It’s American Thanksgiving today, and I wasn’t going to post anything because most of my readers are American, and I wanted a day off anyway.
But over the last few weeks a number of things have happened that have made me worried and alarmed about what’s going on in the lives of some of the young adults who grew up with my daughters.
And so, since we’re Canadian anyway, I thought I might take today to give a personal message to those kids.
My girls were involved with a lot of churches, youth groups, homeschooling groups, and church activities as teenagers, and I was right there with them, super involved. I got to know most of their friends quite well–or at least we certainly talked!
But what I’ve been realizing is that, as well as I thought I knew their friends, I really didn’t know what was going on behind closed doors.
And I now know that some who grew up with Becca and Katie were living with abuse–physical, emotional, and sexual.
Some of your stories I’ve become familiar with more recently, and I’m so, so sorry I didn’t see the red flags when I knew you. I’m so, so sorry I didn’t connect the dots and step in where I could have.
But I know, or suspect, that there are others of you where I don’t know your stories, but you still have them.
And because I was so involved with all of you, I feel a sense of responsibility, or at least a sense that I want to do what I can to help. I genuinely loved the kids who hung out with my girls, and I genuinely care about you now, too, even if I haven’t seen you in a decade.
If you were abused when you were growing up, whether it be by a family member or by someone else, and you knew my girls personally and know me personally, and if you’d like some help, I would like to try to get you connected with people who can help you. If you’re trying to process what happened to you, and if it’s affecting your relationships now, I would love to connect you with the help you need.
You can find me on Facebook or email me (or text me; my number hasn’t changed in 10 years, though we don’t answer our old home phone number). If you do, I will not tell Becca or Katie that you did so. Or, if you’re more comfortable, you can text or DM Becca, and she can tell me in broad terms what the issues are and I can try to help without knowing who you are.
I don’t want to message the people that I’m thinking about directly, because you may not be ready, and I don’t want to put you in an awkward position if I ask you directly. But I thought I would just say this here, because there’s a good chance some of you may see it. Know that you can talk to me, and I will keep it confidential (unless it is something that must be reported to authorities).
And if you are in an abusive marriage, and you don’t know what to do, and you feel trapped, please contact me, too, and I will try to get you some local support. I know that among the moms I used to hang out with are some in difficult situations and, again, I would like to help where I can.
(If you haven’t been in a social circle with me or my daughters, I’m not in a position to help. But please reach out for help from someone else! Call a domestic abuse hotline in the country, province, or state where you are. They can often point you to resources and counsel you on next steps. And check out the bottom of this blog post for links to support groups online.)
Thanks for letting me say that–and Happy Thanksgiving again to all my American friends.