When the Crisis Centers Have a Crisis

Well-staffed Crisis Centers are the first step
Well-staffed Crisis Centers are the first step

Intermittent call to Duty

Despite what we might wish for when we finally retire, there are some jobs that have a way of calling it's former staff back, that leaves little room for refusal. I confess. In the past 12 years, I've allowed myself to be pulled back into the war zone, complete with the familiar rush of adrenaline, so much a part of the uniform. Don't let this shock you but Crisis Centers quite often experience a crisis of their own in the form of enormous influx of local traffic.This traffic coming in all doors of all community centers, at all hours of the day and night, while call-staff are screening incoming emergencies via our switch boards, by the minute. Quite quickly they see the need to send out their very own S.O.S. All staff, current, on-call and available retired personnel as well, are asked to respond. That latter group includes me.

Perhaps it's been a mere four or five times I've received the frantic call from my former MHMR Director of Community Services. I should have expected that call on Saturday morning, November 12th. 2016. The post-United-States-Presidential-Election-frenzy should have given me a less than subtle warning. Apparently I was too occupied with doing my best to ignore the idiocy and insanity, to remember, "Oh yes, that's right, this is what I did for a living for 30 years, (dealing with idiocy and insanity) of course they'll be calling me to jump in." I'm fully aware of my own responsibility for this since I never say, "No." Why wouldn't they call me?

Conveniently, either for the Center or for me, I live only minutes from our biggest and busiest satellite facility. I offered to let them redirect calls to me at my home so I could help with the heavy load of call-ins, but that wasn't what they had in mind for me. No, I didn't get away with making my simple offer sound helpful. The Director herself called me and requested I literally come in, as soon as possible. There was too much dread in her voice for me to even consider refusing. So, off I go to once again walk the familiar fields littered with land mines. It's really good that the armor we build around us in a span of 3 decades is forever indestructible. No refresher course needed in this line of work, I can swear to that.

One of this area's biggest & busiest, state of the art facilities

First Steps toward Hope, Health & Happiness
First Steps toward Hope, Health & Happiness

Not fond of Triage, but I am one of the best at it

When I let myself in through the Staff's entrance, one glance through the floor to ceiling glass wall leading to our reception room, told me they'd ask me to take over triage. And one look at our very exasperated intake clerk, reconfirmed my suspicion. She managed a weak smile as she literally shoved a clip board with forms and pencil at me. She also took a deep breath and mumbled to me to begin on the east side of the room.

The very first person I approached looked vaguely familiar to me although I simultaneously thought she was more than likely a total stranger to me. The introduction is simple, brief and it's immediately to the questions. Name, address, phone, Insurance info, as well as any and all the standard red tape none of us are strangers to, to say the least.

Then comes the extremely vital part, visible, audible & years of experience keen ability to screen. "Screen?" you ask. Yes, screening is the crux of Triage. We use our eyes, ears, intuition, education, training & repeated experiences to screen human beings and their immediate needs. For a veteran as myself, it's what we call, "cake," meaning quite simple. That's not at all true. If you do it right, carefully, within legal guidelines, it's complicated. I'm told I make it look easy, but no one knows the stress I squelch.

Triage means, I need to discern among these individuals draped throughout our waiting room, which of them is in the most mental, emotional pain, with as clear as possible an explanation for the onset of this pain and from whom or what it was introduced. It's also vital to determine whether or not its looks to be a police matter. In this latter case, I must use my handy little device that puts a call through immediately and directly to our police station, to which they respond without question, to be informed of the situation by me or an assistant upon their arrival. This all needs to be done as swiftly as possible without being clumsy or sloppy with pertinent information.

I should think at this point you have realized that Triage at a Crisis Center is the very same as it is in a Medical Emergency Room of any Hospital. You would be correct. The main difference for a Crisis Center is that the trauma is less physical, therefore less "visible," so to speak.

