trust your instincts haibun

They called her Wolf Girl on the psych ward at the hospital . No one had been able to approach her …much. She was like a wild animal. If you came too close to her, she would howl; if she was hungry she would stand at your table, looking at your tray with the puppy dog eyes, no one could refuse her. The staff was curious about her but all, without exception, fell in love with her especially when she would curl up into a ball in the fetus position on the centre of her bed…thumb in mouth, lights ON. If ever a staff member felt pity for anyone sleeping with those bright neon lights and turned it off in her room, she would sit up, howling, eyes wide, holding on to her blanket for dear life. 

Her name was Torey.  Child services brought her in 3 months ago to Emergency for a check up and after examination by doctors as well as the psycho-educator in chief, they assumed she would get her discharge no later than 3 days (which was customary in “those” cases). But she never got that release and Dr. Shelley, the Psycho-Educator in chief would not release her. She had a different reason at each court hearing…this last one was selective mutism, and that this youth was sexually assaulted multiple times for years.

Torey was 11 by now but what did,   “hell did multiple times for years” even mean?  Dr. Shelley just knew that this child should NOT be placed in foster care without guarantees she would be safe.   The system had failed her in the past when this child had put her trust in adults who should have kept her safe.  Dr. Shelley knew there were NO such guarantees.  She  took it upon herself to ensure she remain the ward of the court and in the children’s psychiatric ward indefinitely.  She had hope that some day soon, she just may make a breakthrough. Torey may decide to talk.

It was December 24th,  three and a half months since Torey’s admission, and she was in her daily interview with Dr. Shelley. This therapist had a unique approach with youths with selective mutism.  Her past 10 years of experience working solely with teens who had autism spectrum had given her a new skill…EEP.  Her colleagues, mostly professors at the local university scoffed at her when she said it was actually a skill that had to be learned with working with “exceptional” youths.  EEL stands for Exceptional Empathetic Listening skills.  Dr. Shelley had a knack of drawing out the most difficult and resistant child into trusting her enough to start talking…even if it was one hour a day, that was a miracle in many cases she had worked on.

Torey was different. She was brilliant. She had a way of knowing what adults were thinking and what they needed. This is how they discovered her exceptional talent or sixth sense you. 

One day, Nurse Grant, who had been working on the pediatric ward on the psychiatric section for 20 years,  walked on the floor with a limp wearing tinted glasses.  Staff all inquired with sympathy what had happened to her over the weekend and she just brushed them off with a, “Ah just clumsy old me bumped into the glass bus shelter. With the darn sleet and snow mingled, I could not see an inch in front of me and I banged the corner of my left eye and slipped and sprained my ankle. Enough said, no need for pity from anyone, so I got these glasses to avoid your mushy sad looks. Now ya’ll get to work!”  She did have a bit of a bark and everyone went back to work. No one asked her again and most of the staff avoided looking at her in the eye…or rather, glasses…except for Torey.  She looked at her suspiciously, sucking her thumb. She circled around her looking up at her and raised her eyebrow. 

Then she followed Nurse Grant into the nurse’s lobby and sat right next to her on the couch while she sipped her coffee. Torey looked up and did the most surreal thing…she spoke! “He gave it to you, didn’t he?” she said  in a raspy voice. Nurse Grant almost spilled her coffee and looked at Torey wide eye, in shock.

“What are you talkin’ about young lady?!”

But Torey did not balk nor did she feel intimidated by Nurse Grant’s harsh tone.  She just looked up at her with those puppy dog eyes and gave Nurse Grant a hug, whispering in her ear, “I know what them do to you.”

Nurse Grant froze at first, then relinquished to this precious moment because she had a feeling that Torey did, in fact, know.  Torey’s compassion melted her heart.

Later that afternoon, Dr. Shelley was advised about Torey’s first spoken words in private by Nurse Grant who had to come clean of her own personal circumstances. 

Dr. Shelley, called Torey to her office.

“Well, now, Torey. You certainly gave us a bit of a surprise today and I have to say a very nice surprise. I want to thank you.” 

Torey had arrived arms crossed, ready to keep her silence but was cut off guard when Dr. Shelley was thanking her.  She dropped her arms to her side and raised an eyebrow and waited…she was the prize of detectives…she had to know for sure…

Dr. Shelley continued, “Torey, Nurse Grant has been in an abusive relationship for years and no one but no one has ever had the courage to confront her and plead with her to get out and to a safer environment. Today, Nurse Grant came up to me asking to live in the nurses’ quarters for the night staff temporarily until she finds a new apartment.  I want to thank you for doing something not one counsellor, nurse, doctor or psychologist was able to do until you did.”

Torey stared at her, sizing what she had just heard, and took her usual seat in front of Dr. Shelly’s arm chair and said, “Yeah, well, it’s about time she left that f…..g loser. She deserves better.”

That was the first session Torey felt she could trust Dr. Shelley and started disclosing the sexual abuse she had been exposed to by her father from the age of 7 to 10 and the abuse in foster care the months following her removal from her home.

Trust had to be earned.  Torey was not fool enough to trust just anyone; she knew who could be trusted and she chose to speak to Nurse Grant because she saw an ally…a soldier in the fight against abuse  in her.  As for Dr. Shelley, well, Torey, knew she had an exceptional way of listening and she was just waiting for the right moment to feel she could actually trust her.





 the frog tries to help
a scorpion cross the river
an act of kindness

halfway to the other side
scorpion shows its true nature

smell cunning cruelty
even words soaked in honey
instincts are wiser

©Tournesol 2016









music in her ears (solo renga) daily moments May 6/2019


Rediscovering
Melodies coming back home
Shrill of cicadas
 
Chicks nestling for midday nap
Hear the chirps of resistance
 
Smile upon her face
old woman sipping java
her first spring concert

(c) Tournesol ’19/05/06

Daily moments music in her ears. May 6/2019

Coming back home ~ Haibun

Such a glorious day today and even warmer than the past few days!  It almost feels like spring.  The snow has melted on her front lawn and one would not even believe that it snowed all day two days ago and the lawns were all white yesterday on her way grocery shopping.  She can’t wait to get out and walk to work and if she can manage to leave extra early, she might even sit in the park near her work.


