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Thoughts on Survival - 20 Years After Workplace Violence

Updated on July 27, 2019
PegCole17 profile image

Peg Cole is a self-published author who writes stories, book reviews, interviews and how-to articles.

Source

Interview with Maria Jordan

June 2019 marks 20 years since Psychiatric Hospital Administrator, Maria Jordan, and a fellow colleague were taken hostage by a former employee. The two women were held at gunpoint for 46-hours during which Maria was shot six times.

In this interview, Maria shares her reflections and positive lessons after surviving the horrific attack that forever changed her life.

"One of the most valuable lessons I learned is that I do not always need to know what time it is."

HubPages Author, Marcoujor, Maria Jordan

Source

Your Thoughts While Being Held at Gunpoint?

"From start to finish, the incident lasted 46 hours. This translates to 2,760 minutes and I was counting. Today, as I relish an afternoon nap whenever possible, I cannot imagine how I remained awake for this entire time.

"I remained focused during the daylight hours when I worried most about spontaneous action from the perpetrator - triggered usually by the actions of the State Police.

"Both nights, when Carol and the perpetrator were able to sleep, my internal dialogue consisted of anything and everything. Some of my endless thoughts were:

  • Would I survive to ever hug Geoff, Mom and Alvin again?
  • Was my impatient but loving family holding it together?
  • Would Carol, my patients and my staff be okay?

"I didn't speak throughout this time. My mind, however, was going 'a mile a minute,' as Mom would have said. I thought about many strong women in my life, both alive and dead. I imagined their words of empowerment, support and love. This helped me endure as I was not willing to let my "Strength Team" down.

"Lastly, I prayed - almost constantly. As my body weakened, I worked hard to keep my mind and thought processes strong."

Source

No matter how tough one's bravado, we all need to accept our vulnerabilities - being patient, first and foremost, with ourselves when the unimaginable happens."

— Maria Jordan

What Is It Like to be Shot and Not Get Medical Attention for Two Days?

"In game show speak, this stretch of time felt like Double Jeopardy.

"Being shot six times was physically agonizing - the worst, ongoing pain of my life to date. Simultaneously experiencing 46 hours of gross mishandling by the Chief of the PA State Police gave me a range of feelings: anger, frustration, fear, helplessness and others, which would not be polite to detail.

"When rescued by the SWAT Team and the Penn Star paramedics, I felt a surge of hope, gratitude and more relief than I dreamt was possible."

Deliver Me

Who or What Gave You Strength During Your Long Recovery?

"I drew strength from my family and close friends who knew intuitively of my need to initially regroup after coming home from my longest shift ever - from June 16th to July 3rd (when I was discharged from the hospital) to be exact.

"I am 'furrever' indebted to my two beautiful Labrador retrievers who nursed me through my toughest years - Alvin and Aunt Baby. These gentle giants reminded me that vulnerability is necessary in the healing process.

"The toughest part of my recovery was dealing with my limitations gracefully. This included accepting help from my husband, Mom and my sister, all of whom showed unconditional love, acceptance and patience along my road to recovery."

My Source of Strength

Aunt Baby and Alvin
Aunt Baby and Alvin

Keep fighting! Don't give up! Even when the end is (seems) near, imagine the best, imagine life, imagine embracing the sun."

Lifted

What Are Signs That Something is Not Right with a Coworker?

"There is not a common thread with all perpetrators of workplace violence. Far from inclusive, the following is a list of red flags to watch for in coworkers and/or potential employees:

  • history of / active substance abuse issues
  • history of instability / mental illness
  • work history including jobs of short duration / time intervals between positions
  • preoccupation / fascination with violence (including the news, history, etc.)
  • difficulty getting along with peers / supervisors
  • explosive outbursts / poor impulse control
  • blames others for his / her problems / behaviors
  • poor work performance / in progressive discipline / recently terminated."

There is not a common thread with all perpetrators of workplace violence."

— Maria Jordan

What Advice Do You Have for Others About Recognizing Signs of Unbalanced Workers?

"Safety for you and your coworkers is paramount to provide safe, competent care, and service to your patients or customers.

  • When all is said and done, listen to your gut; your instincts.
  • Don't be confrontational with a subordinate or a coworker showing signs of erratic behavior. Get away from the scene - quietly and matter-of-factly, if possible.
  • If your path is blocked, be silent and as outwardly calm / flat as possible.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings / the environment."

Lunatic Asylum, Columbus, Ohio, 1857, a wood drawing by Nathan Kelley
Lunatic Asylum, Columbus, Ohio, 1857, a wood drawing by Nathan Kelley | Source

What is Your Best Advice on What to Do About Workplace Concerns?

"Employers are legally and morally bound to assure a workplace that has a zero-tolerance policy for threats / acts of workplace violence.

