Secret Subject Swap

Hello and happy Friday! Welcome to May's Secret Subject Swap. This week, 16 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. 
 
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
 
 
My subject is:  Have you ever witnessed how somebody has been wronged and done something about it?
 
It was submitted by: Confessions of A Part-Time Working Mom -thanks Tamara ❤
 
This might be more of an interesting piece if this prompt would have gone to someone else. I have a big problem with keeping my mouth shut. If I see something I think I can help with-I will offer help or assistance. I did not get that gene that allows people to brush stuff under the rug or turn their heads. I am one of those annoying people who take things to heart immediately and if someone is hurt or wronged I want to help. I don't think about it, I do not pray about it, I want to do something right there and then. Instantly.  Impetuously. Stupidly.  This has not only caused people to shake their heads in disgust, sigh loudly and be annoyed by my intrusive help but it has literally ended friendships.  
A few stories popped up in my head but the one that stuck out to me was an event that happened a few years ago.
I worked 3rd shift in a gas station for a few years. 3rd shift is quite an experience itself. But couple that with a convenience store in walking distance from 2 very popular bars made some nights incredible and others incredibly exhausting. One night a regular came in. She was young, sweet and in her 20's. She always came in with this man who was quite a jerk. He would say rude things to her, often was belligerently intoxicated, and she was always apologizing-for his curses, for his rudeness, for his existence basically. She would have bruises on her arms and neck occasionally that my gut told me he gifted her. But she was not ready to leave him and never asked for help-if she did I would have offered the number to the shelter in a hot minute. I would have had someone pick her up and take her. But I was a just a clerk to her, I was just another face that might not care or believe her, she never reached out or asked for help and who knew I might have read the whole situation wrong.
Until that night.
The night my regular came in-without him. She was frazzled, she was dirty and she was pulsing with an air of change and fear. She saw me and ran to me.  At first, I thought she was kidding around but when I looked into her eyes my heart dropped. Her eyes reflected fear and pain and a breaking point that she had reached.  I asked her what I could do. She told me he was after her because she was leaving and she had nowhere else to go. She asked me to hide her and asked if she could borrow my cell to call her family to pick her up. She was jumpy and jittery and looking over her shoulder, she asked again if I would hide her. Against the squawking of my co-worker, I hid her in our coat area. It was an area where our industrial sinks lived where we washed our coffee pots and trays. This was not an area where she would have access to anything that violated store policy just a place customers normally would not go.
Within minutes of hiding her, he came storming in. He yelled for her and asked us where she was. His eyes were on fire and he was livid. He wanted her and he wanted her right then and there. There was no way in hell I was going to tell him where she was.  He looked at me with disgust and asked me where I she was.  I told him that she asked me to hide her and that I didn’t want to get in between them and told her she had to leave. I told him that she was crying and seemed scared and pointed him in the direction of the bars. His cruel and calculating eyes scoured my deceitful face and thankfully found no flaws in my story. Instead, he slammed out our doors and went on a search for her in the way I sent him.
She ended up calling a family member to pick her up and take her somewhere safe.
Seemingly a good ending, right? Well, it was then it wasn't.  My co-worker would not shut up about how stupid I was, how I should not have got involved and how I was just the dumbest person in the world. All night. I should not have gotten involved, I should have let her deal with it on her own, I should not have lied to him blah blah blah.
When I told my mom and my husband they were so mad at me because I put myself in a 'dangerous' situation.
Even though I was getting pretty much shamed from all fronts-some surprisingly-I knew in my heart it was the right thing to do.
Too many women are afraid to come forward and admit that they are a victim of abuse. They fear that no one will believe them, they fear they have nowhere to turn and sadly often times do not after they have been alienated from their families, they fear that a life of abuse is all they are worthy. I could not in all good conscious turn her away and not offer her help when she was begging for it when I watched her suffer silently for two years. All I did was hide her. She had the strength to leave, to break the cycle, to fight for herself, to say she was worthy of more. I simply had her stand behind some coats in a room off to the side. Is that necessarily speaking up when someone was wronged? I don’t know. I just know that it was worth it. It was needed and I did it.
Too many times we stay silent; we choose to ignore and quiet that nagging feeling that we should do something. We figure that someone will work it out and that things will 'be fine'.  If we speak up and are told to shut up, that is fine. But what if can simply offer a hand, an ear, if we can ask what we can do—and we can help change their life?
I saw her again a year later.
I was shopping with my husband and she came barreling up to give me a hug. We hugged for so long and we were both trying not to cry. I had oftentimes thought of her and hoped and prayed that she did not return back to him. After our hug broke, she asked if I remembered her, I laughed and told her yes. She let me know that she had moved a town away to escape him and that she did not speak to him even though he harassed her family and friends trying to find her. She thanked me for hiding her and told me she thought she was going to die that night. She was sure that she was going to die that night and that by giving her that hide out for half an hour I gave her the opportunity to get a hold of her family and get her out of a situation.
I did not do anything. She did it all. She just let me know she needed help.
 
 
 
 
                   
                         

Comments

  1. I don't know how you could not help. She clearly was in danger, that's not something anyone should ever turn their back on.
    Getting in the middle of a volatile situation can be dangerous for you too, and I get that. But you can always at least call for help. It must take a cold heart to just ignore that kind of desperation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I truly think many people would find it hard to ignore someone in need. At least that is my hope.

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  2. It was a split second decision, and you did the right thing!
    The world needs more people who care about others.
    So great that you bumped into each other after some time!

    I was just thinking, maybe this lady is a blogger, too and wrote about that night she needed to get out, and this nice gas station lady saved her life by hiding her in the coat area!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was so nice to see her again-she would run across my mind a lot.

      Delete
  3. I agree with you -- I always jump in to help and ask questions later. It's worth the risk

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  4. You are an amazing and brave person, a hero! You saved her life, you are amazing.

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  5. I was going to say the exact same things that Karen said. You are SO amazing!! GOOD FOR YOU!!!!! Way too many people turn their heads saying that it's not their problem and none of their business. Thankfully for that young lady you didn't do that.
    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

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    Replies
    1. Good thing I don't mind my business 😉

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  6. I don't see how you couldn't help! You did the right thing. Sometimes a person's life can really be changed and saved if we take a small risk, and Im so proud to know someone like you willing to take such a risk.

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    Replies
    1. Risks where the reward is the well being of someone's life is almost always worth taking.

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  7. I don't see how you couldn't help! You did the right thing. Sometimes a person's life can really be changed and saved if we take a small risk, and Im so proud to know someone like you willing to take such a risk.

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  8. I have been both of those people in your story, the one running away and the one helping someone else no matter the danger. Kudos to you.

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  9. Wow. Bravo! I wish more people had the strength to speak up and help out - myself included.

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    Replies
    1. One word at time can help change our world.

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