Last weekend I attended a party where I met a young adult woman who has survived much in her few years. She has been fostered for years by a family who have their own struggles and financial difficulties and yet they have managed to heal her through love.
What struck me most was her vulnerability and her need to connect with others and her determination to not repeat the lifestyle choices of her family of origin. She begged neither sympathy nor any special treatment.
This young person, at 9 years of age found her mother dead from asthma and other medical conditions. Her grandmother then blamed her (WHAT????) for her mother’s death from these medical problems…yes, she blamed a 10 year old. Instinctively, the young girl knew this to be rubbish but it still wormed it’s ugly way in.
This then left her with her alcoholic father (no big surprise that the grandmother was his mother) who was also physically abusive when drunk.
Finally she was able to leave this situation, only to find she experienced guilt about leaving other family members with the alcoholic father.
She suffers from mistrusting men, a post traumatic stress condition, grief and other stress issues.
She also has courage by the bucket loads, common sense, the capacity to make wonderfully smart decisions like never to drink because of the alcoholism she experinced, and had entered into therapy some time ago. At such an young age she really was an inspiration, someone who decided not to let the past define her and determine her future.
As I was leaving, she came up and thanked me for listening. I looked at her, gave her the biggest hug I could muster and said “No thankyou for sharing and for being inspirational” and I then encouraged her to keep making those brilliant life giving choices.” I felt really blessed to have met her and been in her presence and I will continue to pray for her healing from such emotional and physical savagery.
And therefore, in tribute to the young woman I copy here Emily Bronte’s last poem before she died from tuberculosis in 1848:
‘No coward Soul is Mine’:
‘No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heaven’s glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.
O God within my breast,
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life-that in me has rest,
As I-undying Life-have power in thee!’
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