Flickering shadows

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Some weeks I drag my feet toward my late afternoon/early evening clients for several reasons (i.e. diagnosis, family negating course of treatment, complexity), and yesterday I was actually looking forward to my afternoon cases for these same reasons. I can understand trauma, depression and anxiety. I’ve got cool things to do with kids in session to help them express fears and emotions; provide information that they aren’t alone. Something sticks with each session and they slowly grow, slowly improve.

I entered a school campus today, signed in at the front desk, and the principal addressed me about “our little friend” who has gotten into trouble yet again (at least 3x/week) for disrupting other classes by playing “ding-dong ditch”. If this little guy isn’t pranking, he’s tripping, pushing, or shoving others; he’s got some fire-setting incidents under his belt, too; violating physical boundaries (examples omitted) of classmates, legal guardians, and family members. This morning was the whipped cream and cherry. It was only 10:20am.

Let’s back up to yesterday (Monday) afternoon I listen as the child’s legal guardians recount how the kid grabbed one of them by their wrists and shoved into him/her; tore at his/her clothes. All because they were out in the community and the child would have to wait until they returned home to have access to a new toy. He would have to wait at least 30 minutes, and that is what makes him angry, and dangerous.

Thank goodness we have upcoming auxiliary services being implemented because impulsivity on this level makes for more shadows and worry than I’d like. And the sprinkles on top of it all was a comment from a higher-up in management told me to consider why the child does this, when I need to address the emergent issues of caregiver safety.

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Buying the Lying

I originally wrote this post for October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

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Many lies infect our society today; a good majority of these lies are not special to the 21st Century. Lies great and small, from the whispering voice that says no one will notice if you lift an item from a store, to the larger ones on not being worthy of love and respect. It is not scary that these lies exist, as lies are a sign that there is a truth worthy of attack. What is scarier is the rate and ease which these lies are pronounced and believed.

What happens the first time a lie is heard? It’s countered: That’s not true, and you know it. Come on, you’re better than that! Yet, if the lie is repeated further, we begin to waver. That’s not true, not really. Maybe it’s the truth. I’m not sure. And it is in this wavering that damage begins to be inflicted. Shoulders sag with the weight of worry and doubt. When something is done right, questions are raised. Worth is not seen in the gifts that are brought to other people.

The harm does not end with lies.

Lie breed lies, causing further pain and suffering. Soon enough shoulders sear in pain from blows. A nose drips with blood, and lips swell under force. Hands roughly grab arms, arms shove and fists pommel. I’m scared. I don’t know what to do, he says I’ll regret it if I tell anyone. He said he’d kill my kitty. Mommy hurts me. Maybe it’s true, I am a bitch. I’m a bitch. I am a whore. I am worthless. I should never have been born. I’m good for nothing. I cause all the problems in the house. I’m a painful reminder of all the poor choices she made. The lies are believed, and the actions “are” deserved.

Lies are hidden in the promises. Baby, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. It’s the last time. I promise it won’t happen. I’m sorry, but you made me do it. Hey, kiddo, we’ll get you another puppy. Until the next time.

Is the next time, the last time? No one is better than you. You are strong, capable, smart, and loved. There is no one who should be made to accept blows, punches, insults, humiliation, rape, abuse, spitting, kicking, slapping, bruising, burning, cutting, shoving, neglect, strict financial allowances, and social isolation. That is emptiness and death: death of self and esteem. It saps strength and hope: who would believe you? What did you say? That’s a family matter!

How dare you!

Yes, how dare you! Why did it take me so long to see? It’s okay to cry. It is healthy to be scared, and run from the source of my fear! I’m not a coward for running.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1−800−799−SAFE (7233)
Report Child Abuse: 1-800-25ABUSE (22873)
Report Elder Abuse: 1-800-252-8966