Sunday, May 29, 2011

A caregivers story

My friendship with J began about a year ago, our rapport grew quickly: we both enjoyed nature and God, sidewalk dining, and social events. Perhaps most importantly, we shared our inner turmoil and  frustrations on an ongoing basis. I now see J more as a sister, than simply a friend.
Better than most, J understood my own struggle for stability and life satisfaction, as well as my search for inner peace. J earned this deep understanding because of her relentless and courageous pursuit of her own healing from  traumatic experience's, which she has described to me over the year.
J has that rare ambition for wholeness, struggling to overcome a. She has embraced this ambition with zeal: at considerable expense; consistently sacrificing immediate, tangible pleasures such as  apparel, furnishings or concerts. Kim's commitment to reclaiming her personhood from violations is unconditional. Her strength and courage to heal amazes me! In the course of our friendship, I have witnessed J overcome fatigue, head-ache's, anxiety and fear.  With the help of supportive physicians, including fearless self-examination leading to recovered childhood memories, I watched as J regained her emotional and bodily strength, and maintained a normal and productive lifestyle.
She would often remind me in the midst of a memory that triggered long-buried thoughts. On each occasion, I tried to be present for her emotionally and spiritually, which is all she really needed.
In our early developing relationship , J first looked to me as her friend; a male friend who didn't want anything from her. This appeared to be essential for her trust in me to grow. As her trust grew, I became  brother, just as she became another one of my sisters (I have one). Another of J's strengths I have come to admire is her determination to address the inner turmoil arising from conflict or disappointment as soon as she becomes aware of them. She strives to identify that part of her nature that feels shunned or not heard or manipulated to please. She acquiesced so that she could survive another day. Now, J not only survives another day, but is fully present to life,  one of love and compassion not only for herself, but for others as well.  Kim entered my life during a lonely and despairing period of time in my lie, when I was chronically unemployed or in an unfullfilling job . She was gentle and accepting of my pain, and we spoke on the phone often, reassuring me that these tough times were temporary, and “things will surely get better!” By reminding me of God being truly “in charge”, J encouraged me to turn my despair over to Him/Her, as often as necessary. She reminded me that I am a wonderful human being, God surely loves me and wants the best for me, which I cannot always recognize.
J's perseverance has been the example for me to follow. Her overcoming of significant obstacles reminds me to reach out to nonjudgmental friends, to turn my fears over to God, to spend some time in Nature daily, to simplify my life and avoid cultural stressors, and to find or read something to laugh about daily. While our friendship has seem to come to a sudden and unfortunate end, I hope to continue being a confidante with whom I can always be myself.
J's path to wholeness and joyful living has required continuous self-examination, honesty, and sensitive confrontation with her friends, qualities she has passed on to me. I was delighted, grateful, and hope to again be J's friend.

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