I have a holiday wish this year. Please, do this not for me, but for yourself and all others.
It’s free, needs no wrapping, and won’t break in the mail.
The wish is this: stop the abuse before you act. Get help before your pain destroys another.
When you raise your hand to strike someone - or some animal - or something, STOP. Lower your hand. Don’t hit.
When you raise your voice to insult someone - or some animal - or something, STOP. Lower your voice. Don’t belittle.
When you move to harm someone- or some animal - or something, maybe not with blows but with your scorn and contempt, STOP. Let the deed go undone. Lower your rage. Don’t harm.
Why? Is it that abuse is wrong, sinful and illegal? Is it that abuse and neglect rob us of gifted people? Is it that Divine or Natural Law so leads us?
Or is it that abusers cause cancer and mental illness in the abused? A 2012 study concluded abused individuals experience higher cancer rates. And many studies show that trauma causes - and affects - mental illness.
What prompts this blog in the season of loving, giving, and getting? That’s exactly why: this season, like all others, is a season for loving payback, giving wicked words and getting flailing fists. People are giving and getting life-rotting health conditions because the abusers aren’t acknowledging their pain; they’re passing it on.
Right now, someone I know, someone with mental illness who recovered from horrific abuse, lies dying of cancer. Even as the abuse devoured his innocence, so now is the trauma-created cancer taking his life. And I want to do something, but I’m powerless before the lifetime of abuse he endured.
And so I’ll do the only thing I can: pay forward the gift of knowing him.
So, parents, caregivers, partygoers, listen up and pay the peace forward. Give the best holiday gift you can this year. One that costs you no money, and may save you thousands in taxes for public health and greater thousands in increased insurance rates.
Spare your blood pressure, your sense of self-worth, your mental health. Get help for your anger. Call BHR, Behavioral Health Response (314-469-6644 or 1-800-811-4760) to talk to a counselor 24/7.
Let there be peace on Earth. And let it begin with you.