Friends with fears

Too many times I have sat back and watched people I care about, my friends, become victims. Victims of some shitty-ass, dysfunctional,  social situations between family, friends, partners and in some cases, themselves. May it be emotional or phyiscal pain they endure, it is tough for all parties involved.

There is that old saying in the back of my head, everybody knows it, “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”  It is the one you used to say to your friends on the playground in grade school, when you wanted them to let you cut in the lunch-line, and you would do domething to return the favor later,  because they were serving that awesome rectangle shaped pizza with bits of plastic baked in it, and you could not care less because your friend let you cut in line before all those other hungry, big  kids, and were going to drown your disgustingly awesome pizza in inches of ranch anyways. The point is, the pizza was more delicious because your friend had your back and rightfully let you to get ahead in life, (in that moment) and  in those days, cutting in line was as great and as triumphant as winning a kickball game.  That was then.

Life is not so simple anymore. The joy of fake, wrongly shaped pizza and Pokémon cards on the school bus does not do any justice to all the crap you have witnessed over the past 18, 20, 25, or 30 plus years. All the while, how were you supposed to know that your friend who was so cool to let you cut in line everyday during lunch, always had your back at recess, seemed almost invincible to you, was involved in some serious domestic violence behind closed doors and in only a matter of time, they would fall to the mercy of someone else, to wash up into his or her own abusive situation.  When does the light switch go off when everyone hits that age when they start to put the pieces together that the world isn’t as squeaky-clean as  the one Theodore Cleaver lives in?

Call it what it is, ignorance can be a blessing or a bat to the face when you wake up. If you know the  answers to such a complex question, if you have a friend who is afraid and a part of a serious situation, regardless of the length of time you have known them or not, do not be afraid of “crossing the line.” They will thank you in the long run. Though they may not be your biggest fan afterwards for “butting into their business,” you had their back and spoke up.