Little Stressed, not gonna lie.

stress drinkingWelcome job changes. No, no. I’m still at the same place. But my boss abruptly left. She was the most senior manager. This doesn’t help things. There’s was about fifty people beneath her, myself one of them. Now, her executive has seen fit to promote me to supervise a few more people…. okay. Alright. But now, over the passed couple weeks he’s also seen fit I add support to the trauma support staff…… um…. maybe, not? I work well on my own. I work well in a team. I work well giving debriefing support and counseling to other staff….. But I get a little anxious when the boss says, “Hey Hatsh, people respect you, the offenders (yes I said OFFENDERS) listen to you, and you’re good at resolving conflict. So I’d like to put you in a  support position to provide more conflict resolution…. to the front line… directly dealing with offenders and hostile clients.” Shit. I thought I was getting away from this. Apparently ever since that guy broke through security with a hack saw and threatened all the staff while I stayed behind when he held my one of my least liked staff hostage. I may hate you as a professional, but I’ll defend you as a person. My Fault. Seriously, my fault. Damn. So now, I’m stressed as hell. I was trying to think of a way to get even with this staff member when they made the most sexist comment in the book the other day. But as it were, I’m such a delightful person the worst thing I could do, was completely unprovoked on a seriously viscous Monday, when he began making jokes about “working too hard” when I had just been attacked by a hostile individual who tried to hold me hostage with a a ski mask, I took a vat of smelly lotion and squirted him with it. Yes. That’s it. I’m a terrible person. I even proceeded to help him clean it up. The whole two tablespoons. Probably more than he could produce anyways. That was mean of me, that last comment. But for reals, it’s pissing me off. So enter the next Monday. I have to take the day off and end up checking myself into the ER at the local hospital. The doctor comes over and takes a good look while I’m dressed in my “bug-out” clothes…. which consists of a black ghetto toque, a turquoise hoodie followed up by a black fitted yoga jacket (it’s cotton, and super easy to maneuver in), black jeans, and shin-high leather converse pulled up over the jeans. I’m not exactly looking reputable, but I’m not clothed in shambles.

