Posts Tagged ‘abusive’



May 14, 2013

Oh, dear sweet <3. Where are you now, and what is your life like?

When I was in kindergarten, my parents bought their first home – a very modest home, in a very modest neighborhood. Very soon after we moved in, I met my next-door neighbor, a full-of-life, round-faced black girl named <3. She was my first black friend. She was one of my first best friends.

We were playmates. Pretty much every day, we’d spend time together back when you came home from school, maybe ate a snack, and went outside to play until dinner-time or dark:30.

As we grew up, we slowly grew apart. We never had classes together. We developed different friends and different interests. At some point, after elementary school, her parents put her in a different school. I don’t remember why. I think she was starting to have some troubles, but I never knew the specifics.

❤ had so much personality, and she was happy-go-lucky all the time. She called me, and pretty much everyone, “honey-child”. I thought it was so funny. It makes me smile to think about even now.

I don’t have any memories of her being outwardly sad or upset – ever. What I do remember is this.

<3’s parents were AWFUL human beings. Her mother was always yelling and screaming at her – very verbally abusive. My memories of her mom are all negative. As a child, I thought she was a monster. Her father was big and quiet – and physically abusive. He was rarely visible. I don’t even remember his name.

There are a few moments in time when I wish I would have known what to do… when I would hear the endless swats of the belt and the subsequent screams from the garage… moments that felt like hours. There were a few moments when ❤ would share with me the horrors that went on behind closed doors. Again, I’d wish I’d known how to help her. I don’t remember if I ever told my parents what was going on. Maybe? If I did, I’m sure they felt like it wasn’t their place to interfere.

And so, I’m going to digress for just a moment. I feel it is all of our place to interfere in a situation like this. It. is. our. place. This, too, has been on my mind recently in light of the happenings in Cleveland. ‘Ten years’ is too f’ing long for those victims to have suffered without any productive outside intervention.

Back to <3.

I’m sorry, <3, for your suffering. I’m sorry I didn’t know how to help you. You were, and I’m sure still are, a bright light. I think of you fondly. My hope is that you have an amazing life – one that includes lots of LOVING family members.

It would be my honor to see you again one day and know you.

Here’s to you, honey-child.

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