Needless to say, threatened suicides, alleged rape and/or serious physical injury (broken bones, bleeding, etc) are pushed quickly to the front of the line. Often it's necessary for a patient to be transferred to an alternate facility for medical attention before being seen by our staff.

Crisis occur any day at any hour every day, everywhere.
Crisis occur any day at any hour every day, everywhere.
It's vital for these questions to be answered if at all possible.
It's vital for these questions to be answered if at all possible.

Sorting it out on this particular day

So, as I met with these individuals one at a time, behind a wall, within a small cubby of privacy, I began to realize so many of the complaints presented had a very real connection to the anxiety, depression, anger and unrest seemingly caused by the public's violent reaction to the recent election for President in our country.

Many of them were related to this backlash of the election, however, there was a rape allegation that required immediate attention, a police report and an ambulance to the closest Hospital emergency to do the all important rape kit procedure. One of our staff counselors always accompanies an alleged rape victim to where ever she is taken and documents all activities, dialogue and treatments.

There was also an incredibly weak and pale, visibly shaken possible victim of domestic violence. Another Police matter as well as voluntary physical examination, before we could proceed with our intervention.

These two cases taken care of, I found myself in a cubby with the first young lady I'd approached when I arrived at the center. While I first had thought she looked familiar, her name and other info given, gave me no clear indication I may have seen her in the past. Just five minutes into her story, the light went on and I did in fact know this woman years ago. At that time, she was one of the minor children of a repeat client of ours. Her mother was not only a drug addict but a back-alley prostitute as well. I did lose count of the visits by that woman, either in severe withdrawal or having just been roughed up by some man in the streets. I also recalled the night I had to place an emergency call to CPS to request they immediately check on her three kids, more than likely, home alone and hungry. Of course these kids were subsequently removed from the home and placed in foster care.

A couple of years after I'd retired, I recall a former fellow-staff member calling to tell me that sadly, this addicted Mom had died from an overdose, never to have been reunited with her children. I remember my tears for those kids and the lump in the pit of my stomach. Some things, you just don't get used to.

This young lady I sat face to face with was the eldest of those kids so many years ago. These are the really tough parts of this job. They're the saddest and the most egregious realities we hope to never revisit. It happens. I'll never get used to this part because it's then that my own sense of denial likes to take over. You know the feeling. When you desperately don't want to believe it but you must. It's in your face and you do not have the privilege to look away. Let me tell you something as plainly and simply as I can, it sucks.

Her crisis this day was a complicated one. There's no need to get into all the details here. Suffice it say that her main issue involved a nasty, abusive landlord. Believe this or not folks, her landlord approached her in a drunken stupor that day to ask her who she voted for. Here's the insane part. He went into a rage, verbally attacked her and evicted her from her apartment, immediately, kids and all. He pad-locked her doors and there she was with 2 kids and no place to live at that moment.

I ask you, can we all spell C-R-A-Z-Y? Of course this was a crisis and one headed for the judge, but it was Saturday and nothing could be done until perhaps Monday morning. We made arrangements for this woman and her kids through the Red Cross, without whose cooperation, I don't know how the Crisis Centers would survive.

No need to ever feel alone.

You will get through this.  We'll help you.
You will get through this. We'll help you.

Get a grip and act like an adult human being

By the time I had been at the Center over 6 hours, I was ready to call it a day. I announced my departure and told them if necessary they could forward a phone line to my home and I'd be glad to handle the overflow in incoming calls. They thanked me and off I went.

At this point, I'd like to address my readers. Or, to put it another way, I'm addressing my sane, intelligent, mature readers who maintain common sense and believe in community, family, humanity and country.

Any of you who do not meet these simple, basic qualifications~~well, you darlings just stew in your anger and have your childish tantrums over the recent elections or for that matter, over any little thing you care to gripe about. Make your snide remarks and throw all the insults about to whomever you choose. Have no respect for man, woman, child, young, elderly...just kick 'em around if it floats your toy boat. You're suddenly an expert on all the issues of our world, right? Wrong!

