The receptionist at my office has been here for about a year now. I was actually her predecessor but got promoted. We spent a lot of time together since I could help her better than anyone. She quickly felt she could trust me and told me about her abusive husband and how she was trying to make it work because he SWORE to never do it again.
Soon after, he DID do it again and she had to wear long sleeves in the middle of SoCal summer. She moved to her cousin's couch and filed for separation and a restraining order. He stole all of her things, emptied the bank account, leaving her with almost nothing. This affected her job, which a lot of times fell on me to pick up the slack. I didn't mind, I LOVED that job and wasn't too fond of my new one. To be honest, she and I didn't always see eye to eye, and I admittedly didn't handle that well. We've had plenty of tense moments, but she's always known that when it comes to real life, I've got her back.
A year later she's still struggling and now pregnant. Not by her ex, but by a guy she's kind of dating. She has no family in the area (cousin moved away) and neither does he. Last week her ex showed up, kidnapped her, stole her wallet and phone. She ended up 3 hours away from home with no phone, no ride, and no money. Luckily, she was able to get to a gas station to call the police and made her way home, unharmed. She told me this story in the mail room this morning as I opened my mail. I pulled out my brand new Giving Key necklace that said BRAVE on it and I knew in that moment this necklace was never meant for me. It was always for her.
I immediately put it around her neck, told her how brave I thought she was and that I believed in her and that I know because of her bravery, she and her baby would be OK. Her ex is now in prison for violating the restraining order, so she's 100% safe for a good year. She told me she is going to wear the necklace every day to remind her to be brave, especially in the moments where brave is the last thing she feels.