Sitting in the park
Searching for buds here and there
Inhaling scents of spring

Closing her eyes she listens
First season’s concerto 

Swallows have come home
Checking out the neighbourhood
A place to call home

© Tournesol ‘19-04-11
Daily Moments April 11 2019 Coming back home Haibun

© Tournesol ‘19-04-11 

Daily Moments April 11 2019  Coming back home   Haibun 

snow, another four-letter word (Daily Moments January 23. 2019 Haibun )

It is amazing how much literature there is on the lack of sunlight and darkness affects moods and yet there does not seem to be as much on seeing ONLY WHITE F&$&ing snow. The skies are grey today and yet the brightness of the snow still makes her eyes squint and adds to the jackhammer in her head. It is said that January 21st is the most depressing day of the year. How interesting that it may be the most depressing but that does not mean that the following day it has disappeared. No siree, it lags on and on and on and lurks into February and depression infecting each day forward.

Today, she squints as she looks out the window, debating if she should go out to do some errands which would entail, getting dressed (winterizing with coat, boots, scarf, ski mask, snow pants, gloves or mitts and cleats) to the bus stop, waiting in the wind, avoiding cars splashing the slush on sidewalks and repeating the same thing on her return. It is like shampooing one’s hair: shampoo, rinse, repeat.

Fortunately, today it is a balmy –5C so she can lose the snow pants, ski mask and mitts. What a joy! It is snowing today and she stands at the corner feeling her cheeks blush with each kiss.

“Crunch, Crunch” her boots moan as she approaches destination. Taking a deep breath of the fresh air, she feels a shift in her mood and knows that this brief but effective exercise has fired neurotransmitters that are lifting her spirits. She sighs thinking of those who suffer so much especially this time of year and the risks that may entail…

mid-season blues 
like summer draughts bring despair 
in the dead of winter 
 
blindly seeking respite  
from the wrath of depression 
 
treading warily 
on grief’s temptation 
veering such demise 
 
bundling up with courage 
some may make that phone call 
 
hearing in that voice 
caring and supportive 
may give life a chance 
 
© Tournesol ‘19-01-23

A moment in time ( daily moments June 6 2018)

Butterfly
Suckling sweet nectar
Flowers in bloom
A moment in time
Embrace it or lose it

Billows floating
Fluffy and full burst with joy
through a window
A moment in time
Embrace it or lose it

A newborn
Staring perplexed
his tiny fist

Sticks it in his mouth
Knows not it’s part of him

Watching him, she sighs
Don’t miss those moments
Embrace them or lose them

Daily reflections. June 4, 2018 a moment in time

Daily Moments December 1 2017 three years ago Haibun

© Clr ’14 Colombe (Mom) June 22, 1926-Dec 2, 2014

On this day three years ago I had dreamed half the night. The dream of my mother and I trying to save a dying child. Each time I woke up shocked by the dream, I would go back to sleep and dream the exact same scene…3 times until I could no long sleep. I waited until sunrise and called the nursing home to ask how my mother was. The nurse said, « Viens vite, il ne lui reste plus grand temps.»

I no longer had a car since the fall and called a taxi. It was snowing lightly and it was very cold. The sky was so grey and morbid. I talked all the way down with the taxi driver. His mother had recently passed…

She used every means to get me by her side…I will be forever thankful and she passed a little after midnight…

you poked me
three times
I was by your side
one last time …you looked at me
passing to the other side

missing you
embraced by your soothing voice
telling me each time

I love you darling –
don’t forget your Hail Mary’s

never too old
j’suis toujours ton bébé
miss you Mom…

©Tournesol’17/12/01

 

Daily Moments season’s cold breaths

©️Clr’17

My hands are cold
My heart is numb and silent
My eyes keep swimming

Aiming to the surface _ yet
the light’s so far away

Hunching forward
Shrinking to the fetal state
turning to my heart

tomorrow
is another day
…so they say

©️Tournesol’ 17/11/25

November 25/17 Daily Moments  cold breaths of autumn

the 9th life (haibun) Daily Moments November 24/17

He lived a humble life alone…a niece or a nephew here and there brought sunshine to his life…his offspring found no time, nor care to watch the sunset by his side. Before he reached this tranquil life, he’d tested his boundaries, stretching the elastics of addictions. Too many “last calls” and rolling dice and flirting reckonings from the meanest loan sharks. Like a cat, he had at least eight lives.

After umpteenth losses, he faced illness and disability, rooming in the most modest abode…a small room among others  slightly different yet much the same;  not in any kind of bed and breakfast, yet three fixed meals a day.

rags to riches
unrequited love
to borrowed rags.

Last week, he went for a stroll. Waiting at the corner for the light to change, he steps down the curb leaning on his cane, minding his own business like he’s done all his life…

unforeseen
meeting his maker
with a BANG

smell of burnt rubber
wail of niece and nephew

maman et papa
sisters and big brothers
show the way

most unusual racetrack
with perpetual winnings

This is in honour of my uncle, after hearing the news I received today about his sudden death …my mother’s brother.

Written for Micro Poetry Month #24

Daily moments paradise beyond November 24 2017