Put a real good show on as though you even know what you're talking about. Go ahead, try to tell others who are older, more experienced, more educated and well-read, that you have all the answers because you watch REALITY TV or listen to TALK RADIO! That's amusing. Just not amusing enough.

Continue please to feel rejected and neglected, so mistreated by the people around you. No one understand you. No one loves you? I can't imagine why, can you? Continue to express your disappointments....awww, poor baby, you so disappointed? Who has the nerve to disappoint little important you?

You're "disappointed?" OK sweets, but trust this: You aren't nearly as disappointed as you are disappointing to others. You aren't a part of any solution, you're an enormous part of the problem. Pouting and being all worked up and oh-so-concerned....yeah, that does nothing positive. Not a damned thing.You actually have to shut your mouth and dry up your tears and take some corrective action that may be good for our country. Can you do that? I didn't think so. Bottom line? Shut up until you can come up with some successful plan to get America out of debt, erase terrorism, clean up the streets, something, anything besides shoot your ignorant mouth off about WHO is and is not good enough to run things. One thing's for sure~ YOU can't run your own damned simple life. How do you think you'll run an entire country?? I thought so. Like I said, Shut up.

Suggestion: get a grip on reality, create your own uplifting environment, try behaving like an adult. Stop spewing your ignorance & hatred. It stinks to high heaven. If you thought you were alone and lonely and secluded from society before...".you ain't seen nothin yet." Only YOU believe you are right. Take a look. Everyone else believes they're right. Hey, that's the way it goes. It's called life and freedom of choice. Who the hell are you to point at anyone? Watch that finger, it may get broken.

One more thing. I'm as exhausted and as overwhelmed as anyone else is right about now. I'm also feeling re-energized and hopeful. I'm happy to be alive, to be healthy and have a home... to have a loving family and a close circle of friends and most of all, I'm proud and happy to be an American. I will protect my rights and privileges as an American just as feverishly as we are all entitled to. Take care of your own and by the way, watch your step where mine are concerned.

In all fairness, I'm compelled to add a slight warning. I dare any one of you bitter jerks, fools, vandals and violators to come at me with your crap. Oh yes, please....go for it. I am ready for you.

To all my friends and loved ones...Have a wonderful evening! I LOVE you all.

To the rest of you. Keep rioting, beating people in the streets, starting fires and looting.. It's all you know., I'll be waiting at the Crisis Center to patch you off to the police.

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Comments 51 comments

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hello Twin...so good to see you. Yes, this kind of work can be draining, but we love it anyway, right? LOL Wishing you and yours a very special Holiday Season! Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year! Peace, Paula.

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 2 months ago from Minnesota

I love this! Right to the point. I too have done crisis counseling and it's exhausting but incredibly fulfilling. Shame on that landlord for taking his political woes out on his tenant and her children. So glad to hear the judge threw the book at him. Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 months ago from Texas


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Might even be a good idea ANY time of year!! LOL

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 months ago from Texas

There are most definitely good people among the asshats. Watch for my next hub, and I will share a true story about assholes and angels. LOL. This time of year needs more of the good heartwarming stories and less of these jerks getting away with things like that.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Most landlords are well-informed on all the laws and housing codes and know better than to treat tenants poorly. Anyone would have to know that you cannot simply lock a woman & her children out of their apt!!

I could have kissed this judge because he went beyond the minimum penalties and made this idiot landlord pay!

