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We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another. ~Luciano de Crescenzo
I am able to go out and greet the world each day, because I know angels have "got my back". Probably not the angels you are thinking about. I think of them as my warriors. My angel warriors to be precise. They march along side me, pick me up when I am wounded, and go to battle with me when I am under attack.
Unfortunately, after my husband and I moved to North Carolina five years ago, I failed to develop a strong, close relationship with a woman whom I could call my one and only, super close, can-tell-all best friend. But I have met some of the strongest, wisest women whom I admire, trust, and love. They each have a different role in my life. But combined together they create a beautiful tapestry of support transforming me from a sometimes scared, fragile shell of a woman into a brave, strong angel warrior myself.
Who are they? They are all the strong women I have met through my journey this past year whom I confided in, exchanged emails, shed tears. They are my therapist, my chiropractor, my realtor, my attorneys, my neighbors, and my co-workers. Some know I am a survivor of domestic violence, and some do not. And they don't know they are my angel warriors. Most of them don't know each other. But they are mine. And they've got my back.
My first angel warrior is my therapist, M, who I started seeing about a month after my assault. She has a cozy, warm office in an older style character home with a big, leather couch, stuffed animals, a multitude of art supplies, and shelves of books. M has been through her own journey of survival. Her challenges make her a sincere, non-judgemental, insightful, and wise counselor.
M introduced me to Melody Beattie's book The Language of Letting Go, Daily Meditations of Codependency.
Melody's book has been one of the most important tools in my tool chest in helping me recover and heal. I continue to refer to her daily meditations and quote them often in my blog for others to discover Melody's beautiful wisdom.
In addition, M's advice and guidance have been instrumental in creating my blog. M had previously suggested I write in a journal. I told her I'd rather not. It was too painful, I said. But then one day before Christmas as the anniversary of my assault approached and the painful memories began to resurface, I had a epiphany. If I could write about my journey and my fears, and share what I have learned with other survivors, I could write. In this way, Elf Lady's Chronicles blog was born.
My second angel warrior is my holistic chiropractor, Dr.P. I happened upon P very serendipitously. I had been experiencing pain and tension in my neck and back that was so intense, I was on the verge of tears. I was driving around aimlessly looking for a chiropractor before I needed to pick E up from school. I had this strong sense I would find one close by. And there she was in the middle of a little strip mall tucked in between an Indian restaurant and an African restaurant along with a Chinese restaurant, Mexican restaurant, and an Islamic Center. Given the eclectic nature of the strip mall, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I walked in. I was pleasantly surprised to find this beautiful woman with a sunny disposition and big smile on her face.
I visited P about a week after my assault. After a few minutes of checking me over, she commented that my body seemed severely out of balance and my muscles more tense than usual. At that point I broke down and confided in her what happened after Christmas. I was ashamed, but I needed to tell someone besides my family. I needed to tell another woman. After I told her my story, she told me hers. Little did I know that P was carrying a similar experience of domestic violence. I would have never known her story if I had not confided in her. Since finding her that day over a year ago, P has continued to heal me through her practice, her nutritional advice and various, sometimes crazy, supplements, and her pure, beautiful words. And she follows my blog, so maybe I am helping her too. :)
And lastly, my neighbors. I live in a small, close-knit neighborhood. Most of us are new to the area, so we actually talk to each other and have dinner and parties together unlike some neighborhoods where people only wave at each other in passing. After my assault, I was reluctant to reach out to my neighbors. After all, they were friends of both myself and my husband. I was scared they wouldn't believe me or think I was crazy or take his side. I was extremely hurt and disheartened to find out a couple of them did take his side after he told them his lies. But as my story came out many of my neighbors have been non-judgemental and stuck with me. They continue to ask how I'm doing, e-mail their support, and invite me over for dinner and conversation. And for this I am extremely grateful.
I am grateful for S who emailed me right away. S receives automatic police reports for the area sent to her inbox and had been notified the sheriff's department had visited my house. She was quick to make sure I was okay, and although she is busy with her recent fourth addition to her family she continues to keep tabs on me. I am grateful for A who is a dear, sweet previous neighbor who periodically invites me over to her new house for serious talks which often include a a glass of wine and a box of tissues. And I am grateful for M and her family who live across the road from me. M, her husband, and daughter are a family with huge hearts. They adopt rescue dogs, volunteer helping recent immigrants from Africa, and are in the process of adopting two little girls from Uganda. On top of that M continues to look after me and offer her words of support and encouragement.
As I write this I am teary eyed with the realization of how blessed I am to have this community of support. I have my angel warriors. I have you guys reading this. And if each of us stops a moment to assess the people in our lives, we realize that we are not alone. Regardless of not having a best friend. Regardless of family choosing not to stand by us. Regardless of our neighbors or friends deciding to take "his side". Angels touch our lives everyday in often small but meaningful ways. Your angel warrior may be your doctor, an old high school friend, a co-worker, the cashier at the local grocery story, or a fellow survivor you have met online. Maybe your angel warriors are hidden right now, but if you open your eyes and heart with gratitude and take a look around, you will see that they are there watching over you and will gladly say, "I've got your back."
I've got yours. ;o)