“I’m Eva. I’m in my practicum as a clinical physician.” She tells me. “You wanna tell me what’s going on today?” She asks cocking her head to the side, being almost a little belittling. I say Hi. And then, can’t speak. I was so humiliated. There was a thirty year old student in front of me thinking I was a B&E professional or some sort of criminal (and in a way, I couldn’t blame her because in the ER waiting room it was all homeless people who had OD’d, seniors, and immigrants who were trying to get free medical- don’t judge me, I saw the shit that went down). I just started crying. My heart was racing. Every sound, every movement, every glitch, every breath made me so, incredibly, unreasonably nervous. And that’s all I could think about. It was unreasonable. I had no reason to be nervous, so something must be terribly wrong to be feeling like this. She was patient, and I couldn’t be more grateful. All I could think of was my rant. My “rant” as I call it, is what most First Responder’s have memorized to identify themselves in case of an emergency. We have it ingrained in our skulls, and rehearse it over and over again for a situation just like this. So when we have nothing else to say, when we can’t muster the strength, we can spit these phrases out. All my training came out and for a quick minute, all my tears stopped, my breath was on hold, everything stood still so I could spit this out. “My name is Hatsh Wild. I’m a PSP X-6 Delegate Social Worker for an NGO. My registration number is *insert number*, I work for *insert organization*, my date of birth is *DOB*.” “Hi Hatsh.” She responded, quietly. She bent down on one knee in front of me and leaned in, “Hatsh, where are you?” “I’m in the hospital.” I could feel myself starting to cry again. “Why are you here?” Her breath was so light it was like a whisper. “I don’t know.” I pushed really hard to get my words out. “I’m really confused. I can’t see properly. I don’t know where the floor is. I’m so scared. I was at home. I have no reason to be scared. I don’t understand. I’m frightened and I don’t know why. I’m out of breath. My heart is beating so fast. Everything is too much for me. Too much stimulus. Everywhere. I can feel everything* in the room. And I know as a Social Worker that something is terribly wrong. I don’t know what it is. I just know I need to check myself into emerg.” She gave me a very empathetic look, “Hatsh. Are you feeling nervous? I’m going to take a listen to your heart. The intake nurse says it was very high when you checked in and recommend I administer something to you right away. Are you okay with that?” “Yes.” I gasp, as I pull down the front of my shirt around the chest so she can listen to my heart. “That’s okay. You’re wearing thin layers, I think I can hear through it. I’ll let you know.” She takes the stethoscope and listens to my heart. “Deep breaths.” She doesn’t have to tell me, I feel like a racing mule, almost panting. “What happened when you began feeling this way?” She asks while listening. The last thing I remember is nothing. Just pain. “Hatsh? Hatsh!” She begins to yell and everything is silent and a blur. A male nurse comes over, swiftly walking with a tiny paper pill cup in his hand, all I remember is how well trained and under control he was. “Hatsh we’re going to put this under your tongue. We’re going to lay you down. Don’t worry. You’re in good hands. You do what you need to do.” I begin to lose control as he squeezes the sides of my cheeks so my mouth opens and he puts something beneath my tongue which I politely assume is Adivan. Somehow, I’m falling over to my side at the same time on the stretcher, but he’s got me, the doctor has my head and everything is moving in slow motion. Before I know it, an IV is in me. I focus on the male nurse, he’s bringing me  a lot of comfort by talking. And, out. Gone. Everything is gone. All I remember is trembling, everywhere. Waking up, and meeting with the a seasoned doctor. “Hey Hatsh. Glad you’re awake. You went into cardiac arrest.” She smiles at me, “How’re you feeling?” “Okay. Grounded.” “Good.” She says. “Do you wanna talk about it?” I repeat my rant. “It’s all you can say isn’t it?” She asks. I nod. “Okay. We’re gonna give you a little something else. It’ll relax you. You have a lot of anxiety, and you’ve had a mild heart attack. You’re going to be okay. We’re going to keep you under observation for a few hours. We’ve called your emergency contact. Are you okay if we bring them in?” She’s being very gentle. And then it hits me…. who the fuck is my emergency contact? In walks my ex boyfriend from years previous. Love of my life. Yes, we facebook. Yes we text every now and then. I just can’t believe it. Not for something like this. He shouldn’t be here for this, to see me like this. We’ve known each other since I was eight. I shut my eyes and pretend it’s all a bad, bad dream. I know I’m pretending, he knows I’m pretending. He just sits on the edge of the stretcher. “May I touch you?” I can’t say anything. He takes my hand and strokes my hair. Feeling my anxiety he then pokes me on the eye lid and I can’t help but bust out laughing. We both laugh. Years previous when I lost all vision in my right eye, I was in emerg and we were together. He made me laugh so hard in acute care that the nurse told us to shut up while she was drawing blood for testing or she was going to break the needle off in my arm. When he went to stroke the hair away from my one good eye, he accidentally poked me in the eye and I was blind in both eyes for a few seconds. We laughed in hysterics and the nurse got up in a huff and told us to “grow up” because we were in the ER. She gave us a breather and came back within a moment. It had been a long time since we’d seen each other.

Back to today. He brought me home. Offered to stick around, but I’d rather not. I apologized for him being my emerg contact. He didn’t. I got a weeks worth of Adivan and anti-anxiety drugs. It’s almost my last day. Two more days. I’m super anxious about how work will play out. I’m terrified about this new event with my ex. I know it only bothers me, because I’m the only one who’s in love, and I hate him, and I hate everything about him, and I wish he’d go away and die and leave me alone- and I wish I could just bury myself in his chest and be safe and love him. Yeah. That’s how fucked up things are right now. I’m frustrated, anxious, and hyped up on drugs. Not how I was thinking of spending my week. I’m not even sure where I’m going with this post anymore. God, I hope things get better soon. I couldn’t tell my boss I went into cardiac arrest. I’ve just been off “sick”. Tomorrow’s Sunday. Maybe a new week will bring some new hope.

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Special Task Force

I’ve developed a real respect for the gang task force. Recently there was a staff member who approached me needing to play eraser because a hit was put out on their brother. This is a slippery slope because unknown to many, gangs operate more and more like NGO military and guerrilla groups everyday.  This particular gang is one of the top ten largest in the country, and they subcon positions out to other gangs when an individual is out of reach (not for long) or has an advantage they don’t. They specialize in recruiting and recon. For those of you who are not familiar with these terms, in civi language it means they specialize in building partnerships, alliances, gathering information, and composing dirt files on everyone as collateral. Believe it or not, most of their violence is subcontracted out, but it doesn’t stop them from criminal activity. Despite any public opinion, there’s something to be said about organized crime.

