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Gifts
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All in a day's work!
By Sandi Lyn Schraut   

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Family and work each with its rewards and its challenges.

I am tired today, work has been wearing on both the body, the emotions and the soul. I work in a mental health ward, where a few days ago a sad young man angry at life decided to harm everyone he could, and he sent 6 staff to the emergency department before he was stopped. This happened during the day I came on that night to staff who were shook up, nervous and shocked to hear of their friends injuries. The other patients were uneasy, some reacting in anger, some in fear, the old fight/flight theory we were taught back in college in the class called Beginning Psychology.

I came home to see my loving grandchildren who run to me with open arms and warm smiles, and smell like warm summer flowers. I take the horror of my work, put it aside and enjoy the life that feels so secure. The moment and the weekend passes quietly until Sunday afternoon when my daughter tells me she must flee, her boyfriend has threatened to harm her, again! "Give me money, or else", he says. She reconsiders running away as the impact on her daughter age 15, son age 12 and daughter 5 becomes very real and she wonders is this worse or is watching his behavior worse? The dilemma faced by women in the throes of abuse is so real. It makes little sense to us on the outside and yet to her this up close and personal view of the situation gives the her reasons to keep tolerating the situation.

I am a parent, I love my children and grandchildren. My first instinct is to lash out in an equal portion of violence, yet that is also not okay as violence becomes its own never-ending cycle. How do I help, without provoking more abuse, and without violence? I will pray, and hope the nightmares that this worry provokes does not take away my much needed rest. I do have to return to work, both as a parent and as a nurse, both rewarding and scary! Both are needed, both of which leave me with many more questions than answers, and few solutions that are safe.



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