Heroes of the night (haiku)

(c) clr 2016
(c) clr 2016

Working on a youth line that is open 24/7 I have seen how challenging it can be and yet, it is also a labour of love.  However the true heroes at this agency are those who listen with compassion from 6 to 8 and 10 hours each night.  These counsellors are the true heroes of the night.

such sadness
listening all night long
the graveyard shift

uncovering truths
old wounds open – and,
untold secrets

such sadness
listening all night long
the graveyard shift

sudden tears
bearing heart and soul – sometimes,
left for vacant

such sadness
listening all night long
the graveyard shift

listeners
of compassion
heroes of the night

(c) Tournesol’16-03-18

Daily moments March 18 2016 Heroes of the night

 

Inspired At Three Word Wednesday, we are given: Uncovered , Vacant, and Abrupt(sudden).  

Instill hope

Sad Boy texting on street at night

an infant is born
one or two parents
bond and sojourn
with babe in their arms
for years to come,
attention is spent
to this child’s content.
Then something snaps
this union elapse
estrangement ensues
the youth feels alone
cannot even grasp,
yet tries to remember
this schism took place
he then comprehends
and feels a disgrace
his parent’s don’t care
or want to erase
his presence forever
he’s n’er been born.
when did this all happen?
each off on their own
no one is communicating
a youth is deteriorating
and wants to give up
knows not how to cope
but then will reach out
and we’ll instill hope.

 © Cheryl-Lynn 2014/05/17

Criticism (haibun)

“Hello, you’ve reached a counsellor. How can I help you tonight?” I waited.  I heard soft sobs; he spoke so fast, I could not decipher his story. “Are you safe right now?  Are you okay?”

“Yes, I am safe. I’m at home alone.  My parents are at my school meeting teachers. It’s the parent-teacher meeting tonight. They are going to kill me when they get home!” His voice reached a high note and he sounded more like a young, scared child…not his fifteen years.

He called out of helplessness…a last resort.  Wishing to protect his family as youths usually do, he needed to get this off his chest for the first time.  Tonight, he wept on the phone for the first time a practice he was accustomed doing privately … his nightly lullaby.

He was worried about his parents’ reaction on their return. He had an  82% average and usually he got 90+  He talked about his listlessness and difficulty concentrating lately, his insomnia, his depression…

“I can’t remember a night I have not cried myself to sleep since I was 11. My  parents say I exaggerate and that I’m just going through adolescence.”

We talked about  these “depressed” thoughts and I suggested a doctor could help to ensure he had a proper diagnosis and address his melancholy and  his insomnia;  I asked him to describe what  it was like for him to feel sad every day, how did he interact with friends, was he involved in sports.  He said he wore a mask at school.  He quickly added his parents were not abusive and  supportive. “They always tell me they love me and want me to go to them if I need help.” He broke down sobbing again.

I asked him what he was thinking…I wondered what triggered the sobs. He hesitated,  “Well, I know my parents mean well but they always criticize me and tell me it’s for my own good. But I am so tired of hearing them talk to me like that…it hurts so much.” He sobbed softly.

He told me what his parents often add to their supportive messages, my mouth dropped as I heard it, “We love you, we care, what are you STUPID?!”  I was silent.  I felt like I’d been kicked me in the belly. I could not imagine how hurtful it must feel hearing such  “criticism” day after day, for so many years.

We explored which trusted adult he could ask for support. Someone who  might be able to help his parents understand how he feels. He thought of a family friend, his father’s best friend.  I asked him if he would consider seeing his family doctor.  He seemed wary about seeing his doctor without his parents knowing even if he was permitted at his age but would consider emailing his father’s best friend after our phone call.

He sighed and said he was very tired now but would call us again. “It feels good finally getting this off my chest. Thank you.”

(Hiaku)

True criticism

appraise and appreciate

does NOT denigrate.

© Cheryl-Lynn 2014/03/17

Photo credits: Psychology and Astrology

Something about Criticism.

A call of hope

The prompt for this story says to  Dream Big. Wow!   I can make up a story, a poem or write about something I have always wished for.  The options are endless and you know what? Today my dream may be different from my dream tomorrow or next week. Are not dreams part of who we are?  Are they not mere escapes at will in order to survive the world in which we live?  Since this is my birthday weekend, I decided to add more than a dream and more like a celestial dream…something over the top and a dream I have wished come true many times.

My Angel Playing Violin by Blacktoner

A call of hope

Dawn tilted her head as she listened to the other teen at the end of the line. Let’s call this caller Gabriella.   “I can’t take it anymore,” she wept, “My father is coming home in a few hours and I know he’s going to…you know….”she sobbed softly.  Dawn could hear the fear in her caller’s voice. She was barely a teen, her mother died last year .  Gabriella had no one but her father now.   He’d started drinking heavily after his wife died.   She had an auntie and grandparents but she was too ashamed about what “they did” that she did not dare ask for help…until tonight.

Dawn listened, and tried to reassure her caller.  She  asked her if she could go to her auntie’s house for the weekend and it would give her time to think about what she might want to do later.    She encouraged Gabriella to call the youth line again from auntie’s house.