So when a colleague needs to play eraser, it’s like a fun game of identity theft. Let’s start with new “staff”. We bring on some extras that resemble this individual and provide similar, if not same services. We even go to the length of ensuring they have a similar name. Stagger work shifts. Pile on stupidity to public who ask questions, “Who? What? I don’t know who that is.” Add a rumour of remarriage or devastation in family matters that implies cut-off from all family. (Honour and disgrace run families who are often associated with gangs). Oh yes, and of course, call your local gang task force. I was so pleased with the service they offered and how quickly they move. They allow the client to maintain integrity, and truly encourage them without sugarcoating or doubting. Police have come a long way since I was a kid. It really is a different kind of beast. For now, we’ll sit tight, ride out the new year and watch carefully. I will say, no better place to be than in an agency that handles this stuff on a regular basis. My colleague has been counting their blessings, and I know staff is only too game to participate in this round.

AAR: After Action Report

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It has certainly been a long time since my last post. So much has happened, and the stories are just building up inside. Some of you may remember from previous posts, that I was doing some work in NGO-PSP, and was desperately trying to get out and make it in the real world. I had to bug out and lost everything. I went through a name change,  a new home, a new job sporting ethical dilemmas, a great guy, and everything in between.

Well, as for a name, I think I finally got one. It’s not my favorite, but it will do the trick.

As for work, I got a great new job writing policy for NGO-PSP’s. I also act as a strategist in case management for workers who have more complex cases and need some help with planning and scenario outcome probabilities.

Broke up with Mr. Wonderful- he really was great- but my life was far darker and serious needing way more support than what he could give. We also had conflicting ideas about my new job, which worries him sick.

I moved into the shittiest little apartment and pay pennies so I am building up quite the lump of bills beneath my mattress… so really, I don’t mind. In the end however, I can’t bring myself to buy a bed. I’ve been sleeping on the floor for months. It just feels stable, safe, and like home. I’ve invested a lot of my artistic abilities to remodel the apartment. I’ve sanded down the kitchen counters and refaced them, repainted the place and sparkled up them baseboards, put new knobs on all the cupboards and doors, and have been painting like a mad woman. I have so much canvas I’m giving it away.

Last week at work a bounty hunter came in, threw gasoline on a man and lit him on fire. I’ve never seen a man on fire before, it was honestly terrifying. The man did survive, and is very lucky. It was only discovered that the perp was a bounty hunter because he was picked up later by police after setting ablaze three more individuals. The police did some follow up, and we learned the full story. The amount of people I have seen beaten black, blue, and more colours I didn’t know you could bleed has been overwhelming. I did have a certain individual bring a circular saw on premise, sit down cross legged, plug it in with the saw resting in his lap against his shin, and promptly began hammering at the ON button. All of my adrenaline ran through the skull down my spine, flying out of my toes, and through the door and down the street in horror while I was left there standing in shock. Thank God the cord was frayed in a connecting area and kept it from turning on. These are just a few of the stories from the new job. But it is rewarding and it’s a perfect fit. I love my team, and I am so enjoying the balance between paper work and field work.

Lets Map It

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Completing threat assessments, threat analysis and response, and covert action plans are not as loom and gloom as one might think. Often there is some visual perceived of a small group of people decked out in black, leaning over a table, drawing equations and mapping areas of safety and danger, contrasting plans, and being all pale and tragic. It’s funny because the majority of work that gets done in our team, is actually done at Beer Parties. Beer parties are essentially a type of house/beer/dinner party. They run for just under 24hrs, and they are typically at a house, accompanied by a few kegs, beer on tap, full service bar, take-out, and pot-luck style meals, and more. The last get together we had, I co-hosted with a buddy and we made bacon potato soup, shepherds pie, garlic and cheese bread with jalapenos, and onion rings. Another guy came over and made mini-sliders, complete with delicious fried onions and mushrooms. Our other cohort proceeded to order in a boat of sushi and brought some rare kraft beer. And Ze German brought pie. The rest of the people to come over would either drop in, being in desperate need of a good meal and some debriefing, or come equipped with a small snack or bottle. Everyone is welcome to come and go as they please, crash at the house, or whatever. But the rule is that dinner is served at 7pm, everyone sits around a large table, we say grace (it’s not about faith, it’s about respect, tradition, and providing stability and structure that’s familiar to everyone), and we eat. God help you if you miss dinner, it’s just expected that you show at least for that. The table we sit around is something of a story in itself, and I will write about it in another post. At the house, you are safe, fed, surrounded by people who are like you, who are in a similar type of work, share a similar life, and you can receive debriefing support, and be among your own. The battle capers chit chat, and the stories flow as free as the beer, and the planning and case discussions begin. It’s super productive to have people from various backgrounds gathered who all work in the same field. There’s therapists, counsellors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Lawyers, Mental Health Professionals, Addictions Workers, Business Professionals, Strategists, government workers, Human Resources, Operations Managers, War Vets, and the Engineers, not to forget the tradesmen as well. And we all have 1 thing in common that bonds us for life, we work in PSP. A lot of case discussion gets done around the dinner table with a beer in hand, or even while watching an atrocious movie. Last time we got into a debate about the best disguises. So next time, everyone is getting together with their best disguises on. I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun!