I hear a couple of assistants at the crisis center even volunteered to help the girl move in to her new place. Even better, when her new landlord heard the story, he gave her a discount on the first month's rent. I like to believe for every A$$hole, there are 3 or 4 really awesome people! We don't often hear such nice endings.

shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 2 months ago from Texas

Paula, so glad to read that jerk got what he deserved! At least someone did. With all the pigs I've seen in my life. . .they usually get away with their tirades. I had a landlord come through my home one time opening doors, giving no thought to the fact I could've been in the shower or otherwise compromised. In fact, I kind of was. I was breastfeeding my son until I heard my husband following this lunatic through the house all pissed off because he wasn't invited in to begin with. We should have called the police about him, but we didn't. Some landlords are scumbags who love to throw their weight around, but at least he has to help her move somewhere else! Glad you shared that update.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hello Lawrence and thanks for visiting. You'll be happy to know that the Judge threw the ole "book" at the jerk of a landlord. Just what he deserved. He was fined for harassment of the young woman & her children. He was also charged with endangering the welfare of minors due to putting them basically out on the streets. He was also ordered to pay this mom $1000.00 so she could acquire another place to live, pay her security deposit and first month's rent and the cost of her move.

Now that's what I call justice! I was thrilled to know that sometimes the system really works well for the right people in the right way!

lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 2 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


I was totally engrossed in this hub. Was it wrong to say it that way?

Probably because I've seen and dealt with people like this for most of my adult life. You work with the public you get all kinds, some of whom aren't pleasant to deal with, but the landlord was a real 'piece of work' and one day I hope he meets someone ready to stand up and not as vulnerable as the young lady was.

Keep up what you do, it's so needed!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hi Nell.....I'm sure that a cruise around HP will confirm for you that there's no shortage of anger, animosity, pouting & tantrums over the results of the elections. There's a particularly pathetic segment of American voters who are only happy when bitching & complaining.

It's not much fun dealing with them, but as always, the grown ups must try to keep the peace while tolerating the children.

Thanks so much for visiting, Nell! I love your "colors" hub!! Paula

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 months ago from England

Wow! you are a wonder! I would lose my temper with them, why on earth do people get in a stress about who is elected? over here you will hear people moaning about who got in maybe while sitting in a pub or bus queue, but fighting, kicking people out of their houses and so on? jeesh! feel sorry for the poor girl and her kids, what a jerk! well done Paula, you are, as I said, a wonder! :)

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Genna....Happy to see you and thanks so much for your considerate comment. "Happy Thanksgiving," to you and yours. Paula

Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

The Triage process is well-named. It takes a rare person to be handle these kinds of crises, well, and you have that ability in spades, Paula. Thank goodness there are people like you who supported (and still do!) our centers in times of need.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Sha....In an effort to clarify a bit further....Not my "entire working life" but over the course of 30 years, I had a hand in the Crisis Center Environment. Because I was In supervision and training, I spent a lot of that time in an office and a classroom, as opposed to the "battle field."

Most of that time was in the capacity of screening, intake and triage (as noted in my hub)

My only involvement with what you refer to as "counseling" was the work I did in Safe Havens for women & children of domestic abuse situations. I did much less counseling than I did a whole lot of "placement" and finding housing, jobs, schools etc for families who needed transition.

Yours Truly tries to avoid the "counseling." One must be extremely gentle and politically correct for that position. While I have the licensing, do I really need to tell you, I AIN'T real diplomatic?

One day we'll talk....LOL.

bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 months ago from Central Florida

Paula, I didn't know you were a crisis center counselor all your working life. Now I love you even more! It takes a very special, strong person to deal with the atrocities humans suffer at the hands of other humans. Thank God for those who make it their life's work to help heal too often unseen wounds. Those are indeed the hardest to heal.

Thank you for sharing this part of you. Loved your rant!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

I know GF that you are one of the very special, unique breed of people who can handle the ups & downs and occasional disappointments in life like a champion. You have the experience and wisdom to take what comes along and find a way to make it a positive force for good...

This is why you are counted among the heros in this world...

Love you girl. I'm so happy and proud to call you my SFAM!!

