Abuse has a strange, isolating effect. It separates one from friends and family, from one’s own good sense and judgement, and from trust in one’s own senses. It’s debilitating.
And it doesn’t always look like what you expect. Mandy’s abuser was quite invested in doting on her and showing off how devoted he was to her. Life was big and exciting – after all, they were fashionable artists living in LA. He pushed her wheelchair and took her to gallery showings, to conventions, to parties. Life was full, stimulating, exciting. Life was BIG.
Leaving him meant leaving all of that.
My friend Manda is safer now. Happier, too. She’s gained weight and her hair is shiny, she’s slowly reclaiming herself. She has a new dog; Chewie is such a good boy! But, you know… Ottawa isn’t LA. Not even close. Now, instead of the debilitating emotional control of an abusive marriage, she’s facing the very real logistical and spatial isolation of adjusting to a city with just not as much to do – not to mention things one can safely and easily do in a wheelchair. Life has become much smaller.
So, I want to make her life just a bit nicer. Just a bit easier. Just a bit more full of friends, fun, and video games. Whatever she wants, cos goodness knows the chica’s been through hell.
So, I made Manda a fundraiser. In the interest of total transparency, it was never her idea; it was mine. Manda wants to be safe and free of her abusive past, nothing else. Her basic needs are cared for, thank goodness. But there isn’t anything extra – nothing for luxuries, no frivolous delights. She lost so much when she left him, I want to give her just a bit back.
Things like this:
- metal finger splints to help her type, colour, and do other things more comfortably
- tattoo removal
- art supplies
- video games
- colouring books
- trips to see friends
- a new wheelchair cushion
- a home assistance worker, if she wants one
- any manner of mobility, adaptive, or comfort objects
I have no idea what she would spend this money on. I don’t care. She could blow it all on porg plushies and I would be delighted. I just want her to have a little rainy-day fund. I want to make her life a little bigger, and a little brighter.
Do you have a friend who’s been through hell? Find these things, and try to provide them. Your friend might fret that they’re being too frivolous if they accept. No! It isn’t. Struggle calls for sweetness. And we can all provide our loved ones with a little sweetness, to make the world brighter, can’t we?