Saturday, February 22, 2014

Winter Abuse

When Mother Nature slaps us with a seemingly inordinate amount of weather, we feel it emotionally and physically.  Shoveling out for the third time in nearly the same number of days with wind whipping up frozen pieces of moisture, driving it back upon our exposed, innocent faces as we attempt to direct it away from our homes suppresses our spirit and pains our bodies, but we understand.  We are not blameless in all of this since we knew what we were signing up for by choosing to live here.  This is a Canadian winter in a Canadian city.

What really hurts is when another, lesser courter, becomes abusive and the promises that were made when that relationship was blossoming go unfulfilled.  And then, repeatedly, beyond the courtship and into the marriage they continue that misconduct, never able to live up to their vows or admit responsibility.

Abandoned Sidewalk Plow

We'll keep you safe, they tell us.  We'll protect you and your family and provide a place you can live, thrive and raise your children without fear, without concern, and you'll be happy.  You can grow old here and bask in the wonder and satisfaction that you've made a wonderful choice.  You will matter.

Communities court each and every one of us to either live there or remain there.  They tell us that if we pay our taxes and invest in the locales, monetarily and voluntarily, there are services they will provide that will protect us and confer security and safety.

When they renege, we hurt.  The emotional upheaval that occurs because of their neglect is real and legitimate.

"Sidewalk" Five Days After 1st Storm

A battered partner, we are humiliated and have to choose our next course of action: stay and, in all likelihood, continue to be abused; stay and try to fix our batterer; or leave and start fresh, albeit more aware and less naive because of our experience.

Some may lash out in desperation, accomplishing little and looking, well, desperate because they are so vastly outnumbered by those that have already given up, become mean and bitter, and are just trying to survive the ordeal without any real hope for the future. Those victims have realized the offense internally, fretted over the amount of work it would take to change anything, and resigned themselves to the situation, even defending the abuser, telling others how wonderful he is and how lucky they are to have him.  But when we tell them that not all partners are like this, that other places handle their responsibilities efficiently, that it's not like this everywhere, we see the pain in their eyes in that moment's hesitation before they respond, "It's not?"

Saint John Bus Stop

Denial doesn't help you, your children, your acquaintances, or the violator.  It's time to want more for those that matter in your life - and yourself.  This is a Canadian winter in a Canadian city, a Canadian city that is supposed to be able to handle Canadian weather and meet their promises to keep us all safe and content.

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