Month: July 2014

He hit her

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This video contains graphic and shocking material at the end.  This powerful video is created by  Serbian government to raise awareness about domestic abuse. After you watch the video, you will note she is holding a sign. The translation is “Help me, I do not know if I can wait until tomorrow.”
(This is NOT the woman I am writing about).

He hasn’t hit her in years. I was assured of that. I believe her.

But he did last weekend.

I was saddened to hear it but I was not surprised.

Working with battered women, or anyone one who is in danger, you MUST step slowly and quietly. Unless you’ve got it all set-up and ready to go to yank her out of there, patience, intelligence, and calmness is how you approach the situation.

You don’t believe or disbelieve what you are told. You remain impartial, objective and with complete certainty of what to do next.

Why did he hit her?

Because on some deep, dark level, he senses she is getting help. She hasn’t said a word. We only communicate face-to-face or when she calls me from the office.

I never text. I never send email. I never call her cell because I don’t know who else is watching.

She called. She spoke to me. She told me what happened.

This is a good sign.

She has a friend who needs my help. No one knows what she goes through every night. I know her too. Always smiling. Always cheerful. Always a pleasure to see.

Hopefully she will call me too.

Surrendering

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Street art by Norway’s Skurktur

You know that feeling when you HAVE to do something? You can’t look away. You can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. You can’t sit back and hope someone else does something about it.

That’s me and that’s the last couple of weeks I’ve had. I haven’t been writing much, which I’m good with as I don’t feel obligated. I only write when I feel like it and decided to not worry about it. It is what it is and is a fun hobby.

What I’m talking about is saving lives.

Actual lives and in this case, the life of a pit bull. Zeus is his name and because of a few of us, he is alive today.

Yesterday was his kill date. I’ll not go into the details of how he arrived on death row. Suffice it to say the people who cared for him had thought he had found his forever home with his sister.

The woman kept the female and dumped Zeus off at a kill shelter. A kill shelter where pit bulls have no more than 7 days before they are put down.

They were fooled. It happens but nothing excuses what the woman did.

I caught wind of the situation via Google Plus and got involved. I figured “I’ll just share this post and will have done my work for this dog,” but that was not to be the case.

I heard what happened. I couldn’t let it go. I know millions of dogs are euthanized every year. I try to not know this, but I do. I can’t even go near a shelter. I fall apart every time.

Several of us worked very hard for weeks to find someone to go get him. The clock was ticking and we were all doing this via social networks. Zeus was in Utah. We were in California, Florida, Texas and a few other places that I don’t even know.

Every day, my heart raced as we scrambled to find someone. Every night I couldn’t sleep because I was worrying about him. Every day and evening, I would sneak in phone calls at work and stayed up late, calling and sending emails.

We all did this. We coordinated as much as we could. We kept each other going. I kept “chat” open on my phone and desktop, which I never do. I needed to be in constant contact with everyone else.

I pissed off a few men who wanted to go out. I told them “Right now I’m working on an intense deadline. I have until Monday.”

Apparently this was not good enough for some of them. They moved on to “hotter” prospects and I bid them a silent and thankful good-bye.

You want to know me? You want to date me? Well, shit howdy, this is MY life.

I save lives.

It’s not convenient. It’s not much fun at times and is a constant source of stress.

One call was interesting.

“Hey Susan, you want to grab a drink this Saturday?”

“Well, yes, I would love to, but I have to be on my phone the whole time and that’s rude. Once this project is done, then yeah, that might be nice.”

Silence. “You can’t leave your phone alone for a few hours?”

“Yes, normally I can, but I’m trying to help this pit bull and I may have to make a quick call, send an email or take a call…”

“It’s just a dog!”

No. He did not. THEY did not. Yes, more than one person had this attitude.

My heart sank. Them having the possibility of a date with someone (I’m not EVEN going to flatter myself and say it had anything to do with me) was more important than a life.

“Just a dog? Is that what you said?” I could feel steam coming out of my ears. I’m sure it startled Blue, who was suddenly snuggling up to me. Dogs can detect emotion better than anything.

“I mean, yeah, well…”

“Go fuck yourself as you won’t be getting THAT from me!”

God I miss being able to slam down phones.

So there it is. There was my decision.

I gave into the fact that this is who I am. This is what I do.

I often feel like I am in a fox hole with incoming and I’m all by myself. I go to bed alone, sleep alone and wake-up alone.

I’m good with that.

Surrendering to who I am and what I do is the best feeling in the world.

Zeus is home, my bills are paid, my friends and family are alive and I have food in my house.

Today is a good day.

 

Back to working with battered women

I got the call. I met with her. I talked with her.

I liked her.

I have to like them. I can’t help them if I don’t. I rarely dislike people, but when I do, I’ve learned to never question it, shake hands and walk away.

I don’t owe anyone my help or support. I don’t owe people my friendship.

One would think that this would be easy – helping people who have been hurt.

But it’s not. It’s a mine field, wrought with doubt, suspicion and complete mistrust of anything that even closely resembles a human.

It can take me hours to get someone to open up, to gain their trust and to show them that I care.

But if they don’t reach out, I let them be. My job isn’t to solve anyone’s problems. My job is to listen and guide them and help them figure it out for themselves.

Some people enjoy “relationships” like this and they don’t fool me. I can always tell when the help is not needed or wanted. They don’t get my phone number or address or even my email. All contact is done via a 3rd person. They only know my first name.

It’s too volatile and sometimes dangerous if not handled with kid gloves.

This journey began today. I have no idea how it will turn out.

It takes its toll on me, which is why I’ve been away from this for a while.

Tough to say no when they plead.

And there are children in the house.

“Is this a date or a job interview?”

job-interview

 

“How long have you worked at ABC Company?”

I think for a moment. “Oh, lets see..about 11 years now…”

“Do you like it?”

“Yes I do. I find it…”

“What was it that interested you so much in that particular field?” he asked and leaned further over the table towards me. I expected him to start taking notes at any moment. His questions were rapid fire and I still hadn’t been able to finish answering one question before he asked another.

“What interested me so much was the fact that it paid me money,” I said and sat back.

“Oh, so you feel you are money motivated then?”

I wanted to throat punch him now. But that would be over too quickly. Instead, I decided to have a bit of fun.

“Yes, absolutely money motivated. That’s how I was able to start out as a part-time employee and then eventually become an owner. All I care about is the money. And who I can hurt on my climb up the food chain.”

His eyebrow shot up.

“But let’s be really honest here, shall we?”

He nodded.

“I had to sleep my way up to the top,” I said and sipped my coffee. I may have batted my eyes. I don’t know. I hope I did.

“Really? You admit that?” he asked. Suddenly he was very interested in me and quite captivated.

“Of course. I mean it’s not like there’s any other way for a woman to get ahead, right?”

“Right.”

What an idiot.

“Well, I hate to cut this short, but I have some marriages to ruin before this weekend is over. Thanks for the coffee and good luck on your search,” I said.

“Can I see you again?” he asked.

“Send me your P&L first. I’ll have my people take a look at it and let you know,” I said and walked away.

I bet he tried to send it. Too bad he didn’t have my address.