Recently I have been thrust into a difficult situation. One that made me really think about people and reflect on this holiday season.
My own upbringing was very consistent, safe, secure and nurturing. My parents will celebrate over 60 years of marriage this year. But the security and safety they provided gave me a skewed perspective of the real world.
What do I mean by that? I grew up knowing my mom and dad — and extended family — always had my back and always will. They’ll stand with me no matter what the circumstances.
I remember my grandfather telling me “Anthony, no matter whatever happens, whatever the circumstances are— I will be here for you. Just tell me the truth and I will take care of it.” Wow, I get choked up just thinking about him. So you get it that I grew up in a very nurturing environment and that has made me totally unaware of manipulation or control on a personal level.
But recently, I’ve learned through personal experience how many people in this real world do not have that kind of security blanket. In fact, what I have experienced in the last few days is a bad situation affecting both an incredible millennial and a beautiful mom, both with different abuse issues happening at the same time.
Watching this abuse unfold in real-time, seeing how someone can manipulate and control another human being, has been the issue that is just rocking my Holiday in 2015.
I’ve been fired up and want to do something about this, so I am starting with this blog. I’m not sure where it will go, but it’s consistent with Chop Wood and Carry Water. I need to take a step toward addressing this unbelievable issue that — quite frankly — I have been totally naive about in the past, but will never be blind to it ever again.
What can I do and what can you do about abuse? It can be spousal…physical…verbal…you name it. Any method that is used by a person to manipulate and control another person is harmful.
I certainly don’t have the expertise or expert advice to solve this, but I can tell you one thing: When the people in my life know that I will genuinely stand with them, that I have their back, that I will do anything it takes to protect them — they will be able to handle these issues better.
Think about it, how many of your inner circle knows they can depend on you to stand with them? Through anything? To live by my grandfather’s words: “Just tell me the truth and I will be there for you, no matter what the circumstances”
So over this Christmas Holiday, let’s give someone the gift of “having their back.” Standing up for them and with them no matter what. Let’s expose and address the manipulators together. Lets do whatever we can to stand united to stop whatever kind of abuse there is. Let’s also agree that it’s not about the severity of the manipulation or control. No matter how small, it seriously impacts the person being manipulated, so we must do whatever we can to stop this.
So take some time today and make sure everyone you touch this Holiday knows you “have their back,” no matter what — unconditionally.
Yep, I know I learned something this year that I will never forget and never let go of. Those four simple words “I got your back” are so powerful.
Share that gift right now with whomever you’re with and their smile of gratitude will say “Merry Christmas” in a way that embodies this wonderful time of year.
Yep, I got your back.