What I should have said.

I posted the other day about something that had me very upset. It still does. Now that I have permission from all parties, I am ready to talk.

The other day one of my little buddies got in my car to go to rehearsal and I could tell something was not right. I asked if she was okay, and after shaking her head no I jokingly asked her who’s butt did I need to kick. Then she came back with “You can’t kick his butt because he is in jail.”
I froze.
As we were pulling out of  her gated community she proceeded to tell me that the media specialist at her school had been arrested for placing a camera in the girls changing room. The reason why all this hit her so hard was because she had come to know this man as a leader and respected friend. She turned to him and the library for solace from the outside world. She turned to him for advice about school and personal problems and he was always there for her. There were times where he had even offered her rides home from school.
As she told me all of these things, her voice was rising in pitch and cracking at times, I was just wracking my brain for the right thing to say. All I could think was to share a similar sad story. So I did…I should have known, that was not the answer. For someone who HATES when people try to say they understand by sharing similar, but nothing at all the same, type situational story, I could barely swallow my own hypocrisy. I instantly apologized and then sat back and did what I should have done at first, listened.
After listening for a while I was able to hear some key things that were major warning signs that this was bigger than me. And I told her so. I told her I am always here to listen but that she should talk to a counselor. I told her that counselors are like z-pacs. You don’t always have to have one, but when you are sick and need it, you should take it. There are no hero’s in flu season and there are no hero’s in emotional distress.
I also got to tell her something that I don’t think anyone had said to her yet. Maybe they just did not know she needed to hear it. I got to tell her it’s not her fault. It was my “Good Will Hunting”moment, but it needed to happen. She was taking blame for something that was not her fault. As silly as it sounds, we all do it. But sometimes we need to hear someone tell us we really could not have done anything different. That we played all of a cards exactly right and we still lost and that’s okay. We need someone we trust to lift that burden of guilt off of us. I just hope she trusts me enough to believe me. At that time, she didn’t trust anyone. Least of all, herself.
Tonight we had to replace a cast member for reasons that are not being stated. This made her very uneasy. However, a gentlemen in our cast is stepping up to fill the role and Noah is stepping in to fill his role. As she watch both guys step up she beamed from ear to ear. “In darkness, you can only see the light.” And then she hugged me.

This is an odd post I know. All of this happened to her and I am writing about my feelings as if I am the important one. I know I am not. But all I can tell you is what I felt. What I hope I did. What I felt like I did. I like to think she is going to be okay. I hope she will be. All I can do is continue to be her friend. Continue to show her I care. This is not my story. I can just tell you how it made me feel.


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