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 months ago from Orlando, FL

Oh my gosh! Way to go Effer for helping others during this time of uncertainty. Many of us got sucker punched and the majority of folks just do not know how to handle it. I am the type of person who gets back up quickly after getting knocked down so that I could assist others. "Be the change that you want to see in this world." Thank you Effer for being that change. XO

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Blossom.....So nice of you to stop by for a visit, all the way from Australia! Thank you so much for the sweet comment. I enjoyed my job despite it's trying moments. There have to be people willing to do the things that need to be done for the benefit of others.

We all deserve somewhere to turn to in times of need. Bless you, Paula

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 3 months ago from Victoria, Australia

What wonderful work you do, even in your 'retirement'. Thank you for sharing, it was interesting and moving to read about. God bless your big heart.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 3 months ago from london

My fault, perhaps. Too lofty. Have you read the last two very recent ones I wrote on America? Lofty indeed! Much love.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Man...So nice of you to return to help me your very poetic manner of speaking. I appreciate it. Yes, it's much clearer to me now. Sorry if I seemed clueless.............LOL Love you too, Paula

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 3 months ago from london

Yes, Dear, too vague.

When I said 'a different kind of me' I was reminded of my self. Our styles differ, but but I was applauding your for your stance. The microcosm is part and parcel of the macrocosm, and these meaningful messages, have a way of affecting the larger Consciousness.

Emily Dickinson, Jefferson, Emerson, Washington ... many others affected the larger Consciousness, and while the inner growth may seem slow or fading, it is generally a positive one and embedded in the American psyche like The declaration, perhaps.

The second part of your Hub was a continuation, yes, but strong, vibrant, bold, energetic and carried a necessary fervour or passion, from my standpoint. Consciousness implies energy, Spirit, Soul and like prayer, is the unseen 'drive' of an idea, which sooner or later has to take root. It is already taking root in some of the responses that you've had.

Use 'feel' with me. The Heart already knows, as is that of others. Intellect may sometimes mask the Spirit of what is being said. Know for certain, that we cannot truly serve without affecting others. Still vague? Love you, Paula.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Yeah.....MzB.....hurry and retire and release that pent-up boatload of wisdom you're holding back !! What sort of job do you have that keeps you silenced as though we live in Iran? The FBI? CIA? Secret Service?? LOL......til then! Hang in there !

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

pop....I actually retired from the State of New York Dept of MHMR & Developmental Disabilities ...having worked in various position at different times for different agencies. I was not always consistently in Crisis Management....It's complicated, but let's just say I rarely escaped tending to people with "issues."

You're absolutely correct....individuals like me are needed more than ever due to the stunting of the American psyche and the lack of emotional maturity. This is precisely why I know I got out just in time. ! LOL

Thanks for the visit!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hello Manatita...thanks for your contribution. I'm afraid your very first paragraph has me quite confused. You "take a different road" to what or where? "sometimes this kind of stuff need to be said."....Sorry again, but what kind of stuff do you refer to? What is it you feel affects the larger Consciousness & perhaps..??....I hope you'll help me understand what you are saying in terms of my hub because I want to know what you mean. You may need to be specific with me because you have lost me within your paragraph...Thank you Manatita.

MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 months ago

THANK YOU, PAULA! There are things that I would love to write about and things I would love to say, but I hold back because of my job. So one day when retirement comes ....

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 3 months ago

I know you are fantastic, but I had no idea what it was you retired from. All those people in crisis were and are extraordinarily lucky to cross your path. You are sensible, smart, quick witted, quick to react and amazingly effective. Sadly, you are needed more than ever because this generation has the emotional maturity of infants. For them everything is a crisis. Perhaps they should spend some time at a crisis center and see what real trauma is all about.

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 3 months ago from london

A different kind of me, Paula. Perhaps I take a different road but yes, sometimes these kind of stuff need to be said. I'll go further to say that it affects the larger Consciousness, and perhaps affect or slows the way in which we go forward.

Life lessons? What can we do but try? Continue ... continue. We are all instruments in one form or another and for varying causes too.

