Thursday, February 09, 2012
Today was challenging. My job is very cyclical. I am scrambling to find things to do right now. I do not do well with this.
And today I think I had a bit of on-the-job-PTSD. If I start misspelling words, you will understand that I don't want to come up in searches for these things, OK? I went to a meeting of an organization against doomestic vioolence (hey! I think I like that spelling!). I was seated at a conference table with a bunch of young, long-haired bright women, a woman my age with short grey hair and hippie clothing and jewelry, a black woman with dreadlocks, and the token man. I was introduced to the group, I gave a very brief presentation, and then I sat down to observe their meeting. I started to take notes (which I consider a default defense mechanism) and saw the handwriting of an old person coming out of my pen. I could not make MY handwriting come from my hand. Then I discretely held my hand still and found that it wouldn't be still. I was shaking so badly I couldn't write. Holy Cow.
I listened to these people for an hour and a half and not once heard anything I considered judgmental or harsh towards persons who are suffering from doomestic aboose. That was encouraging.
But I sat there thinking about being taken away from my home by the police because a neighbor had called and reported that "he" was beating on me again. When they got there, "he" was perfectly calm and collected and told the police that I was a mentally ill alcoholic and that he had been going to Alanon to try to learn how to deal with me. He failed to mention that I was sober for 8 years and he was also an alcoholic. I was a basket case, as any woman who has been beaten usually is, and wasn't quite as articulate as "he." They had to arrest someone, so they were going to arrest me. They didn't end up arresting me, but they did drive me away in the back of their car. I think they dropped me off somewhere, like a load of something distasteful. A one armed man from my AA meeting let me stay with him for a few days, and then I went "home." Sounds delusional, doesn't it? It isn't, I can assure you. This is now nearly 20 years ago. Praise God.
I thought of how my daughter had recently been able to leave her creepy b.f. by going to a shelter for aboosed women. They kept her there for a long enough time for her to get her wits about her and they counseled her so she could get her own housing and some financial things in place. That shelter truly changed her life. She is now in her own apartment and going to school full time. She still has a social worker from that program who comes and does a visit to her apartment once a month. Now, THAT is a program that works. And I am glad I know where the funding is coming from for that.
I will get used to being on the professional side of this equation, but I am not quite there yet. This really highlights for me how long ago all of this was and how different my life is today. Only by the Grace of God, really, truly. I could not have gotten me to there from here. There is no logical way. But here I am. Sober, healthy, happy, unafraid of what will happen if I close my eyes to go to sleep. I haven't hidden my purse under my mattress for nearly 20 years! And a stranger put a heart on the bus window today. Just a nice little gift.
Thank you God!