No more Watchers and Joiners – bringing the subject of abuse to light.
He said to me,
“They did this to my mother. She was a single mother, too. I grew up this way. I saw what they did to her. They wouldn’t help her at all.”
His mother’s abuse situation, his situation, was unhealed for him. For his mom, I wouldn’t know. I had not met her, had not talked to her. I didn’t need to. The open wounds carried by her son were unmistakable and at that moment, it seemed they would last his lifetime.
I wondered how he would handle abuse as he grew older, nurtured his own family. I wondered whether he dropped a budget in the basket.
He looked me straight in the eye when he said it. He didn’t like seeing it happen again. He wasn’t comfortable that there was a club, a disconnected, yet semblant group of moms, parents forced into poverty, treated as outcasts – unworthy and made to struggle for everything. His mom was a club member. He had yet to realize, that he too was represented.
He was a wounded child, a victim of a system that failed women and children. He was victim of a religion that employed a pick and choose in the name of a higher being that in some errant interpretation stood against women and the children they raised. The two institutions worked together – the system and the church. They worked in tandem.
The women were divorced. The women were single and some, yes some, were even widowed. There were men, too. I wondered if he knew.
He watched. He did nothing. He cast his eyes back to the floor and walked away. His shoulders sagged. He remained quiet afterwards. He had spoken all he would speak.
He did nothing. He watched and in watching, joined.