I was shopping yesterday, actually I was assembling my salad for today's lunch. I have pretty much the same thing-three different kinds of lettuce (okay, two lettuce and one spinach; all the green stuff looks the same after awhile), tomatoes, as many different kinds of peppers as are offered (hopefully green, red, orange and yellow), cranberries, diced chicken and fruit-this time of year pineapples though I like it more when the offerings include strawberries and slices of kiwi.
On the other side of the salad bar was a woman with a face like bad weather. Very hard lines and very deep marks between the far edge above her left eyebrow to just to the left of her temple. The kind of face we all see all the time, very quickly and furtively and then we look away. People such as she are waiting for us to make eye contact with them because that will serve as just enough pretext to be an invitation for her to tell us exactly how it happened.
Except we, or at least I, don't want to know. Someone, somewhere walked into a door or a wall or a cabinet but all the time it was really a fist and it wasn't walked into at all. It was clenched and balled and speeding at them at the speed of rage and would have hurt them even more badly if they hadn't turned their head or ducked or perhaps just fallen down at first impact.
I don't want to know not because I don't care, because I do, but because I can't fix her or change her or help her unless and until she wants to do this herself. Too many people stay with other people in abusive relationships and you can ask any cop or any judge but this time of year is always when you have the most and largest number of damaged people. Something about that Christmas magic which makes people who enjoy hurting other people want to do it more or more often, I've never understood which or why.
This is what I would have told her in the store yesterday but she wouldn't have listened. Maybe if you've come this far on the page because you think I'm describing you, maybe I am and maybe you'll read this and at least someone will get something out of yesterday besides me and all I got was upset.
Here goes: No one can make you a victim without your permission. Trust me on this one. I know all about it and deep down inside so, too, do you. Do not allow someone else to make you into somebody you were not born to be. You are allowed to be happy because you are a good person and nothing anyone can say or do to you can or will change that.
There are too many silent screams and broken dreams in this world. Stop waiting for the pain to end. It never will of its own accord. You have to stop it and once you start to do that, all the rest of us can help.