How do you begin to comfort a six or seven year old who has witness a day filled with ongoing domestic violence between his parents; one ending with his father sitting in back of a police cruiser before being hauled off to jail; crying, "I love you son" from the top of his lungs, while megaphoning to his wife and to the rest of the neighborhood watching, "I didn't do anything. I am going to be away for a year. I am going to lose my job " " his implication today but, previously and often stated loud enough for the neighborhood to hear: "You are a b*tch!"
How do you explain to a little boy who must by now be so confused, so sad, so angry, so frightened, so abused by the abusive behavior of his parents with each other, whose affections towards his parents must be so split, that he is worthy of love, comfort, safetiness?
How do you help him ease the horror, the embarrassment, the anger?
I have seen him run out to the yard crying a face full of tears and a heart as broken as a water jug so many times before.
Who is there to comfort him, reassure him, love him?
For some reason, the previous day, while looking up the song, Cuando Sali de Cuba, on Youtube, a link to the May 3rd, 2013, "Message from Our Lady's apparition at Medjugorge," popped up on the playlist of videos. The part of the message that pounds my head as I revisit the scene from out in the neighborhood is, " " DO NOT JUDGE ""
It would be so easy to call this man a creep, which so many of us around here think he is. It would be so easy to call his wife a floozy, which so many of us around here think she is.
It is so much more out of step and prompted by the "DO NOT JUDGE' part of Our Lady's message, to wonder what sort of pain resides in the heart of this man that has driven him to so many instances of domestic violence and to be the creep that he presents to the world; or, what sort of pain drives his wife to be the floozy we all think she is.
What is the blindness, the barrier that keeps them from seeing that in hurting themselves and each other they are also hurting their children?
What will the pain in their son's heart drive him to be one day? A bully? A sociopath? An uncaring creep? An angry man? The dance of anger takes so many turns. He is already acting out some of the turmoil that resides inside of him. He has already taken mail out of a neighbor's box. He is also pushing the heavy chain link fence in an attempt to open the entry to driveway which his mother had closed. He is crying out for attention, love and reassurance. Who is there for him?
The neighborhood is at peace. But it is a sad kind of peace.