I need to take a break for awhile. People who know me personally, know where to find me. But before I go I need to say just a few things:
1. I have deepest sympathy/empathy for victims of violent crimes who have to testify against, or even just issue a statement against the perpetrators. Unless one has been in such a situation, it's sort of impossible to gauge its emotional and mental impact. Please, if you know of someone who has declined to confront a person who has harmed them, don't judge. I can't describe the physical, emotional, and mental anguish my current situation is causing me.
2. When someone you care about-- even remotely-- is going through something like this, reach out if you feel you can. Let them know you care and that you'll lend strength when theirs is gone. When their world feels like it's falling apart, tell them it will be okay. Let them know they're safe. Love them.
3. If it feels they lean too heavily, or ask for more frequent contact, or cry a great deal-- forgive them. The pain-filled moments they are being asked to recount are most likely times when they were very vulnerable and alone. No one wants to recall such moments in detail, let alone have someone ask question after question after question. Any safety net they may have woven over time is systematically being unraveled. They need you. It's okay to establish boundaries, and if you're unavailable, be very clear about that because waiting for you when you won't be there is almost as painful as everything else they're going through. A simple statement that you are not the one to rely on in this moment is much better than uncertainty.
4. If that person feels depressed or panicky or anxious or even suicidal, these are normal reactions to the very intense, scary situation they're currently facing. Please be patient. Please be gentle. They've probably already experienced enough harm and pain. Don't add to it. Encourage them to seek help from qualified professionals. Check on them occasionally. Be clear about time limits when you do so. If you can't spend a great deal of time with them, it's okay to say that. Just let them know you're thinking of them and you love them.
5. Expect that when this is all over, your loved person will do what's necessary to heal and move forward. Know that they will want to support you when something stressful pops up in your own life. Believe that the current need will evolve into strength and that the person you have enjoyed will be back again. Don't give up on them.
Don't give up on me.