It is true that human beings blossom into care-givers during times of catastrophic disaster, and this aspect of our essence is what progresses the collective to higher forms of altruism, or awareness beyond oneself. In the case of my story, I brought attention to a silent disaster by verbalizing my concern to prevent another from happening. Last summer, I was a lifeguard at the Manson Family Aquatic Center, and all that I’m going to describe took place at the pool. I have lifeguarded for four years and have gotten to know my coworkers quite well. Two summers ago, two of my coworkers, Chance and Savannah, began dating and the relationship slowly and painfully ended this summer. Their relationship was both emotionally and physically abusive; I inferred this from a multitude of personality traits and Chance’s normal level of physicality (this was later confirmed by Savannah).
The most significant sign was Savannah’s isolation from her friends by the will of Chance, forced social isolation is one of the most common signs of abuse because it decreases the victims chance of getting help/changing their perspective. All abusive relationships stem from the co-dependent/narcissist dynamic and keep in mind that one side of duality does not describe the whole of an individual’s actions. For example, co-dependency exists in narcissists and narcissism exists in co-dependents. Co-dependency/Narcissism are terms used to describe the different expressions of one underlying issue: relying solely on the validation others. In other words, giving the keys of your life to other people. In the modality of co-dependency, it manifests as people-pleasing for validation from an inferior position. In the modality of narcissism, it manifests as an ego putting on a mask of superiority to hide the intense feelings of inferiority and shame. Both expressions stem from feelings of inferiority, self-hatred, and lack of self-love.
While the relationship was still going, I hinted to the potential of abuse but I never made a concrete statement until after the breakup. The day of their breakup, Chance began talking and touching another coworker who also happened to be my ex-girlfriend, Emma. After putting together the pieces of Chance and Savannah’s relationship, I could not stand by knowing full well the outcomes. My best moment is telling Emma that Chance is abusive and that abuse would be an outcome to expect if she continued the relationship. What I said spread, Savannah was grateful that I validated her pain, I brought more awareness to Chance’s internal condition, and made Emma reconsider her relationship with herself. However, the outcome I wanted did not happen: Emma is currently in a relationship with Chance. My best is not to control the outcome, it was and is to bring awareness out of compassion.