beer and smokeOn what feels like the other side of the world, some hours away, there is what we refer to as “The House”. The House is a large home circa 1880, 3000 sqft, built far back on a lot, you must walk in through the property. There are no cars, transit, or anything that can get close. It is fully covered by surveillance and guarded a hell of a lot better than Charles De Gaulle. The house hasn’t really been properly cared for, but it’s beautiful none the less. There is a modern loft style cottage off to the side of it, a shed with super secret hiding spaces (yes you read that right), and an outdoor kitchen. The House is a sketchy and strange place. This is where people go to meet their addictions. This is where the front line workers dwell. When you work in PSP, there’s three types: Runners, Trainers, and Team Leaders. A Runner is the guy who gets you out of your predicament on the spot, throws caution and morals to the wind, and does any dirty work necessary to keep the client safe and get them to a good place- they plan the get-up and go. The Trainers prep the clients for close quarters combat, provide counseling, and map out the best plans to resume a life in a new location. Team Leaders plan everything from resettlement, to getting employment, ID, references, and do investigative work on the trouble makers- including creating red herrings and falsifying leads and so called “evidence”. The Team Leaders are the primary support and counsel for the other two. At the House, it’s all Runners. People with morally skewed realities. They are some of my favorite. Their dark sense of humor, quick wit, and laid back nature make them super easy to get along with. They’ve seen it all. I used to be a runner, and have made my way into being a TL. I never really got into hanging out at The House though. At The House, they feed their addictions and stress. There’s drugging, alcohol, sex, and weird shit. I remember talking to one of the prostitutes in the kitchen about why she and her friends kept coming back. She told me because the type of work the men did, they didn’t want to see harm to anyone, so they were trustworthy and safe in bed. Not to mention the fact she got a good meal, a warm bed, and now that she was a regular caller, half of her time there was just consoling and soothing the conscience of the men, sex was secondary or not at all. Apparently one of the guys helped her get away from her pimp and start her own business in the sex trade that was non-oppressive. Huh. Imagine that. It’s funny who you run into at the house- the people who are not Runners, and the people you never expect…. like myself, or other TL’s. The House, unlike the beer party, is open 24/7. You can go anytime. But there’s no planning here. It’s purely to self soothe, and meet your addictions. There’s some permanent residents, and there’s some that come and go, and then there’s others who drop in once or twice every few years.

Our work is a strange and funny thing. You meet the most extraordinary people, and hear the most ridiculous stories. The work itself is done in an unorthodox way, but it gets done to some pretty damn high standards. Everyone is safe, sound, fed, clean, and has a warm bed, and companionship. Mapping work is by far some of my favorite because of this.

Catch Up

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By golly, has this much time gone by already!!? Holy smokes! I did not see this coming. So much has happened since my last post! First of all, weight stabilized (yay), on a new anti-anxiety cocktail which has done me good morally, but got me sacked from my new security gig because I refused to threaten employees, and also thanks to the lack of anxiety- my panic button is completely broken and I have no sense of responsibility. Fun. *sarcasm*. I’m still feeling really caught in the middle, do I continue to climb corporate, or do I continue to work in PSP? Someone needs to do the work and I’m not saying it should be me all the time, but it just seems like an awful waste for others to miss out on all the info people like myself have to offer. I want to do good. I want to do what others could not, and beat the stats, and make a difference. I just have to.

