WE NEED YOU – a story from the children PART ONE

We need you
WE NEED YOU
It is never too late to help us.

Written and illustrated by Shaun Brink
(c)2014 all rights reserved

Dedicated to the old man in the park by Queen Mary Elementary school and to his friends in the coffee shop.
You had faith in me. You included me in your lives.
You were kind to me.You saw me.
Your gifts have stayed with me for five decades.
Bless you.


ABOUT THIS STORY

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For many years I worked in the field of Child Protective Services. I met amazing children and parents. Their resiliency and determination gave them the strength to overcome trauma most folks will never experience. They inspired this story.

The story is part of a collection of illustrated stories I have done honoring the beauty of the human spirit.

This story is different then the others I have compiled, though. The drawings in this story really are just “doodles.”

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They were done while I attended meetings and trainings about child abuse and family violence. The feelings the meetings generated sometimes were intense. Such sadness for the children!

The words for this story came later. They were born out of the feelings and words of children who yearned for safety and acceptance. I have been blessed to meet many such people through my work in child welfare. They teach me and amaze me with their insights and courage.

At first I thought I would edit out the notebook lines that were part of the drawings. I didn’t. I realized that they were the perfect backdrop to the pictures.

After all, the words in this story are the words of children. School notebook paper, lines and all, seemed just right.

In the end I left this story just as it was with child-like drawings and lined paper. I am just the messenger for the thoughts and feelings of many children.

we need you105I hope the next time you see one of the children you will take a moment to see
beyond their smiles
or their clowning
or their spiked hair
or their nose rings
or their wariness.

You can help them.
Shaun Brink
AND NOW FOR THE STORY . . .

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We need you.

We need you
We are the children you see everyday.

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Some of us go to your schools, walk on your streets and sit quietly in the corner of your libraries. Maybe you see us on television or in the news from places far away.

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You might notice us smiling and think everything is fine.

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But if you look closely you will see the truth.
There is darkness in our lives.

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We are filled with
so many feelings,
so much confusion.

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We feel hurt

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and afraid

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and exhausted

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and sad.

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and sometimes we feel so, so alone.

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Grownups tell us not to be afraid of them.
They say they will help us.

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But we are watchful
and we are wary.

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We have been hurt
so many times
that we don’t easily trust anymore.

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Sometimes we hide hoping no one will see us.

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Sometimes we become tough
and nasty
and angry
so you will leave us alone.

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Sometimes we become quiet and try to withdraw.

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And if that doesn’t work we run away.

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The strange thing is, we don’t want to be alone.
We just want to be safe and loved.

IN PART TWO THE CHILDREN TELL WHAT THEY NEED FROM US TO FEEL SAFE AND LOVED.

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