My dh tells me of a sad, sad tale about a really stressed and stretched relationship between a dear friend and his daughter.
I've known this girl since she was about five - she and I were confidantes. She is now eighteen.
She identifies currently with teens known in hyp circles as Emo's. You know of these? It's been along time since I was hyp - we were reasonably near the original punks, and certainly the original Generation Xers (in fact I am a fan of Generation X -the band - Billy Idol's band in his younger years.)- long before that term was coined- and certainly the original "grunge" kids. We invented it. I'm not boasting or complaining, it's just the truth. Alright - I'll get off my "I Know Nonconformity" soapbox now.
Now, among others, there are Emo's. This nickname means The Emotionals. Those with a sad story to tell. In my youth it was shouted by some in a disdainful aggression, today it is whispered in a sighing martyrdom sort of way. Gothic. Artsy. Dark. Deep.
Young Friend has fallen in with this group. Not necessarily a bad thing on its own.
But with the martyrdom has apparently come some (physical) self abuse.
Dad (long time friend of dh) lashes out and blames boyfriend for daughter's self-inflicted wounds.
"Never darken my doorstep again!" he tells the Sad Martyr Boyfriend.
That appears to be the end of the story. I think we all know it's hardly the end.
Father fights for control. Grasping and beating his chest and screaming to the heavens and shouting his primal cries.
Desperately threatens with the very last weapon at his disposal "It's 'My Way' or else!"
Daughter shrinks further inside herself and her heart, weeping and plotting.
"They don't understand! Why must it always be this way?"
Dh relates to me the story.
He finishes it with "I wanted to say so much. But I just couldn't. It seems too late."
"Aaaaaargh", I moan internally.
Sad. And frightened. And worried for these people that mean so much to me.
"Not for us, Babe." I promise.
"That's what I was thinking when he was telling me. But how can we be sure?"
I think now "Because it's every day. It's in the moments. It's in the freedom, the understanding, the respect, the love, the "you matter"'s, the life and breath of our commitment."
We've had an hour or more now since the telling of the tale, and time to reflect.
Dh says now, while we're discussing it again..."Not for us, Babe."
No, Honey, Not For Us.