I am going to begin right away by explaining my theory of why I have always felt compelled to act as a human shield to people and animals, who are in need of protecting or rescuing. This theory is based on my life experience. It is based on my habit of asking hard questions of myself and others. It is based on a lot of inner work delving into my dreams and my psyche. I am not seeking to blame anyone. I am not seeking to excuse myself for shortcomings. I am seeking only to understand my experience on this planet as a human being a little bit better.
When I was an infant, and most likely when I was still in utero, my mother was battered by my alcoholic father. My father was an intelligent and gregarious man when sober. However, when he was drunk, he turned into a violent monster. I have two older siblings, a brother and a sister, who were already sharing my mother's daily life with a man who was part human, part monster. I have no clear memories of this time with them. i was only six months old when my mom gathered her three small children and fled to a cousin's house for refuge.
I tried a few times to ask my mother about time, but as often happens, her consciousness mercifully blanked it out. I let it be. Much later in life, I asked the angels to help me to understand what happened the day my mother walked away from the abuse. That night I had a dream, which felt more like a recalled memory because of my perspective in the dream. I was witnessing a fight between my parents. I couldn't actually see anyone. Only shadows on the wall above what must have been my crib. I didn't understand the words, only the harsh tones. I started crying. I got the feeling that what happened next was that my mother came and picked me up and held me. I felt comfort and peace for a time then suddenly I was aware of a palpable fear of violence. What followed immediately was a huge jolt. The dream ended there.
Fast forward a lot of years and a lot of looking back at relationships gone wrong. To this day, I can't stand fighting. I dislike conflict of all kinds. I want to be anywhere in the world, but in a house where someone is yelling. If ever a disagreement turns angry, it's a signal for me to disappear. I simply can't stand it. This makes some people even angrier, but I am beginning to see why I am like this and why I probably won't change any time soon, if ever. I appear to be hardwired now to avoid being in a vulnerable position where violent energy is likely to happen. I'm not talking about mere disagreements. I am talking about violent energy I can feel. I will do whatever is necessary to get myself out of a situation like that.
Although I have no distinct memories of the time when my father lived with us, I seem to have a body memory of how the atmosphere around me felt before angry energy morphed into violence, before shouting turned into physical blows. If my father ever hit me directly, I have no knowledge or memory of it. All I have is an understanding of the way anger—as words, energy, and tones—feels just before violence occurs. I have felt that energy only a few times in my life since infanthood, and I think that is because I avoid conflict if at all possible. I have no tolerance for extreme anger. I hate when it arises in myself. I hate when it arises in others. I try to resolve conflict quietly and logically. If I can't do that, I do my best to remove myself from the situation altogether. For me, it's a matter of safety.
I truly believe my sense of being a human shield is tied to this early time in my life. In talking to my mother over the years, I learned that up until the day my mom took the three of us and fled, my father had not physically struck us. I think there was enough humanity in him, even when drunk, that kept him from hurting us. As long as this ounce of humanity was present, we and my mom were relatively safe. Standing alone, my mother was a target for his angry violence. Our presence was like a protective barrier against violence perpetrated against my mother, just as her presence was a protective barrier for us. I believe that somehow my infant body absorbed this understanding of being what kept my mom relatively safe. Not because I was a threat to him in any way, but just because of my siblings’ and my presence. The day that psychological protection was lost, when my father crossed the line and threw my mother against the wall while she was nursing me, the protective spell was broken and my mother realized that her children were in danger of being battered as well.
That was the day she walked out from under a lock of her own hair and took her children to the safety of an older cousin’s house. My father, in trying to stop her, grabbed a fistful of her long hair. Determined to get her children to safety, she kept going, leaving that captured hair behind still entwined in his fist. This resulted in a bald spot on her head that was still there when I was a teenager. I don’t know if she ever lost that bald spot. My brother might know since he cut her hair for years.
At any rate, I think I somehow absorbed the sense of being a human shield that, at least for a time, can protect others from being a victim to someone who is attempting to bully them. I would not be surprised to find out that my siblings carry a similar sense in their psyches. I know we are all fiercely protective of my mom, protecting her even from news, whenever possible, that would cause her pain or worry.
Thus, this sense of being a human shield to protect others is deeply ingrained in me. So is my loathing of violence and bullying. It isn’t in any way heroic. It’s more of a compulsion, and it’s something that has stayed with me even though I am now disabled and feeling vulnerable myself. Despite my disabilities, my instinct is still to protect those more vulnerable. It causes me great anguish when I can’t help them physically. When taken by surprise by human or animal suffering, I frequently burst into tears, knowing that there is no way I can rescue them from their fate. Chafing at my limitations, I have taken on the role instead of a prayer warrior who seeks to protect others via prayer. I elicit angelic help to aid and protect others in their time of need. I may not be able to help others physically, but I can pray. I can always pray.
In your time of greatest need, I pray you will reach out your hand and find the aid of beings who can physically shelter you from harm. I know now that it has always been the presence of angels who have provided protection to those in vulnerable circumstances. If my presence has helped others to feel safe and protected, it is only because I have added my angels to theirs just by being there. I am not nor ever have been a hero who can rescue others. I am but one person who understands the power and protective nature of angels, and I am willing to allow the presence of my guardian angels to team up with theirs and thus make us both safer because of it. I realize that some of you may not believe in a Divine Being or angels, but if you ever are in desperate need of help, I implore you to ask for their assistance. You don’t have to use flowery, liturgical speech. A simple “helps, angels” will suffice to summon them to your side. They are, after all, always there waiting for you to reach out to them for help. They are not restricted to one religion and appear in many faiths. They are embodiments of love. They can and do act as protective shields for the vulnerable. They are a lot more effective at that than I am, but I will continue to do all I can to comfort and protect those in my path who need it.