How I Rescued My Daughter from an Abusive Relationship
by Emily Harrison
You can blame ME for the story I’m about to tell you….
I did for the first 72 hours.
It was 3 am, local police had just invaded a hotel room where my daughter was attending a birthday party.
They were on a rescue mission, removing an abused child from the premises.
The abused child was my daughter.
Far too young (or not…perhaps that’s my misconception about how these things happen).
My daughter, who makes friends easily and fits in pretty well anywhere she goes, also participates in competitive cheerleading. She’s a huge asset to her team, which mostly consists of girls older than her.
(Here’s where I’m giving myself strike one… competitive cheer is a rough environment. One that I didn’t feel comfortable with, however I said yes when she REALLY wanted to do it.)
In this new environment, she found many challenges. Physical and emotional.
Befriending a troubled and sad young woman (which doesn’t surprise me about my daughter one bit, this is the kind of person she is) became her biggest challenge.
Her older friend began to slap and kick her, in the name of “just playing around”.
I didn’t know about this until my middle son saw it happening and shared with me (weeks later), there was physical aggression happening.
(Strike 2, Mom… you gotta know these things. Because if you don’t, strike 3 is coming…)
One more time, I gave my permission when I didn’t really want to.
When she asked (with doe eyes), I said Yes, she could go to that birthday party.
While I had been in texting her that evening during the party, to make sure she was having a good time, we stopped our communication around 10pm.
At 1am, I received a call from her Dad asking me what the heck was going on. I had no idea what he was taking about, so he filled me in….Apparently she had locked herself in the bathroom and sent an S.O.S. text to her cousin.
It read simply, “help me”. And included a video of the teeth marks up and down her arms.
DO NOT MESS WITH A MAMA BEAR….
Terrified and full of rage, I put my teenagers on lockdown, grabbed a bra and pair of shoes, and was out the door.
It wasn’t for another 2 hours until I had the SWEETEST moment of relief a mother can experience, as a tear soaked child rounded the corner with the officers, and ran to me.
Of course, I had a million questions, whens and whys….but perhaps the biggest one on my heart and mind, HOW DID I LET THIS HAPPEN? I AM HER MOTHER.
Working too much?
Playing to little?
Paying attention to the wrong things?
All of the above?
What should I have done differently?
I continued to “should” all over myself for the next few days. I should’ve done this, I should’ve done that.
It wasn’t until my mentors called me into an upgrade with my processing, that I sorted myself out. I needed the reminder that if things truly “should’ve been different” they would have been. I needed the reminder that if it is, it’s God. Meaning the Divine is present in everything. Even difficulty. There is always an opportunity for good, for learning and growing.
I began to make a list of all the positive things that came from this situation.
We’ve opened a dialogue about advocating for yourself.
We’ve prioritized healing after trauma and did special self care and rejuvenation activities.
We spent some time clearing the “static shock” the body takes on when we experience something deeply upsetting.
We talked about compassion, forgiveness, and BOUNDARIES.
And her friend, who’s also a child and hurting deeply, now has the opportunity to get help.
I share this story with you all to keep it real. Even though I’m a spiritual leader, I’m not claiming to have a perfect life…I’m not claiming I have it all together.
I am claiming my humanness.
I am claiming that I still get cut and I bleed.
And I’m damn well claiming that I take my own medicine. Often.
Moral of this story? There’s always a Divine plan and you’ve got to stay calm to see all the layers. (Also, mentors are awesome. We all need them.)
Shared with you all, with massive love, in the hopes you can also find compassion for yourself, others, and the world we are living in. Find the Divine in everything. And, don’t stop until you get there.