Victims of Circumstance

by Jared Talavera

Photo Credit: Yuki Ishikawa Photography via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Yuki Ishikawa Photography via Compfight cc

There are more people on Earth right now than there ever was in history. However, there are so many who find themselves feeling alone in their emotional suffering. With the advent of social media in the 21st century, so many of us have the ability to connect with one another online. Jamie Tworkowski, founder of To Write Love On Her Arms, was correct when he said, “people need other people.” People do not have to suffer alone and nor should they. We all need people who will cheer, love and believe in us through all of the struggles and triumphs life will bring. This life is a journey which we cannot travel alone on.

For Millie, an 87-year old woman, memories of her youth still bear emotional scars. Her words overflowed out into the street searching for ears that could listen and mouths that would not judge. There was a young girl, bruised and battered, hiding away for decades in the depths of her heart.

The street was silent, just silent. I crossed paths with Millie during one of my Sunday morning walks.

“I grew up during World War II,” Millie uttered as her words transported us to her childhood.
“My father, my father was a drunkard. Every day when he came home from work, he would beat his wife and children.”

Love. Safety. Self-worth. It all crumbled at the mercy of a raging storm of fists and words. Millie tried to protect her family and herself, but her little arms and hands were no match against her father’s.

I conjured up all the words I could say to make her feel at ease, but nothing came to mind. She continued by professing, “my father did not have an ounce of care or love for me. He tried to sell me. He tried to leave me in the streets.”

As a young girl, Millie would run to her mother as her only source of refuge with tears streaming down her cheeks. “Mother, mother please we have to leave.” The cries of an innocent young girl were imprisoned in the present moment. She felt powerless. She felt helpless. Millie and her family were victims of circumstance. This was a life they did not choose. Millie could shed a thousand tears for a lifetime, pray a million prayers, but the pain she felt would still be invisible to others. I wanted her to realise how beautiful she was and how much she deserved to be loved the same way I knew she did.

Now in her eighties, Millie struggles to reconcile the brutality of her youth. I do not have all the words that could bandage her emotional wounds and scars. However by sharing her story, I hope that for Millie and anyone in a similar circumstance will know that they do not have to suffer alone. There are good people out there in the world who will have “ears that will listen and mouths that will not judge.”

You are strong, alive and you are learning everyday what it means to fight for a better life for yourself. No matter the amount of struggles that life will put you through, just keep persevering that little bit more. Never lose hope. You never know what tomorrow may bring. You are alive in a beautiful world full of infinite possibilities. Breathe it in and allow this world to embrace you. I may not know your whole story, but I want you to know that your story matters. I am on your side. I will promise to carry you in my heart and in my prayers as you go through all the struggles and triumphs that life will put you through.

There are times when we need to realise that we have to stop crossing oceans for people that will not even jump over puddles for us. You deserve peace. Let us not be silent. Discussion perpetuates more discussion.

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