It’s been four weeks since Nadia got mugged. Two men followed her from the bus and pulled her into the alley by the bar down the street, beat her and took her purse.
To see the look in her eyes not even 5 minutes after it happened. Lost, confused, questioning why anyone would ever do something like that. Her false safe reality, her glass bubble, completely shattered to a trillion pieces. She looked at her hands, her scarf and jacket spotted with blood, and she looked at me with eyes asking “Why?” All I could say was that I was sorry. I’m sorry this is the reality women live on the daily in this country and many around the world. I’m sorry you will have to deal with this for the rest of your life. I’m sorry there was no way I could warn you enough. There was so way I could have warned her enough.
I’m conflicted with so many feelings. She is now experiencing the emotional roller coaster of post traumatic stress disorder, and at times I think, so am I. I have no energy left for myself. In saying that, I am also conflicted with how much attention I should be bringing to myself in this situation. Is it selfish of me to do so? All the monsters in my head are gnawing away at what I should or shouldn’t be doing, while I have daily 2-3 hours therapy sessions with Nadia. Friends have said, “I’ll be there for her when I can,” “I have to have a heart to heart with her,” “I bring it up but she’s hesitant so I stop there.” Then the second it’s me and Nadia, a waterfall of emotions so rough it hurts to stand up. Is it because I know what questions to ask? Is it because I’m around more by default? Is it because I was there 2 minutes after it happened, and I understand exactly how it all went down, so by default she rather be with someone she doesn’t have to explain it to again and again?
It reminds me of another situation where I gave my all to someone in need, only to later realize that she wouldn’t have done the same for me. It makes me wonder if my friends will actually act on what they say. In times of high stress and emotional turmoil, who are truly our friends? Are they only friends when it’s conveniently on a high, conveniently happy to bring their moods up?
I’ve been told that my resilience attracts people to spill their stories to me, to lean and depend on me. A blessing and a curse. Since she was mugged, my life has been work and Nadia. Friends have emotionally copped out and are there when it’s convenient for them. I’m starting to lose faith in them. I’m not asking to suddenly gain the resilience and the strength one needs to carry the weight, I’m asking for help in carrying something that is more layered than I could have imagined. People ask me how Nadia is doing all the time, instead of going straight to her, and in the process forget to ask how I am doing. Please help me carry the layers, take them to a safe space, pick them apart and let the layers cry and feel numb and feel whatever she feels at the moment. I can’t turn away from her until I’m confident that she has other shoulders to lean on. I can’t do it.
Allies are needed.
And I’m spent, exhausted. And I’m scared if I keep giving her my energy, I’ll have nothing left.