02 April 2007

A Landmark

Last week at work we toured a really incredible local social service facility . This facility houses 5 separate agencies, working together to serve victims of family violence. There are police detectives, counselors, social workers, forensic doctors, etc., all in one place to serve victims in a way that will help minimize the trauma of the process of reporting the crimes committed against them. There were 7 of us from the shelter and we were able to ask questions and to find new resources to provide to our clients.

Since no victims were present, we were able to go in and look around the on-site forensic medical facility where they examine victims of abuse and sexual assault.

The moment I walked in, the energy in there shook my insides.

There was so much fear and pain and despair in that place; it hit me like a shock wave and I immediately wanted to leave. I wondered if any of my co-workers were feeling the same, but no one was showing any obvious signs of it. We were shown the various offices and amenities and then we came to an exam room. No one would enter it. Our guide went inside and was explaining the high tech devices and the various methods of examination and no one could move. I then realized that I was far from alone in my feelings.

I stood there for a moment feeling all of this devastating heart-breaking energy, took a deep breath and felt these words, "This is not your pain. You do not have to fear it."

I realized that this is just another step along my journey. I have gained the ability to sympathise with and advise my clients without internalizing their grief. And now I am gaining the ability to face down fear and pain that does not belong to me so that I can help others work through it. In that moment, I felt my purpose in being in that place at that particular time and took a step. I went inside that exam room and in so doing quieted all the fear and pain swirling around me. I feel that I cannot adequately express this experience in words. It was a profound moment for me and I felt moved to share it.

I'm closer to determining my path. I find myself gathering information and looking into all of the various agencies that serve victims of family violence and the services they offer. I'm processing and pondering and praying. What my course of study will be is slowly starting to take shape. There are so many amazing options.

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