About being like a hospital, yes you're right. Sickness is sickness after all, just different levels and we find this everywhere. Higher thoughts.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Dear MzB...LOL....I had you pegged as an independent drum-beat-marcher, long ago. I'm not joking when I say I'm adept at "reading" people. I picked up on your SOLO career within the first few of your hubs.

Your comments on our era--our parents--upbringing are so profound! I raised my sons the same exact way and do not regret it for a moment.....especially when I'm able to constantly SEE the marvelous results via their lives, families & success.....

The ways of our parents, due to their own experiences, may have been very different, but they worked, damn it! In 2016, no doubt they'd be reported to CPS, investigated and perhaps had their brats taken from them. Plain English.....what bullcrap!

Once I matured into adulthood (which was pretty damned young back in the '60's) I saw as clear as day what my parent's did, why they did it, how they did it....and it all came down to "loving their kids and wanting the best for them & molding them into human beings worth a spot in the world!"

The news this morning, tells us that colleges have suspended classes and allowed for "healing time" for students who have been thrown into psychosis by the elections....time to cry and vent....time for holding hands, hugging and "Kum-By-Ya" and vats of hot chocolate......even a few therapy dogs!!

Give me a F*&%ing break, will you please!.....Get up off your soft ass, blow your nose and stop your ugly driveling! Cut with the friggan melodrama and go back to getting an education...that your parents are paying for. Let's go! Move it. Life is a bitch kid and your panzy-ass attitude will be your undoing. Don't make me repeat myself, because as my parents used to say to me...''I'LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT!!"

Oops....sorry...I must have been day dreaming..... Have a great day MzB. Sounds like Mr. B has a very fascinating podcast & chat room. You 2 must have never ending material for conversation!

Peace & Love........Paula

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Ruby-girl....Thanks so much for stopping by. A woman with the ER experience, triage etc...sure knows the score. You also know that after so long, we have to be very careful not to become robotic & insensitive. Often, I find myself sitting somewhere, isolated and deep in thought, trying to hold on to the realization that not ALL men are low-life dirt bags who like to beat on women and terrorize their families. Know what I mean?

I also need to be keenly aware of how very lucky/blessed I have been in my own personal life .,,despite the unbearable tragedies. This is tougher than people might think~~unless, in fact, they walk a mile in our moccasins!.........Take care Miss Ruby. Paula

MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 months ago

Paula, my friend, I love weirdoes who march to the beat of their own drum, especially since it takes one to know one. I stay in trouble, so perhaps you do too. I was unaware of the type of counseling that you did, so my hat is off to you and those like you who are the dumping grounds for human’s mental and sometimes physical garbage. I agree with your take names and kick-ass approach.

Humans have changed. Americans have changed. We are no longer the self-reliant, stiff backboned American of the pre-Dr. Spock days. Our parents whipped our butts, without being charged with child abuse, and told us to keep a stiff upper lip. Our parents went through Depressions and wars and did just that, and then I don’t know what happened. Today our little softie children go around with their feelings on their sleeves and keep crisis centers in business.

My husband does a podcast and runs a chat room online. He is aghast at the things he is hearing from people whose candidates lost, and from people whose candidate won. Seems like some of the winners aren’t happy with the results of their own voting. I guess you might call those the “perpetually dissatisfied.” I’ve observed in my many years that there are people in existence who aren’t happy unless they are unhappy. So, somebody’s always being traumatized by a Will o’ the Wisp. All I can say is “bless their little pointed heads!” May their next life give them something to really complain about.

I’m not talking about your clients who are shot, raped or beaten, so I hope nobody takes me for a truly cruel person. This is a great article, and your descriptions of the inner workings of a crisis center are very informative.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 months ago from Southern Illinois

I had no idea what your vocation was, now I know! I've worked triage in the ER but under the supervision of a Doctor. I admire your ability to deal with this type of trauma. Life goes on and there will be more elections. The protestors need to get a grip. Many who were interviewed said that they did not vote. Thanks for sharing your time at the crisis center...