Dawn waited…there was a long pause.  “I guess I could go but he won’t let me stay overnight usually because, ….well, you know…”  Dawn thought about that for a moment and did something she has never done before. “Go to your auntie’s right now. It’s just a short walk.  Bring a bag of clothes for 3 or 4 days and once you get there, tell your auntie your father gave you permission to stay over.”

Gabriella interrupted, “But I already told you!!! He will be angry and he gets violent when he gets mad. He’ll just pick me up there and drag me back home. I’m too scared to do that.”

Dawn repeated softly, “Sweetie, I know you’re scared. You are a very brave girl. You reached out here tonight and took a chance to tell someone about your situation. I get it. And you know what? I trust that you can do one more brave thing and that is to go to your auntie with your bag of clothes. Leave a note on the kitchen table saying your auntie needed you to babysit and help her with the children for the weekend. Then call me as soon as you get settled at your auntie’s. Is that okay? Call back here and ask to speak to Dawn.”

The caller hesitated and then said, “Okay, if you say so. You will be there when I call back?” Dawn reassured her that she would. They disengaged.

Dawn then went into the quiet room where counsellors often went to unwind after a difficult call.  She shut the lights, put on her “special music” her smart phone, lied down on the comfy couch and put in her ear buds.  Soft angelic voices hummed softly, followed by a violin crying melodiously and Dawn could feel herself drift off.  Her soul seemed to lift from her body and float above her for a moment and then it floated away.

Gabriella hurried to pack her bag and walked the 4 blocks to her auntie’s house.  As soon as she walked up the steps, her auntie opened the door as if she were expecting her.  She said, “Hey there, Gaby, I was waiting for you. It’s so weird. I fell asleep a few minutes when I put Jimmy to bed and had the weirdest dream. You were crying out to me running away from a monster. It was the scariest thing.”  She hugged her niece warmly. “Well, come in sweetie.”

Gabriella’ father arrived home and shouted out to his daughter but there was no answer. He looked around the living room, went to Gaby’s bedroom and then came back to the kitchen and saw a note on the table. “I’m staying at Auntie Sue for the weekend or maybe longer. She needs me to help with Jimmy and the baby, Gaby”

He was fuming with rage.  He threw the table against the wall.  Suddenly,  he heard a strange sound, a violin a woman chanting;  then he saw his wife! But it couldn’t be.

She floated right through the living room wall.  The music continued and this apparition that resembled his wife  floated up closer to him.

“William”, the apparition said. It was not the voice of his wife but her face was so, so, lovely! His wife who he missed so much was here.  The voice seemed harsh at first. “William, I have an important message. Sit down and listen. I will only say this once, so pay attention.”

The voice spoke of the Great Spirit of slipping to the other side and consequences.  It was a long speech and although he was scared there was something peaceful about it.  As the apparition slowly lifted, the strings of the violin intensified in a melody that wrapped him with intense emotions fear, guilt and wonder.  He wept for the first time since his wife died, and wept and wept.  Then he called his sister-in-law.

Gabriella couldn’t believe her ears!  Her auntie gave her a message from her father.  She was so surprised.

Dawn heard a knock at the door of the quiet room.  Her colleague announcing that her break was finished and time to get back on the phones.  She stretched and could not help feeling tired despite her nap.  She felt like she had run on her usual 6 K run on Lakeshore.  She rubbed her legs and went to her workstation.  The phone rang, “You’ve reached a counsellor, how can I help you?”

“Hi, Dawn, I have a caller who says you told her to call back, let me patch her through.”

“It’s Gabriella. I’m at my auntie’s like you told me to do. And the strangest thing happened. My father is going to rehab and will be away for a few months. He said we’ll talk about my staying with Auntie for good and maybe he’ll just visit me for a while instead. Isn’t that strange?”

Dawn smiled, nodding gently a tear running down her cheek.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/03/08

Written for:  The Seeker’s DungeonThis week’s prompt is  Dreaming Big  (running from March 6 – March 12) Click here to see what other writers have contributed to this week’s prompt as well as last week’s.

The Red violin soundtrack (Anna’s Theme)

There is hope

deadlygothicdesigns.webs.com
deadlygothicdesigns.webs.com

Despair became her friend
sadness wrapped her like a blanket
Drinking, harming her new trend;
death seemed like her only target,
woke up mornings and saw grey
looked outside and just saw clouds
Praying, hoping was her way
now the pain just screamed too loud.
had no clue that there was hope
there are people who assist
teaching different ways to cope
seeing lifelines on a list
she decides, give life a try
called a youth line late one night
realized she needn’t die
Gave life a chance, saw the light.
Sure am glad she called that night.

Don’t give up when times are bleak
Talk to someone soon this week;
if you’re scared, check a helpline
they may become your true lifeline!
They’re always open, day and night
They never close…so call, alright?

*

Check for further resources at Stop the Stigma

*

© Cheryl-Lynn, January 18, 2014

&

On January 28, let’s talk.
Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives for every:

Text message sent*
Mobile and long distance call made*
Tweet using #BellLetsTalk
Facebook share of our Bell Let’s Talk image

*By a Bell or Bell Aliant customer only

Don’t forget, January 28th, to share those Tweets and Facebook shares will donate 5 cents…so share, share, share and so folks  talk about mental health to remove the stigma so more people, youths and adults will get help.