his new job. I consider him my son, though he may never hear me utter the words, out of my own uncontrollable fears of frightening him or making things awkward, now that I have surprisingly found a suitable level of comfort with him despite the abuse and accusations I endured from his tormentor in the summer of 2016.
I am beyond proud of my daughter. I am beyond proud of the victim. My son. I do not need a pat on the back for helping them. Watching them do what they are both doing now, is more rewarding than anything that anyone could give me, or say to me now. I pray to the highest heaven that they both succeed with their lives, and that they go where most have never gone before.
I don’t doubt either child. I have faith in each of them individually, and I know they will succeed in life. They will make mistakes, like anyone, but they are both mature enough. They will learn from their mistakes and they will rise again and keep moving forward. And I will be here. I will be right beside them. In life. In death. I will help them and I will rescue them. And I will never stop being proud of them.
I am not much older than either child. I have lots to learn as a human being. I have made many mistakes. Countless, probably. I have hurt both children emotionally at some point, with words or actions that I chose on my own. I’ve never mothered my own children. If anything, I am nowhere near qualified to be considered a parent, or even a “guardian”, to either one.
But they have both taught me so much. Especially that I don’t need validation, from anyone, for helping someone. I don’t even need it from them. If they chose never to say “Thank-you”, it wouldn’t matter. What matters is they made it. And they are making it now.
If ever I could be a mother, or considered a mother, and God gave me the choice of all the children on this Earth that I could say were mine, I would choose the same children that I “mother” now.
Neither of you will ever know of this document’s existence. There will come days where you will each wonder if I care about you at all. But I know, here and now, I love you both and I could not be happier or more proud of anyone. You are my children. And you both will always be my children. I’ll never leave your side. I will protect you until my last breath on this earth. And I will thank God for every moment I have with you, and ask him to always watch over each of you, and I will pray for you both to live the best lives you can live.
Most of all, I pray you both learn love and happiness, and adoption. Adoption may be a funny term to throw in. But I could not have known this level of love, happiness, or belonging, had I never met Dad and adopted his family as my own.