Monday, March 10, 2008

To the Rescue

One reason people think I would be a great mother is that I’m kind of a rescuer. My husband and I have taken in several friends over the years who were down on their luck and have helped them get back onto their feet. I’m also borderline obsessed with making sure my niece doesn’t end up as broken as some of them.

Just last night we took in another one. She’s my husband’s “cousin” (actually his father’s second wife’s twin sister’s husband’s brothers daughter from his second marriage… yeah, so “cousin”). At 22, J has grown up with an abusive alcoholic mother and a pushover absentee father. She’s been burned in more relationships than you can imagine and, like a textbook abuse victim, is drawn to the biggest assholes on the planet. She’s been with her latest asshole for about 6 months… a verbally abusive neo-nazi who claims he hates Goths while saying he wants to be with her even though he hates her tattoos, her piercings, her general way of being. It’s INSANITY. It’s not worth sharing the whole story, but after a huge fight with her mother she got kicked out of her house. She was staying at the apartment of a married couple she’s friends with, and her friend’s husband made a horribly inappropriate advance on her. After a great deal of convincing, we finally convinced her to stay with us for more than just a single night at a time.

J has never been exposed to what a “normal” relationship is like. Even the friends she was staying with are full of nothing but problems, emotional abuse, etc. We’re hoping she can spend some time with us and see what it’s like. But it will be hard to get her to accept the help.

She wants to accept it. A lifetime of abuse has told her that she doesn’t deserve the charity. She has told me that no one’s ever been so nice to her simply because they cared and it’s really confusing to her. Even her friends who took her in did so because they wanted to be the heroes, then proceeded to make her feel like a nuisance.

We have the space, she has her own room, so it’s easy for her to stay with us. We welcome her staying with us. It’s what we do.

This is why, at times, I feel like one day we may be foster parents. Many moons from now if ever, but I believe that if we end up wanting to be parents, that will be our calling. Sure, if J stays with us for longer than this week (which we’re hoping she will), she’ll contribute to rent and groceries, but we’re happy to have her around to keep her out of trouble. While she’s with us she’ll see what our relationship is like and hopefully learn that she deserves kindness, charity, and love.

I have no illusions about this. I know that she’s far more likely to leave our home and seek out a place that’s more abusive, because it’s simply not comfortable for her to be this comfortable for a long period of time. I feel like we have to try, though. But we’ve asked her to commit to staying with us for a week to start.

How does this relate to my potential for motherdom? Well, because I feel like it’s more my position to help the broken pick up the pieces. Why bring more kids into the world when there are so many people out there who’ve been broken by their natural parents. If motherhood ends up being what I want to do, I only see it in the light of helping ones who are already here.

For now, those people are friends and family who need a place to go that’s safe from the negativity and drama of abuse. It’s a great feeling to be able to help.

1 comment:

GottabeMe said...

How kind of you. I hope she does stay longer than a week and learn what a healthy relationship is like.

I think people think I would be a good mom because I love animals, I love helping animals, and I spend much of my free time volunteering with an animal rescue. Like you, I feel it's my calling to help the ones that are here and need helping.

That does NOT mean I want a child though! I wish people could understand that.