A friend is staying with her husband even though he beats her daily and sometimes twice daily. He goes out every night and sleeps with other people. He creepily smells the lady next door's underpants on their communal washing line.
My friend has serious internal battles that mean her self-esteem is appalling low and she tells me she stays because she is afraid to be alone. As if being on her own is even worse than what her bastard husband dishes out. I know there is more to it than that. The pain is so deep into her eyes that I can see right through to her childhood. I want to have courage, but I dare not ask.
Whatever else we raise our children to grow up to be, independent and self-sufficient are very high on my list of must-haves. For them to find contentment when alone. To believe in themselves and know that they have a rightful place in this world that is no better and never, not ever, worse than anyone else's place. To be strong in their convictions and certain of the strength of their courage within. To know that they matter.
How can my friend sit at my coffee table and tell me the things she tells me and I tell her to leave, leave, leave and I show her my spare bed and I tell her that she can stay here forever if that's what it takes and she thanks me for my kindness and then she picks up her handbag and she goes back to that man? It doesn't make sense. It never makes sense.
She has three children.
At what point do we become responsible?
[Image found here.]