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"Do not let it rule you..."

I had two cases of elder abuse on my case load last week, and somewhere in my processing wrote this. The cycle of violence hurts and seems to keep on turning. Yet, I still rest in Hope. If we can all get out of our god complexes and ask for grace and help...There. Just. May. Be. Hope.

Dear ____,

Sometime last week you might have hit your mother as she lay there dying, illness claiming her body, sightless in both eyes and demanding, SO demanding. Her imperious voice echoed through the house as she ordered you to pull her up in bed, to adjust her pillow, to change her diaper.

I say "might have" because she could be lying too, a lying and manipulating mother, who seems to be clutching on to that last bit of control she has over life and over you.

She has been dying for a long time, perhaps too long, perhaps just long enough.

You threatened her for reasons unknown to me, but I can speculate. You threatened her because she and your father hit you, because aggression is an expression of feelings and because the moment, the grief and the anger were too much.

I've seen you with your kids. You want the best for them. Man, I can see the struggle between your past and your future. You're trying to tame the inner anger for them.

And I'm sorry that we had to call APS and the Police, but WE DID. We don't get to play God, not now or ever. 

But, she's still with you there, at your house, the woman who nurtured you and terrified you, the one who took the worst beatings from your dad. Her loyalty to you ran deeper than her fear. Some form of deep, abiding, motherly love rests inside her heart that pulses at 46 beats a min. And as her flesh melts away, what is left of the vestiges of power? Her fear, dependency and love rise up.

Today I want to say this to you. I'm sorry. I'm sorry that no one spoke up for YOU. I'm sorry that violence was an acknowledged secret in your family. I'm sorry that it hurt and took so much. I'm sorry that your gentleness was fractured and inhabited be a deep and glowing anger. I'm sorry that no one stopped them from the hurt that kept happening. And I'm sorry that we all take turns at playing God, instead of taking a stand for justice and the safety of those who are weaker than us.

And now you are the powerful one, but in each of us power fades. We will all pass into our weakness soon enough.

"Do not let it rule you," I whisper pray about my own "strength." Now, sitting here, with tears streaming down my face. May God be the light. May justice and mercy win, and may my heart continually be pulled off it's pedestal of strength to see the used, abused and hurting, to see YOU. 


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