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

bill-bro....Although I briefly mention my varied career history here & there in my writings & communications, I never felt it pertinent to announce nor allow any of it to narrowly define me.

In the course of my life, living, struggling to survive & keeping 4 sons in line, educated, happy & healthy...like many single Moms, I worked numerous & various full & part-time jobs~simultaneously. It has never occurred to me that I did anything more or less than any of us.

I have lent my talents & energies to such a variety of positions, I can't imagine one can be singled out as to define who I am (or even what I do, did or hope to do with the rest of my old, tired life.)

I'm convinced I see myself very differently than perhaps the world may ...or may not. Forced at a very young age to forge ahead, I had one specific goal. Get my kids and myself through this thing called life, as best, honestly & successfully as possible. Be proud, independent & indefatigable without running over others, taking what I haven't earned or feeling anymore exceptional nor important than those people to my right and left.

I admit to being one of those "weirdos" who persists in marching to the beat of my own drum. It's in sync with the beat of my heart...and my heart is the real definition of who I am. Love me or hate me, take me or leave me....just do not F%$# with me or my loved ones & we'll all get along.

I'm no one more nor less than my authentic self, whom I have made a conscientious effort to be 100% true to, come hell or high water.

This has served me well just as often as it has created grief.

Sounds like "life" to me. It should sound like that to all of us. Love & hugs, Sis (Frankly, I have no time nor tolerance for the weak, weepy crybabies who crawl & beg among us.)

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 months ago from Olympia, WA

I had no idea you did that work, Sis. How did I miss that information over the years? Well bless you for doing it, and a huge hug from your Bro. As for the whiners, I love your no-nonsense, in-your-face response. Kick ass and take names, and oh, by the way, grow the hell up! LOL No wonder why I love you, Sis!

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Thanks for stopping by Eric....Since there's massive, wide spread depression permeating the world, there can never be enough safe havens for people to turn to in order to help defend against man's inhumanity toward man.

Have a good day.

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Extremely interesting. A little depressing and uplifting at the same time. Thank you for the look inside both the center and you.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hi Jodah....always nice to see you. I need to mention that when I retired, I did sign on as an on-call independent contractor, in the event I was needed under certain circumstances. Of course it's always at my discretion, but unless I'm otherwise occupied, I rarely refuse them.

I kept my hand in the Agency since retiring by teaching a course to new recruits a couple of times a year.

Thank you for the compliment Jodah, but I believe we're all good at something and this kind work just happens to be my forte. At some point, I was blessed with an uncanny ability to read people. I knew I wanted to use my abilities to benefit my fellow men. The job has given back to me ten fold. Thanks again. Peace. Paula

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fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Shyron...you are too sweet. I appreciate your comments always. I don't mind filling in now and then. Spending a few hours at the Center keeps me humble. Whenever I feel I have something bothering me, I just remind myself of the people in crisis who come for assistance in the hopes their life will have meaning at some point.

There's a lot of sadness, abuse and despair in this world, Shyron. Often, the only hope someone has is a compassionate soul, willing to take action on their behalf. Nothing inspires me to stand and fight like the mistreatment and/or oppression of a human being by another individual or group who erroneously believe they have more power than the next.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving....Paula

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Jodah 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

One problem with being good at a job, Paula, if you are still close by that your expertise will constantly be called on when trouble arises. You must have been very well respected to still be getting called in after so many years retired. A bit like a movie where the long retired detective or sheriff are called on to take control or solve a case.

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Shyron E Shenko 3 months ago

Dear Paula, my dear friend the people who come to the crisis center are fortunate that they will have you take care of them even though you are retired. It is comforting to know that people who really need you will be taken care of.

Blessings and hugs dear friend.

