It has taken me some time to really gather my thoughts to write this blog post. Tara puts a lot of effort into training us, but our focus is on children and individually. On Tuesday I got to try something new: I taught a public workshop! "The Whispered Word of Suicide" was present by Tara and I to a group of Stephen Ministers at a local church. I must add that I had no idea we were doing this. I am sure Tara told me, but I was not paying attention---don't tell her but I do that a lot! I had been at work with her most of the day and slept in the work room for the last two clients, so I thought we were going home, but we didn't!
When we got there, we were able to get set up. I sniffed around and greeted the people in the room. I was a little unsure of the different floors we walked on as they changed as we walked through the building to get to our room, but I was more than happy to see carpet that I knew in the room we were teaching in. Tara carried one of my beds in and told me to go on "place". It was hard to listen because other people kept saying "Abbey come".
As 6:30 rolled around the meeting started. They were talking about some church things, prayers, praise, etc. I decided to sit on Tara's lap and just listened. All of a sudden this woman walked in and I just knew something was wrong. I kept trying to tell Tara but she wasn't getting it and was telling me I was being rude and to calm down so they could continue their meeting. I don't usually have a leash on and forgot that I was wearing one and Tara pulled me back. I kept tagging her and telling her that I HAD to go see this lady. Finally the lady started to cry and I gave Tara the "I told you so look". I could tell Tara was surprised, but she still wouldn't let me get to her.
I don't really know what was said, but the lady started to cry harder and everyone, except for Tara because she made me sit with her, got up and started praying for the woman. Once everything calmed down, we were introduced and I went and sat with the woman who was crying. Tara talked for a minute about my job in counseling sessions and how I gave her the signals something was wrong, even before it was disclosed.
Once I knew that lady was ok, I walked around the room to get a good read on everyone. A very nice man in the front took of my leash and I then went fully into "work" mode. I visited with a couple of people who were struggling with hearing Tara talk so easily about suicide. She does talk about it with ease, but after all, that is the point of her presentation. If we don't talk about it, then how are we going to save lives?
After the more intense portion of the workshop, I started to focus on the door and window. I chased a lizard that was outside and listened to the people outside the door who were talking. People thought I had to go potty, but Tara knew better. She told them it was because of the lizard and people talking, but I took on too much emotion and was ready to call it quits. I finally went and laid down, but made sure Tara knew I reached my limit and could not visit with anyone any longer.
Many people do not realize that in our work, we don't have to know what people are saying, we take on the energy of the emotions. I slept good that night and know that I helped the one lady and probably others in the room.
Tara praised me like crazy when we got outside and I got some special attention from her. I was so excited to come home and tell Bode about it, but he was sad he didn't get to go too.
I love what I do and I am so glad to share it with you too!
Off to bed....