This gets me through a tough shift at work.
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…
Pocket Princess 53: Book Club
Please reblog, don’t repost.
I don’t mean to dishonor the other stories here. But there is one I wanted to add.
A good portion of my pro-bono work is defending abused children. It’s a cause close to my heart. In the course of my work I met a man who was an adult survivor. You wouldn’t have known it looking at him. He was this gigantic Polynesian guy. Wild curly hair. I think of him every time I see Khal Drogo on GoT. He was counseling some of the little kids, and doing a fantastic job of it.
I visited his home to get his opinion on something and I noticed a little toy on his desk. It was Trolley. Naturally curious, I asked him about it.
This is what he told me:
“The most dangerous time for me was in the afternoon when my mother got tired and irritable. Like clockwork. Now, she liked to beat me in discreet places so my father wouldn’t see the bruises. That particular day she went for the legs. Not uncommon for her. I was knocked down and couldn’t get back up. Also not uncommon. She gave me one last kick, the one I had come to learn meant ‘I’m done now’. Then she left me there upstairs, face in the carpet, alone. I tried to get up, but couldn’t. So I dragged myself, arm over arm, to the television, climbed up the tv cabinet and turned on the tv.
“And there was Mr. Rogers. It was the end of the show and he was having a quiet, calm conversation with those hundreds of kids. In that moment, he seemed to look me in the eye when he said ‘And I like you just for being you’. In that moment, it was like he was reaching across time and space to say these words to me when I needed them most.
“It was like the hand of god, if you’re into that kind of thing. It hit me in the soul. I was a miserable little kid. I was sure I was a horrible person. I was sure I deserved every last moment of abuse, every blow, every bad name. I was sure I earned it, sure I didn’t deserve better. I *knew* all of these things … until that moment. If this man, who I hadn’t even met, liked me just for being me, then I couldn’t be all bad. Then maybe someone could love me, even if it wasn’t my mom.
“It gave me hope. If that nice man liked me, then I wasn’t a monster. I was worth fighting for. From that day on, his words were like a secret fortress in my heart. No matter how broken I was, no matter how much it hurt or what was done to me, I could remember his words, get back on my feet, and go on for another day.
“That’s why I keep Trolley there. To remind me that, no matter how terrible things look, someone who had never met me liked me just for being me, and that makes even the worst day worth it to me. I know how stupid it sounds, but Mr. Rogers saved my life.”
The next time I saw him, he was talking to one of my little clients. When they were done with their session, he helped her out of her chair, took both of her hands, looked her in the eyes and said: “And remember, I like you just for being you.”
That, to me, is Mr. Rogers’ most powerful legacy. All of the little lives he changed and made better with simple and sincere words of love and kindness.
OH HEY, GIRL. YOU ON YOUR WAY TO WORK? YEAH, TELL ME ABOUT IT. I WORKED DOUBLES ALL WEEKEND. NO REST FOR THE WICKED, THOUGH. I HAVE TO BE AT THE PILATES STUDIO IN LIKE, 20 MINUTES. I JUST POPPED HOME FOR A QUICK POWER COSMO AND A SPEED TINKLE.
IT WAS NICE RUNNING INTO YOU. WE LIVE TOGETHER, BUT I SWEAR TO GOD I SEE MY THERAPIST MORE THAN I SEE YOU. YOU’RE LIKE THE INVISIBLE ROOMMATE. ANYWAY, HAVE FUN AT THE OFFICE. YOUR HAIR LOOKS SUPER CUTE TODAY.
THERE YOU ARE. I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR YOU FOR OVER AN HOUR. HAVE YOU SEEN MY XANAX? I’M ABOUT TO LOSE MY SHIT.
NO. I HAD A HEADACHE, SO I TOOK THE LAST OF YOUR ASPIRIN. THEN I FELT REALLY GOOD FOR A WHILE. THEN I PASSED OUT FOR LIKE … FIVE HOURS. I WOKE UP AND ATE ABOUT FOUR MICROWAVE MEALS. NOW I’M JUST WAITING FOR THE SUNSET BECAUSE IT’S A CONSTANT SOURCE OF UNDERAPPRECIATED BEAUTY IN THIS CHAOTIC AND SEEMINGLY CRUEL WORLD. DON’T YOU AGREE?
OBVIOUSLY THOSE WERE MY XANAX, DAVID, AND I HATE YOU.
THAT’S UNFORTUNATE. I DON’T HATE ANYONE BECAUSE WE’RE ALL PART OF THE SAME FLOW OF COSMIC ENERGY, SHARING ONE CONSCIOUSNESS, INCHING EVER FORWARD TOWARD THE DIVINE LIGHT OF UNDERSTANDING AND TRANSCENDENCE.
YOU’RE A DICK, DAVE.
WE’RE ALL ONE DICK, ANDREW. THAT’S WHAT I’M TRYING TO TELL YOU.
JUST LOOK AT IT, CLAIRE. THE ROLLING HILLS, THE SUN-DAPPLED LEAVES, THE RUSTIC CHARM OF IT ALL. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. JUST BEAUTIFUL.
WHY ARE YOU IN SUCH A GOOD MOOD? ARE YOU DRINKING AGAIN?
NO, DOWNTON ABBEY STARTED BACK UP. GOD, IT’S BEEN A DESOLATE TV WASTELAND RECENTLY.
beauty, experience, freedom… in that order
Love, Pines, Power. Really?
Experience, Time, and Success. Hmmm.
And Humour as an entertaining, last minute, fourth word to jump out at me ;)