Kuleana means “Responsibility”
Leslie Morgan Steiner’s Video Tells more than only my own story, almost verbatim…
I am addressing those who are in the position to say something to people, and the “say something” that I am talking about is domestic violence. The cause that I have taken up is my own, and while I know that there are many who also have taken the reality of domestic violence and emotional abuse and run with the idea that something needs to be said to many people at one time, there are still people for whom the reality that was theirs and the reality that is that of so many others’ are starkly, markedly different.
Yet, that is not my “thing” right now, and no matter who tells me what and for whatever their reasons may be, the truth of the matter is that the message is not getting out there and it is not getting out there simply because we who are Ordained, some of us anyway, seem to think that it is somehow not okay to give the clue that we should be giving to those who are about to make the biggest decision of their lives in marrying the person who could become their abuser by our not saying even the tiniest little thing about what can happen. I know what can happen. I lived through what can happen, and it was not fun and neither was it easy and the affects of that sort of thing happening to a person are the kind that just will never go away. I keep being asked why things are one way when someone else’s way worked, and I am sure that it did work, but not all abusers are the same, and when that one truth hits anyone’s eyes or ears, we are all hopeful that somehow, the clueless will get it, but sadly, they don’t.
A Call Out To All My Fellow Clergy Folk…
At this moment, I am sure that there are words being exchanged about my own take on how we as ministers should take the time to tell those who are about to be joined legally (unless they divorce) that there is the very real chance that there will be abuse, and no, I don’t expect anyone to just blurt it out just like that. No way! That is offensive and that is hurtful, and no, it is not my intention to hurt anyone at all. It is my intention to make it clear to ANYONE WITHIN MY REACH that this horribleness happens everyday, and sometimes, it happens within the confines of our own lives and we haven’t the tiniest clue that it is happening.
While I am not sitting here telling anyone how to run their lives or their businesses, I will sit here and ask many of you reading this to please not take offense to the things that you are reading right now, as they are not meant to offend, only to inform.
If you are not looking for the signs of abuse, you will not see them, no matter what, and not a whole lot of us even knows what those signs are, because none of us enters into any kind of agreement where we will lose and the other party will win and we are just happy and greatly satisfied with it. If you do not know what to look for, how will you know what you are looking at? These are the things that are specific to abuse victims and survivors, and these are the things that we need to make known to the world of people that abuse is not a form of Love – it is abuse, and no matter who tells me that they disagree with the things that I say or do, no one, only I, will know how to deal with it. But there is a way to at least try to prevent it.
SAY SOMETHING, DAMMIT !!
Yup…I said it, now deal with it – we Ministers, Clergy folks, Wedding Ministers who only do weddings, Celebrants…whatever it is that you call yourself, listen up!! You can help prevent these things by simply saying something about it to your charges. I know, I know….there are some of you reading this who are tired of my message about Domestic Violence and Emotional Abuse, and I know, too, that there are very few of you who know my entire story, and why would anyone want to hear about that when instead it seems like a better idea to grab a clue about things, and who better to grab that clue from than someone who has been there, who has survived the ugliness of her own “There” and who has come out on this end, scarred, yes, but very, very informed, if that is what you want to call it, about the things that happen to a person – male or female – when they are in the middle of a hell that they may not have known was in the making because they had no clue how to call it.
When we are children we are warned against the bully in the sandbox, but the confusing message that we get from our parents, sometimes, at least from what I have heard, is that if the person we are interested in is the grown up version of that same bully, that as long as he makes enough money, it makes it a little bit tolerable because it – the money – makes it all okay. Well this is the biggest lie of all! There is not one thing that makes abuse on another person okay. There is nothing in my own memories that tell me that you have to go through someone else’s imposed-upon-you hell so that you can have some coin in your pocket.
Yeah yeah… I know… I was raised to Love for Love, not for Love that came in the form of someone else’s ability to make a whole hell of a lot of it. The truth is that I know now that I am worth more than I was told I was, that I am as wonderful as I have been told, and that I am more Loved than I even will ever know, but at least I no longer believe the things that I was told by the one person who I volunteered to trust, and I could, when we were dating, because he was not violent when we were dating. I took his jealousy as his only loving and being devoted to me, but the truth was that he was so worried that someone else would be better than he was that I would leave him for that person, and well, emotionally, I did – I left him, but I left him for me and me alone.
It is not a dead horse, and it is not being beaten to death…nothing should ever get beaten to death, at least not something this important
Rather than sitting here and talking about the uglies any further, what I want to say to you all is that if you are in ANY position to help another person out, it is not your place to tell them what you would do if you were or even when you were in their shoes. As a minister, my own thought is that it is not only your place, but your Kuleana to at least say something, even if you have to make the message more palatable by changing the language you use – say something. In saying something you are doing something, and in doing something you are preventing more heartaches from a situation that needs nothing more than the Love between two people. If you say nothing, you are not drawing on that experience that you had, that was actually given to you to find your way out of, on your own and through your own means, and that is a waste of the time that you took in order to figure out your own way out, even if your own way out means that you escape in your mind because life circumstances and who you are will not allow it to be another way.
Auhea wale ana ‘oe – please kokua me and pay close attention, namely if you yourself were abused at one time during a Love relationship. You were brought to the position of Minister and it was not a mistake that you were. You went through the things that you did and survived. You are now the person who those getting married are paying the most attention to who is not the bride. Take advantage of this knowledge and take advantage of the rapt attention you are getting right now and let go of your title, because you title means nothing if you do nothing with it that leads to a greater understanding of the words “By the power vested in me.” There is a lot of power in your position, in the position that I also hold, and it is my own opinion that we should be giving back to the rest of the world the thing and the person who we are, and if we have been taught about the ugliness in married life through the stain called abuse, then of course – take your silly asses out there into the world and go tell it on a mountain, and tell it to whoever will listen – no, not only your own story, but also, your message of Love and that you do not want anyone to hurt, and to please, watch your asses, all you newly married folks, because there is always the chance that things can turn ugly, and who is really going to marry a dangerous person if they know that the person is dangerous?
I mean really…we are not Malory Knox…we are not Mickey’s demon bride who likes to go out into the world and take life away from others….and we are not all abuse statistics waiting to happen.
Just imagine the things that we can help to avoid by simply just saying something…anything, at all, about the reality that is domestic violence within marriage! Within life!
Come on now…you can do way better than that, can’t you? You can do better with your piece of paper that endows you with the power to put two people together in holy matrimony…or holy hell…
You choose…say something and you have done EVERYTHING that you can do.
…but choose to say nothing?
That is for another blog…
Until next time, know that this one thing still always will remain as the Truth of me, and that one thing is
I LOVE YOU ALL !!