THE CHRISTMAS GIFT By: Martin Masar

The United States ranks #1 in child abuse deaths . . . . . . in the industrialized world.
When Brian was much too little to remember most things, he lived in a world of abuse and neglect. He suffered from severe physical abuse and torture. Tied to his bed for hours and sometime days, he would lapse into a make believe world where children were happy and fed and cared for and maybe loved too. He remembers screaming and fighting as he was forced into a freezer and the door locked. There in the isolated, dark chill, he would think that maybe this time, like so many other times before, if only he could behave better they would not hurt him. Yet, with each time, there came another round of beatings, and deep inside he found a place of anger, revenge and hatred. Into this world a child named Brian was born. In time, Brain’s behavior did match his abuse and he came to be called incorrigible, disruptive, disordered, deficit, and disturbed. An untreatable child destine for prison.
Upon his arrival at CBR YouthConnect, Brain was heavily overmedicated – a walking zombie of sorts. The medications were used to subdue his violent tendencies. Like the layers of a rose, peddle by peddle and thorn by thorn, the professionals at CBR YouthConnect began to look for the child hiding deep inside. A child afraid of the world and yet yearning to be happy and fed and cared for and maybe loved too. In the 15 months that have passed, Brain is gently and confidently on his way. No struggle such as that which Brian endured is easily over or cured, but in time maybe the hurt and fear will subside.
Brain’s caseworker and legal advocate visited recently. They praised his accomplishments and recognized his growth. During their closing discussions they asked Brain what he wanted for Christmas. Brian replied he did not need anything, for all he had ever wanted he found here. The kindly caseworker replied, but I bet you could use some money, what 15 year old doesn’t want $150 dollars. She handed Brian the money. He looked at the generous offering and turned to his legal advocated and placed the money in her hands. He then said give this to another child who has no home for Christmas.
Sometimes the greatest moments of healing are never for those we intended. The advocated said in forty years no child has ever given the money back. She bowed her head down and wept. They were not tears of sadness, but maybe because Brian had finally found a place in this world where children were happy and fed and cared for and loved too.

It takes the kindness of others to reach deep into their pockets and support our children. It takes you. Become the “U” in YouthConnect. Please help CBR YouthConnect. Visit our web-site at cbryouthconnect.org.

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