When Fear Rules !

Fighting for Her Life !

by on Feb.06, 2011, under Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia and OCD, STOPPING ABUSE

Fighting for Her Life !

I have written  before about this young lady of 13, going on 14, who has been a kid of the streets. { www.KidsOfTheStreet.com}  I say, has been, because due to a physician running a clinic in NYC, and a couple  who opened their arms to this child, she now has a chance at a life.

But of course, nothing comes easy in this world now, does it. It takes much energy to undo the ugliness and havoc  that some people in our society are able to create. The mother of this child, her only known parent, is in jail for her part in putting her own daughter at risk. And there are some professional people, some who present themselves as human, who are about to face consequences for what they did to take advantage of this child as she begged for food and shelter.

But again, now she has a few friends. A couple who have no children, whom I have had the pleasure to meet and get to know, and the doctor, and of course, myself. We have bonded with this child and our lives will be ever changed due to our our involvement.

However, I have watched this child deal with so many conflicts, so much  pain for someone who should just be playing with dolls and enjoying the warmth of a family and friends. She has struggled to understand  how parents can reject their own children. She has struggled with trusting me, because that means letting her guard down, throwing off the layers of protective clothing that shielded her somewhat from the elements in exchange for a real Winter coat, but even more so, the layers of toughness, of not needing anyone, for fear that allowing herself to trust would cause her to then be weak and vulnerable.

So it’s understandable, isn’t it, that she is in conflict, It makes sense that she might feel anxiety, panic, and surges of anger. Could you understand why at times she would just want to run back to the streets ?

Of course, being a victim of emotional and sexual abuse, on top of being abandoned by anyone she thought loved her causes her to feel unlovable, spoiled goods, and unworthy of anyone’s caring.

I got to know this child over a few months of chatting. She began to trust me and I held that trust as a very sacred vow to be there for her. I certainly felt anxious at times, not knowing what I would be able to do to help her. Once i knew her, I could not let her go to be a kid of the street again. I definitely have had some sleepless nights over this, but it is so worth it just to know this child.

I keep saying “child”, but in truth, she at times sounds like a most mature adult, I guess the streets can do that to you, especially when you have to think about where you will get your next bite of food daily, and where you might lie your head. I have learned some very important things from this young lady. She is like a reality check when you think we are a civilized people. I might add, that I would bet most of you reading this would be hard pressed to survive what she has.

Yet, her very survival is now in question. Not only her  being beaten by the elements during this rather severe Winter on the streets of NYC, but what adults have done to her emotionally, physically and sexually, she is now lying in intensive care, her fragile ninety pound body ravaged with infection.

We do not know if she will make it. I’s a fifty-fifty chance at best. But she did survive the night and i am writing this while at the same time waiting for an e-mail or IM updating me on her condition. I have prayed and i have cried, but it is all up to whether her body can renew itself with the help of antibiotics, but mostly, in my mind, whether she can be rallied by the love she has been shown by these two strangers who came to take her in, and hopefully what she knows i feel for her. It may be for the first time in her life, but she is loved.

Even that she has fought accepting. In fact, she has almost sabotaged that love by trying to push away those who offer it. Yes, again, in an effort to protect herself from feeling rejection, she would hardly make eye contact with those who have tried to show there are good people in this world. There are, aren’t there ? Her case has made me wonder !

But yesterday, there was a miracle of sorts. I had practically begged her to take a chance to touch the hand of the woman who would be her new mother in time. She fought me at first  and so I asked her, “ If I were to come there and meet you face to face, after all we have talked about together, would I get a hug ?” Well, since she has come to call me her pretend grandfather as of late, she had to think about it. While she hesitated, I said, “ I would ask your permission of course, and would be ok if you said no, but would be so happy is you said yes.” Now, she joked with me, reminding me that I was not a very “fluffy” grandfather, being a rather lean guy. But that told me there was an opening. She said, “ Well, if you asked, I might be able to accept a hug. No one ever asks me, they just always took what they wanted because I had no control.” Ah yes, CONTROL, the key word.

So, she then said, “as long as it is my idea to touch her hand {her caregiver, and want to be mother} I guess i could try”. So, while i was talking to the caregiving woman standing by the side of her bed, this child reached out and touched her, and then did it again. There were  smiles and tears for all three of us. And this 13 year old going on 14 said to me, “ It felt so good, and warm. I could feel the love, I could almost taste it.” We Struck Gold !!!

Just a few hours later, she was wheeled into intensive care due to the infections ravaging her body, but not before the man who wished to be her father fought  to have both of them stay by her side when she was moved. He stood his ground, and although knowing they are not parents yet, and in fact had not felt they had been accepted by her yet, said very firmly so the child could hear him, that this was their child, they loved her,  and she would have them by her side as they the doctors and nurses would be by the side of their own children. I would have loved to have been there to see the smile on my little friends face when she heard that. If that does not get her through all this, nothing will.

Please pray for her. She is in a fight for her life !

Coach

Gene Benedetto, Clinical Psychologist

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