But low and behold, who should cross my path, but my new beau, the Vet. A new man entered my life (never saw this coming) he’s safe, doesn’t ask any questions, has been through a war himself, loves to cook, eats well (and feeds me well), great conversationalist, supports me in all my decisions, and guess what?-oh yeah, and he’s handsome. My personal sheepdog to keep all the scary things at night away, and now I can sleep in the dark. How awesome is that? I am though, deeply unhappy as I still feel like I don’t have a name, I don’t have a home, I have no job, and I have no money. I feel so empty and broken just like walking off the edge of the earth. It’s a weird feeling because the Hatsh that is the civilian just wants to curl up in a ball and be depressed. The Hatsh that’s the professional wants to take the world by storm and use all her superpowers for good. I constantly feel like two people torn into two. And the civi me just hates why the superhero me is so good at what she does, and why she knows all the things she does. Is it possible to want a normal job with normal problems so, so much and yet want the most miserable, adrenaline soaking, dangerous work just as bad? I need a therapist.

Have a Little Faith

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This month has been very interesting, very interesting indeed. The events have spiraled and some new developments were made. To start, I ran into an arch nemesis of mine while on a walk about town. Oh golly, that was sure unplanned for. Honestly, we were both taken back, surprised, and a little unsure of “do I run, or do I do walk away?”. Our relationship has been a toss up from the past. Originally this individual was tracking me and making my life miserable, until one day they began yelling at me while I was at my local grocer, grabbed me by my arm, and told me they were taking me to their employer (my super arch nemesis who started all this over a decade ago and is responsible for my ever being in PSP), and something just came over me so I clocked them one, took ’em right out cold, in the grocers. Both of us were not expecting that. The result was for a couple years after, they avoided me like the plague. Then one day we ran into each other, after I had been practicing bringing peace into my life and it was as though they could smell I was no longer a “fight or flight” kind of person. I had become a very gentle person, and so they became the aggressor again. Then at our next fateful meeting, I had reinforcements. It’s been a few years since we’ve seen each other. I have seen them around before at airports and trade centres, but they didn’t appear to notice me. So when we almost walked quite literally into each other on the corner of the street when I was visiting a bank and they were crossing the street, it was as though we were both in the area to avoid other people and were very disconcerned about the other until the pieces of the puzzle abruptly clicked. I’ve seen them twice since. They even had the gall to go into a government service office and demand information about me. Apparently they have been claiming to be a long lost relative and it is imperative that they get in touch with me. Oh sheesh. The government had both of us in, including a couple others for an interrogation. It was rather pleasant. At the time, we did not know we would all be called in, and no we were not called in at the same time. It was just myself, a collective group of police officers and a couple investigative special officers. They were very nice, polite, and cooperative. They just wanted the truth. I think that’s fair. I was surprised at their comments though. Apparently they had been looking for me for quite some time, have no address for me, have surveillance photos dating back over a decade, and couldn’t even find my place of employment. Go me.* I was honest with them, and up front told them where I was staying, what was going on and so forth. They chuckled and said they didn’t realize how close I was to them, they had been searching miles out the other direction. They were excellent officers to say the least. To my surprise they even encouraged me to attend their upcoming career fair and get on with their own PSP team. It’s good to know I’m welcome somewhere :)

This run-in, though unfortunate, has prompted other actions. I will be moving again. Perhaps back to the city, different locale. Last week I was recruited by a different security company. They are more low key and made me an offer to do more mainstream work. This could be very promising. On another note, I received an interview with a very low key, start up IT company. This is definitely different, but equally as promising. No doubt I will need something a little less stressful. All this stress has given way to a 25lb weight loss over the last month, extreme fatigue, running mind, and sleep problems. All I want to do is nap all the time, but I can never quite get to sleep, or stay asleep, even at night. I have been in to see the local doctor, who’s very eager to solve these problems. He’s sent me to get blood work, ECG, Chest X-Rays, and the other day gave me a full physical, and was a little uneasy to see some of the scars I have, my reaction/response to muscle manipulation, how many broken bones and fractures I’ve had in addition to a heart that is beating out of control right now, even while sitting still. Shep waits for me in the main office when I go, and he’s told Shep he needs to bring me back every 3-4 days until they figure it out and can stabilize my condition. We tried anxiety meds, but I had a reaction and began hallucinating and other things happened. Not great. So now it’s mostly meditation, yoga, and a lot of reading and writing to keep me cognitively stimulated and relieve stress. Works. Okay. I’m reading Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, and next I will read Last of the Mohicans. I have read them many years ago, but I enjoy them so much.

