Monday, May 4, 2009

Who's Got Your Back Baby .....

My one recurring nightmare is finding myself in front of a group with everyone i know. We are faced with the enemy, surrounded and confined and trapped. I stand up and say "Let's go, enough is enough." Everyone responds with cheers and encouragement. I stand up and begin running forward towards the enemy when I stop and look for everyone behind me and ..... no one is there.

Pretty dramatic, huh? But in reality it is my exaggerated version of "standing up" and finding that I am alone. I believe that throughout my life I really didn't stand up enough. Stand up for friends that is. I seem to have no trouble standing up for immediate family and loved ones. My "friends" on the other hand didn't do much to stand up for me. Friends are like that, they are. I wonder if they ponder this point at all.

I was reminded yesterday of a trip to Ireland where, at a dinner party given by my dead favorite Cousin's widow, my new friend, at the time, Jimmy Doyle stood up for me. Right there and then he took on his own "tribe" and fought in my defense. He remains my hero and someone I will never forget. And we aren't that close anymore. But he stood up and "had my back, an enormous and scary undertaking. Being verbally attacked is an act of violence. Standing up is an act of courage.

Recently it has come up. I was insulted and put down. My friend said if given a chance she would stand up for me but didn't. And now she and my "attacker" are friends. It boggles the mind.

Who cares why. The reasons don't matter. It is the result of knowing that in a pinch I cannot count on someone I care about and knowing that removes me from being there for her. Another moment of self protection rears it's head.

It happens all the time. I own that my level of friendship is rather black and white but too many have been harmed and murdered because no one had their back. That's a reality. It is happening now. Check out Darfur and the Sudan. Big, yes, but it comes from the same source. If you believe that people should "mind their own business" and certainly not go out of their way to make a fuss then the door is left ajar for bullying, harassment and genocide. It has to start somewhere. A learned behavior.

I am frustrated and I am hurt and my only two ways of fighting back are to write about it here and offer like behavior in return.

So now when I hear that expression "I have your back" I stop and wonder if it is really true. In my case of late I have seen it only once. I hope not to have to need it again but it sure would be nice if my friends really had my back.

In the meantime I believe I have to do it myself.

Blogger design by