Earlier this month in the span of minutes my life took an unexpected and dramatic turn. Yet as I write this, there are some very familiar themes woven deeply through and within my experience these past weeks.
On a Saturday afternoon, a man I’d never met brutally assaulted me and attempted to take my car. The aftermath of those minutes brought an upper jaw broken and fractured, my nose broken, my face unrecognizable and certainly a life experience that won’t soon be forgotten.
I’ve written and spoken very freely on my journey through and beyond divorce these past years and it seems I cannot stay silent when experience brings me insight, wisdom and awareness.
In fact the one media interview I granted to WSOC’s Erica Bryant was done before my jaw was repaired. Literally, even a broken jaw can’t shut me up from speaking and sharing my truth.
One of the most poignant and shining aspects throughout all of these past days and weeks has been: Love. Humanity. Connection.
The genuine, sincere and at times overwhelming force of the good that truly does exist in this world.
At the moment this assault was unfolding TWO people I’ve never met and whose names I may never know stopped to help. One called 911, stayed with me until police and medic arrived, then stayed even longer to provide detailed information, identify the suspect and as far as I know was still there as I was taken to the ER. The other person who stopped gave me the shirt off of his back.
Truly a juxtaposition of light and shadow at play. My choice is to focus on the light and the brilliant, kind, humanity of connection displayed by those individuals.
I’ve been aware that I have some amazing, badass, powerfully loving and heartfelt connections in my life. The outpouring of care, concern, support, hugs, gifts, notes, quality time, LOVE has been at times overwhelming to experience.
Yet it hasn’t only been those who know me who’ve extended such grace. From first responders to medical personnel, to investigators, to random people I’ve only just met the invisible thread has been one of deep and meaningful reverence. Reverence that I believe reflects our shared humanity.
Because the uncomfortable truth is that this could happen to any one of us. Or it could happen to our daughter, sister, aunt, niece or friend. Because I am all of those things. And this did happen to me.
I sometimes joke (maybe I should stop) that the Universe has a sense of humor. As though watching me navigate deep waters of forgiveness and healing through my divorce journey, this experience showed up to see if I really mean it.
And I do. Because I haven’t felt or been tempted to conjure even an ounce of anger or hatred toward the person that physically hurt me. Nor am I angry at myself. I know that this isn’t a reflection of me or my worthiness and it doesn’t define me. It’s simply an experience and one that I will intentionally navigate with grace.
Whether harm is psychological, emotional or physical in nature, the truth is that hurt people….hurt other people.
That awareness does not mean I’m not participating in this person being held accountable for his actions. It does mean I won’t be tethered, defined or restricted by this experience.
There is SO MUCH good in the world. Really and truly there is, and there are people who will illuminate it time and time again, if only we’re willing to pay attention and witness it. That is the invisible thread that I choose to honor, appreciate and focus on because it certainly feels a hell of a lot better than anything else.
To each and every one who has in any way touched my life experience with love, grace, compassion and sincerity – “thank you” seems so inadequate but it’s all I’ve got right now.
Copyright©2019 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “The Intricate Web of Crime, Trauma and Healing”
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