I had begun to call it “Freaky Friday” at Monarch Place. We had 14 residents, two over our official bed count. There were about 5 telephone calls for space and we were desperately looking for some spots elsewhere to refer the callers. In the midst of this, we were trying to celebrate 2 birthdays; our two wonderful maintenance men were busy around the building fixing a long list of items; we had sent our lead support worker home with a migraine headache; I was facing a report deadline; One of our residents had gone to the hospital the night before with a suspected heart attack and we were waiting for a call from the hospital regarding her status.
Sound like a tough day? Yes, but…. nothing like what it is like to live every day in an abusive relationship and fear for your life and soul each and every moment….
We hear many hard stories. And it is true that in the last 50 years we have come a long way. Older women tell us that when they first reached out for help there wasn’t any. A family might have said, “You made your bed, now lie in it”. A minister might have told her to pray for her husband and submit to what he wanted. A doctor might have been caring and kind when she told him that she was clumsy and kept falling down the stairs, but he never really knew or asked. The neighbours might have called the police once and two officers came but they didn’t arrest him. They might have taken him for a “walk around the block” but that was all.