I guess this post is a medley really. I’m not completely focused on one thing, and honestly, don’t quite have the willpower or attention span to be focused. Trying to remain optimistic and interested in life still as opposed to napping it all away. In other news, I saw Skyfall for the first time yesterday with Shep. It was interesting to say the least, how we paused the movie, commented, and couldn’t shutup about all the character and action sequences based on our own experience. The movie was riddled with “Haha, I hate it when that happens” to “What are they doing? He would never do that! Not in a million years!” and so forth. But that, really, is a post worthy of it’s own just for commentary sake.

Goodnight and goodluck.

Games People Play (Pt 2)

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Continued….

  1. Another common game is, Stupid. Stupid is a two player game. The key Stupid player is someone who rather than, “I laugh at my own mistakes, so I can improve” will respond with, “I laugh at my own mistakes, that’s the way I am, so do me something”. The game relish’s on playing “poor” and “needy” so ultimately someone else will end up completing the key Stupid player’s work load. The running theme of course, “I’m too stupid to figure it out, here you do it.” Goal: to shift responsibility. Underlying theme: “See, I’m honest because I admit I’m stupid. You can’t blame me because I don’t know any better. But because I never knew better, you still have to like me.” The secondary player to this game is usually someone who has put trust in the Stupid player to complete a task and comes upon disappointing results. The game is successfully ended when the secondary player, should they have the designation, is able to hold the Stupid player accountable and attain them training or a new job description as natural consequences.

  1. Disability is a game that can parallel or ensue with Stupid. The only difference between Disability and Stupid is that the theme, “What else do you expect from someone like me? It’s your fault you trusted me to do this.”  The key player in Disability will often blame their inability to complete a task on stress, grief, lack of education, experience, emotional turmoil, depression, past history of a “hard-knock” life, or even acknowledgement of their toxic behaviour. The point of the game: not to be blamed for your actions/ to shift responsibility- despite being caught. Because Disability does not require an enabler to be regularly played, it is a one player game.

  1. Lets Pull a Fast One on Jane is a game commonly played by coworkers and colleagues. This is a three player game.

Player 1: Instigator

Player 2: Follower

Player 3: Unsuspecting

It begins with the Instigator having a project or task to complete. The Instigator will usually recruit the Follower unless they have a previous relationship. The Follower simply tags along for the first part of the game as a non-threatening shadow figure behind the play boundaries. Next the Instigator recruits the Unsuspecting and while acting humble and modest, whether by blaming workload, talents or stress, backs out of the project to have the Unsuspecting take over the project and complete the bulk of the work. At the last moment the Instigator will tag in the Follower and the two will bully the Unsuspecting out of the game. Usually this is done by accusing the Unsuspecting of poor, amoral, unrequited, wrong doings or work. It is not uncommon that the Instigator and/or Follower will make a public display of this to shame the Unsuspecting out of the picture. Then the Follower completes the remainder of the task and the Instigator and Follower submit their work together receiving praise and recognition. Premise: ego stroking, one-up-manship, undermining.

Instigator: “I’m working on this project but I’m not sure if I can get it all done.”

Follower: “I’d love to help you but I’m busy too. Maybe ask the Unsuspecting.”

Instigator: “Hey Unsuspecting, you are very talented in this area (mass flattery) could you help me with this? I don’t understand this, I can’t do that…”

Unsuspecting: “I’m flattered you asked, yes.”

Instigator: “Whoa, whoa- you did the job wrong! What were you thinking! I hope they will accept this! You’re supposed to know what you are doing! You better leave or get caught.”

Follower: “I can help you now.”

“Instigator: “I can’t do all this. Please complete the rest and I will give you all the credit?”

Follower: “Okay.”

Instigator and Follower: “This is the project we worked on, isn’t it perfect.”

  1. Butcher is a game where an individual may approach another for advice or help. This is a common colleague/coworker game used in corporate and social services environments. The expected “problem solver” is actually the Butcher. They butcher all the facts and dissect and analyze too such a point that the main objective or even truth becomes lost in all the dismembered facts. It is a game to hide either the means or the ends. The hidden facts are usually something of a indecent matter that affects the butcher directly. It can be used to protect their reputation, someone else, or to attain / keep an object or transaction. Ultimately the butcher does this for themselves.

