Today I spoke with a fellow survivor on the death of her abuser. She recounted how this person drank too much to compensate for a dark past. How the abuser was completely incapable of coping, and thus many duties fell to her too early. But she also spoke about the good in this person. How as a family they would remember the good.
It never ceases to amaze me the compassion of survivors. How a person can drink, and belittle and torment for decades and still receive the benefit of the doubt. In my own life I have often wondered if this is a strength or a folly.
I still don’t know the answer to that.
I do know that compassion is always a gift. I know that those of us who have lived through things, who have seen things, who know the dark shadows and hollowed out places, we have compassion. We are the ones who will reach out a hand when others won’t. We are the ones who will keep believing when others have stopped. We are the ones who will always fight to see the best in people, while knowing intimately the quality of the worst.
It is for us to remember that our compassion is a gift- not an obligation.