Friday, January 10, 2014

On frustration

We can limit the world to what we see, whether it be inside our own minds exclusively or including the people and places that surround us. That being said, it becomes clear that we can also choose how we are feeling.

At this moment I feel frustrated.

Have you ever felt like you're in a crowded room screaming at the top of your lungs and no one is looking up at you? In all aspects of my life this same stunted feeling is occurring, but work provides the most accessible fodder.

In residential Domestic Violence (DV) advocacy there are a remarkable number of people who have the opportunity to disregard you. First of all, your superiors. Second of all, the other staff. Third, the women in shelter. Fourth, their children that reside there with them. Fifth, volunteers. Sixth, administrative team. Seventh, mostly everyone who hears about what you do.

Number one through six are areas on which I have no coherent insight. But number seven, hoo boy. We could talk about number seven all day. La gente ignore DV workers simply because DV is not a 'sexy' cause. Like child hunger. I'M NOT KIDDING that is considered sexy these days. Alzheimer's disease is too.

With both issues the public is satisfied with a mix of "this organization does what it can, and then the life takes over". Hunger can be sated, children grow up. Alzheimer's can be researched, those who do not get a cure will die of old age. With either of the causes possible donors do not need to examine the framework in which they have built their lives. Domestic Violence, however, is unsettling. It is deeper. It does not offer the satisfaction of a simple answer.

Plain and simple, DV makes people sad.  She leaves and goes back. She leaves and CPS takes the kids. She leaves and he finds her and kills her. Sometimes she is able to challenge self-limiting beliefs and grows from a terrible experience. *Yes, DV happens with all genders. And yes, DV can happen with people other than intimate partners. For our purposes, "she"=survivor and "he"=abuser.* 

There is laughter. It's not always so bad.
Just like I'm choosing to feel frustrated, people are choosing to be sad. It is theirs alone to hold. What really matters is what we do next. 

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