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shanmarie 3 months ago from Texas

I bet! I've got enough fuel for that engine without going into a crisis center. And now I'm gonna email you because I just thought of something funny, but I don't want to share it here.

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fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Frankly Shan, I have plenty more than enough to write about. I've been lacking the incentive (as my sister would say, "the Oomph!!" ) I tell ya, 6 hours at a crisis center will start your engine every time.

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shanmarie 3 months ago from Texas

Good. I wish you'd been my mentor in college instead of Karen! Of course, hubs would be interesting in the meantime. You did say you wanted something to write about. . .;)

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fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hello dear Mr. Mike....and TWO comments for you as well.

Technically, I like to believe my vocation, which now is more like my avocation since I'm fully retired for 12 years......is just a matter of convenience to the Center and a way for me to stay grounded forever.

Sooooo, since you never knew what I did for a living, are you trying to tell me you finally understand why I seem to always be in "crisis mode?" and ready to fight for the under dog? Gee, sorry Mike. I guess I should have made an announcement sooner but the truth is, I like leaving it all back at my retirement party! LOL

Thanks for reading.

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fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Yes, Shan, I'm sure you have a ton of questions. I'll take my vitamins and rest up just for your inquisition!

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fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Martie....My sweet friend....as if you don't have enough on your plate, we Americans certainly don't need to complain to you! Oh the unrest is everywhere and so very sad it is. It is only the strong who survive.....and as our BFF Maria tells me, we must take care of ourselves because too many people depend upon strong women like us.

Yes, girlfriend, there are times I'd like to be counted among the weak & foolish. I really could use the sleep!....You hang tough, GF and remember how much we love you and stand tall beside you!

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mckbirdbks 3 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Two comments. The whole community must be in crisis. It must be good to know that you are always needed. And good for the crisis Center, that you are there for them in their time of need. You could become very busy.

I guess, I did not know your vocation.

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shanmarie 3 months ago from Texas

Oh my gosh, Paula. I remember asking and you telling me you made a point to ignore it. So much for that. And all that pretty much after assisting with another crisis. Time to take care of you.

And now I also owe you a thank you for answering my question somewhat with this hub. But I am sure you know I have plenty more. LOL. So thanks for that, among other things. As if I didn't already have tons of respect for you in general and for what you do, this solidifies than respect even more.

Hugs and love to you as well.

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MartieCoetser 3 months ago from South Africa

Dear fpher, people with the very childish attitude of 'I want it my-my-my way, or else I'll throw a tantrum for the world to see' are usually totally inable to comprehend the other side of the coin. We have millions of them down here, millions who believe they were not loved, treated unfair, while they have done NOTHING wrong, and therefor they are entitled to demand whateber they want. They can't put themselves in the shoes of those who had hated them, or those who didn't/don't agree with them; they have no idea what makes people do what they do, and therefor they are being controlled by their own emotions and feelings.

Dear Lord, let them grow up and obtain knowledge and wisdom, is all we can pray. (Just realize again that knowledge without wisdom is actually a dangerous medium.)

Best of luck, love, and peace to you!

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fpherj48 3 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Hello My Maria....I still miss you, even though I get to see you now and then, here and there. It gets annoying when I have to miss my buddies and loved ones.....so am I glad to see you? Hell, yeah.

You showed up here pretty damned quick, girlfriend! Were you just around the corner? Gosh, to be young and frisky like you. :(

Thanks for your sweet words. You bring smiles where ever you roam.

I do take care of me. I have to. I think I've got it down to a routine, possibly a science. One day I'll write you all about it, so you'll know what to expect when you get to be THIS old! Love & hugs..P

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marcoujor 3 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Paula,

So wonderful to 'see you in action'... I knew your field but not exactly what you did / can still do with some of the sharpest assessment and critical thinking skills I could imagine.

You just may be called in for some time to come. Promise to preserve yourself and take excellent care of you.

Us strong women will be needed more than ever - for the long haul.

Love you and your big heart, Maria

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