I remember for the longest time wondering why no one seemed to notice or care that I was suffering and now that I’ve grown older and wiser, I understand why. People are barely able to manage their own issues without getting caught up in someone else’s, and plus, we came from the generation that really didn’t get involved anyway. Not unless they had to.
My high school principal had to when she saw the handprint on my arm that had been left after a struggle with my dad. He had wanted to spank me for something but at fifteen years old, I wasn’t going to allow him to pull my pants down and whack my bare behind with a belt. I was on my period and was in pain as it was, I didn’t need more for something stupid.
Plus I was too old for that sort of treatment. If he wanted to talk, I’d have been happy to do that but even back then I doubt he’d have liked what I had to say. So hitting me seemed a better choice, except he didn’t expect me to fight back that time.
Nothing really became of that incident and we all moved on; he literally moved not long after and left the state with his new wife and I did my best to accept that no one cared enough to get involved. Unless they had to. And even then, nothing would come of it.
Later, when it was my turn, I chose to step up on behalf of my niece who was the target of abuse by the same perverts who had earlier targeted me in the family. Nothing came of it, either, but I did what I could.
Sometimes it’s all you can do.
2 thoughts on “Be That Person”
Loved reading this
This post highlights the unfortunate reality that people are often consumed by their own issues and may not notice or care about others’ suffering. However, it’s inspiring to see that the author chose to step up and protect her niece from abuse despite the lack of action taken in her own situation.
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Thank you, Eamon. I think it’s important for victims to realize that it’s not personal that people don’t step in. It’s asking a lot of someone to do so especially back then because socially it just wasn’t something you did. My generation had to break down that barrier and hopefully in the future it will be easier to intervene before it’s too late.