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I grew up spending a lot of time in the Florida Keys. My family had a motor home and a camp site in an RV park. We went there often.

Spending the last few months in the Keys has been somewhat of a trip down memory lane for me. Most of these memories are great, except for the purple spot light.

Every time we travel through Islandmorada, we pass the Islander Motel. Out front is the same circa 1951 sign, making this memory even more vivid.

Our family had been out for dinner that night, I think. And, I sorta remember walking out by the salt water pool and along the rock sea wall. But, what I never forget and am reminded of every time I see their sign, is touching the purple spot light.

I loved purple, still do, actually.

It was shining up a palm tree and for some insanely unknown reason, I reached down with the flat of my hand and touched the purple bulb. I had blisters and pain for quite some time. The spot lights are long gone, and even though this happened in the early ’70s, I ¬†remember it like it happened yesterday.

Pain does that. It literally sears memories into our brains. The result of these memories can be used for bad or good.

In this case, I’m pretty cautious around spot lights, just saying.

But, pain has also made me overly cautious about other things in life.

The pain of abuse has heightened my sensitivity to others around me. Signals go off in my brain when people talk in certain tones. I stop, I listen. Is it abusive or just a disagreement? Is it degrading, disparaging or about to get out of hand? Is someone positioning and is someone cowering?

I can’t always tell from just a conversation, but I can’t turn off the triggers that cause me to have concern either. With strangers, I’m of course cautious, but I have been bold and asked them to stop, or called 911. With people I know, I tend to look for opportunities to talk privately with the victim. However, I have been known to say, “Please, don’t speak to someone I love like that in front of me,” if they are being verbally abusive and I hear it.

Pain is not something I would volunteer for, but, the experiences of life make us who we are and for that I am grateful. Abuse isn’t going unnoticed on my watch, I have experience.

How is your experience making a difference? If I can pray or help, please let me know. Thank you for taking the time to stop by.