  1. Flamingo is played as a distraction game. It is a one to two player game. Sometimes the game is supplemented by a second player who reinforces the Flamingo’s action plan. This second player is usually submissive and passive to the Flamingo but can be outright aggressive and harsh with others. The leader of this game is a typical “ringleader” where they appear smart but unsuspecting, flamboyant but humble, they essentially draw attention to themselves but pretend there was no intention. It follows this mentality, “You can blame me for attracting attention. I’m graceful, but I was born pink.” They use this as a distraction method so in the confusion you will release other information about yourself and your intentions, and when necessary your organizations/teams intentions. This game can be commonly used with Butcher and Lets You and I Play Office.

A New kind of New Years

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Last night was interesting. I met with my escort, we’ll call him Shep, since he guards me better than the last German Shepherd I had. And we headed over to the neighbours, and met with a small gathering of people for New Years. It was nice, quiet, and simple. There was a bonfire, beer, conversation, and just plain old fashioned enjoyment. I miss that in a lot of ways. I was sitting in a patio chair, staring at the bonfire, leg slung over one arm of the chair, beer in hand, and Shep came and sat next to me. “What are you thinking?” He asks. “Why aren’t you with your friends?” I asked, “Why are you working on a night like tonight?” He smiles and says, “I’ve been bucking for a night off for a month. And technically your file doesn’t exist, so it’s like a holiday. A very unusual holiday.” He continues to smile and stare at me, I can tell he’s thinking something, something about my character. “How did you end up here? I mean, why don’t you go do something else?” He looks inquisitively. I didn’t know what to say really. You always know the answer. I mean, it’s pretty real, and it’s pretty basic. But, when you have to say it out loud… I don’t know, something is different. He interrupts my hesitancy, “You’re classy. You’re not like the other women who get into these situations. What happened?” I took a swig of beer, and really within all of a millisecond my whole life hit me like a brick. Everything from my first step out of danger, first night of safety, first walk as Jane Woods, to my training, service, hostage, abduction, negotiation, trading money, taking kick backs, making friends, quietly falling in love with my partner and never telling him, to the scary secrets I kept, all came flooding back to me like some dark, oily water leaving a filthy uncomfortable residue on my memory and on my skin. 

I looked up at Shep. He is a well groomed man, with a crew cut and goatee. When he’s laid back, he looks like any other nice guy, he has very kind eyes, and when he gets serious, you can see the dark side come out- his jaw pronounced, eyed deepen, and his entire face hardens. I thought to myself, you look like a butcher maybe, not some guy with a file. I tried my best to smile at him, “I guess I got so concerned with survival, the rest of me forgot how to age.” He knew what I was talking about. In our training we learned how people age. Some people age tough when they go through tough circumstances. Other people when exposed to severe trauma, the body slows down the production of hormones and continues to cleanse itself with fight or flight chemicals, making it appear you are younger than what you really are, or rather, just more innocent. Shep and I continued to talk quietly, and slowly. I learned more about him, and why he was really hanging around, and spending so much time in the area. I am glad to be surrounded with good people. At one point one of the neighbours had a row with his wife, and they screamed and yelled, and she stormed out. The made up around 10:30pm and came back to the gathering with lovey dovey faces and new found appreciation for one another. Nothing else really happened.

But I did decided that this year I would do more self work, and stop doing some of the tougher work. I think I am already exiting the field work stage. However, I am going to make more of an effort. I want to do the work I do, but I can see where it’s beginning to take a toll on my health. We’ll see. But I think this year should be classy, less intense, and be a new chapter in this story. That, would be nice.

 

In The Beginning (John 1:1-2)

Because at the end of it all, Christ is all you have, and have ever had. Don’t put your hope in man, nor your faith in kings. It is the Lord who has never left your side, it is the Lord who kept you from wandering astray.

THE RIVER WALK

New Years

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
(John 1:1-2)

Read: Genesis 1:1-3:24

Relate: The clock has ticked down. The ball has dropped. Cheers have gone up and, for those luckier than me, kisses have been exchanged. The old has gone away, a new year has begun…

Now what?

 

 

 

I love New Years. I know, I know, every day is supposed to start a new year. You can begin a new life, make that change, become a better person any time. Yes. I know. It’s true. But there is something about the turning over of the calendar year that makes such an opportunity special. There is a newness, a freshness to January 1, 00:01 AM that literally screams with promise. There is just so much potential floating in the air…

So what do…

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Living Off the Grid: a new home

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For those of you who have been loosely following my blog, you may have noted that I was forced to move due to some mysterious circumstances, plans fell through, dark and scary things began happening in the night, etc etc… Well after some conversations with a former mentor of mine, he confided in me that a former coworker who was pissed off I reported her for stealing over $150k from the company, gave out my name and address to public enemy #1, a former client’s exhusband who vowed to kill all the workers who helped his wife escape the marriage. Oh shit. I found out when I called my mentor when I pressed my last job offer why the plans suddenly went awry. I phoned them for 3 weeks after the plans fell through absolutely persistent they give me 30 seconds of feedback, “Everything was going so well. I was supposed to start Monday, what happened?” Well, Howard was what happened. Howard (false name for protective reasons), my mentor, had given me bad reference after bad reference, to four different agencies I had originally been hired on to, but the plans suddenly fell through. When I confronted him about it, he was surprisingly docile, and told me that each of the agencies, he knew for a fact, this man who had a contract on me, had ties to. Well, I suppose that explains it, but really? No, really? Well, we sat for hours in his apartment covering all the connected names, locations, and details, and sure enough- the market I was looking to penetrate was dominated by this guy. Close call. “I thought you had been applying in different fields, or would just return to PSP (Protective Services Program). I didn’t actually think you were serious about changing careers so swiftly.” So we discussed my career plans more seriously, and he helped me map out a new destination. mynewdigs04

I have been living at a friend’s place, and today, moved into a new safe house until things get worked out. There are some other complications, but I’d rather not get into it- it’s more things you suspect, but aren’t quite sure of- but you know that the risk is far greater than just playing safe- so you might as well play it safe. My new home is ridiculously small, but luckily comes furnished. It’s a temporary stay, maybe a couple weeks or a month. It even comes with a cat. Or rather, the property comes with the cat. Apparently cat has lived on the property for nearly a decade, even when there was a fire and the previous building burned down, cat did not leave. Cat stayed. It’s a glorious 400sqft, equipped with a loft style bed, cutest little prep kitchen ever, and the deepest most inconvenient soaker tub! More importantly, it’s safe, and it’s mine for the next little while. I am not entirely sure where to go from here. But I am letting no resource go without exhausting it first. I am determined to succeed at this.

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I have been told I am allowed to leave the local once a week when an escort will come and pick me up. I met him today, nice enough, definitely my people. He will come by twice a week with groceries and basic provisions. Once a week I can go with him into town and pick up extra stuff I may want. Apparently (I was left a directional handbook, no kidding, I’d love to be the person who wrote this), I can request him to bring me specific things within reason, IE. if I’m a vegetarian, request high protein veggies, and diet specifications; or if I want a book (and believe me, I took 10 books with me, they were not impressed), or if for whatever reason I need an extra blanket or whatever- this guy delivers. (Could have used this service in the city! sheesh). I’m allowed internet, cable, and a phone, must be a landline. All my activity is monitored.

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The house is under 24/7 surveillance. It makes me uneasy. Although I’ve been in this situation before, it’s just a little too close for comfort. I wave at where I assume the camera in the kitchen is- but only because I was on my cell phone when it kept cutting out every time I leaned my phone in to one specific object. Typically, you’re not supposed to talk to anyone on your cell, but don’t worry, my cell is also monitored, and it’s been approved :) just no FB lol or any other social media. And no pictures from my phone (geotagging). I make sure though that all my behaviour is patterned, so surveillance gets used to my rhythms. Wave at the camera in the kitchen, smile at the one by the front door, etc etc… this way, if something goes wrong, it can be told immediately by my expression, and the perp  is non the wiser. I watch cat too, and monitor cats behaviours so we stay close and watch out for our safety together. I have found animals are surprisingly in tune with things, and can tell almost instantly when something is off.

Cat doesn’t have a name. Neither do I. I think that’s fair. We’re well matched.

We’ll see how this all unfolds. Tomorrow my “neighbour” is supposed to stop by. I’ve been told it’s some wilderness tough who lives off the land out here. Apparently he has become accustomed to the circumstances in which this home provides, and I will be spending New Years with him, my escort, and the unsuspecting locals. Holidays are prime time for any predator to attack, it’s always best to be on your guard. So have a safe and peaceful New Years everyone!

Be good. And if you can’t be good, be careful. ;)