"Employers must fully investigate / act upon as necessary any / every report of behaviors viewed by the employee as threatening in any way.

"Practically speaking, if you find yourself in a workplace setting that does not value the safety of all employees / customers, it's time to start looking for another job immediately. Your safety is priority. This includes your life.

"If I were interviewing for a job today, I would want to hear about how safety ties into the agency's mission, philosophy and policy."

Legal and Ethical Standards

in the workplace. It is the law that you cannot harass or physically harm someone. A company ethical standard goes beyond the law, and it states how allegations of harassment will be handled, investigated and of how disciplinary actions will be taken.

What Physical and Mental Effects Plague You These Years Later?

"The physical and emotional residue of the incident has greatly diminished over the years.
Physical reminders include:

  • pain in my right wrist after 15-20 minutes of repetitive movement - as in typing, crafting, etc.
  • acknowledging and communicating that my mammograms will always show bullet fragments
  • the inability to have an MRI test due to the presence of metal in my body. Metal detectors also take issue with me.

Emotional triggers / reminders include:

  • the sound of fire crackers
  • movies, television with heavy themes of violence, guns, etc.
  • the general (thankfully, temporary) feeling of being blindsided
  • my split-second transition to protectress with students - especially in the unpredictable environment of a psychiatric unit."

My greatest blessing is to be alive, kicking and making even a small difference with my life."

How Has This Experience Strengthened Your Faith, Your Life, Your Relationships?

"This experience has made ME stronger. My faith, life and relationships with others have likewise become stronger on every level.

"By all counts, I should have died twenty years ago. My greatest blessing is to be alive, kicking and making even a small difference with my life - both personally and professionally.

"I cherish life and everyone who has (had) a place in my heart. I don't take people, experiences and time for granted. I know first-hand that tomorrow is not promised. I am ever grateful for today."

Tomorrow is not promised. I am ever grateful for today."

What Was the Legal Process Like After this Experience?

"I experienced the best and the worst in the legal and law enforcement arenas.

"The incident was grossly mishandled by the PA State Police Captain. However, the SWAT Team was heaven-sent in their efficiency, competence and protectiveness. They even visited me in the hospital as I recuperated, sharing their impatience at the handling and timing of Administrative decisions.

"The District Attorney's office in Montgomery County and Judge William Tressler (now retired) were amazingly competent - treating Carol's family, my family and me with great respect, dedication and advocacy.

"My court appearance occurred three years later, in 2002. I was emotionally strong enough to craft and deliver a powerful Victim Impact statement - including honoring Carol's memory. Even more difficult than looking the perpetrator in the eyes was the lack of eye contact or acknowledgement from the PA State Police Captain, who sat in the same row as me."

Was the Justice System Effective in Punishing this Offender?

"Yes, to me. Sadly, I cannot speak for Carol.

"The perpetrator was convicted of first degree murder and attempted murder. He was sentenced to life plus 42 - 85 years in prison."

I am grateful my role is not that of God or a judge."

What Are Your Feelings Toward Him After 20 Years?

"I am thankful beyond belief that I will never see or speak to him again. I am proud that some days he / the incident does not even cross my mind. My feelings towards him have been objectified after much work on my part.

"This man gave up his life (freedom, career, family) and took the life of another because of out of control, drug-induced behavior. This was not (never will be) acceptable behavior - regardless of the reason. In this case, I am grateful my role is not that of God or a judge."

The Show Must Go On

What Else Would You Like People to Know About What You Went Through?

"I did not have an opportunity to study or prepare for this curve ball in my life. If I realized what I would have to endure, I may likely have crumbled in resolve / my will to survive. So as much as I HATE being blindsided, in this case, it sobered me into a sustaining 'fight or flight' mode.

"Music has always been my passion. During my time of recovery, music began to serve an additional healing role for me. Just like people, every song tells a story - albeit different for all of us as listeners and interpreters of the lyrics and melodies. . . Songs speak to me about my journey from 1999 until today, twenty years later . . . I believe my life lessons are universal on some level to us all.

"No matter how amazing this Queen song is, The Show WILL Go On - with or without you. Know and remember your priorities in life.

"No matter how tough one's bravado, we all need to accept our vulnerabilities - being patient, first and foremost, with ourselves when the unimaginable happens.

None of us know how strong we are until tested - in many ways, perhaps many times, throughout life. True heroes survive day to day life. I am blessed to be surrounded by many heroes who remind me to "Rise Up" - including my mentor Mariah. This was her song - a reminder to me of the blessing that she was in my healing process.”

Rise Up

A Note of Appreciation

My heartfelt thanks to my dear friend, Maria Jordan, aka Marcoujor, who kindly revisited this horrific event in her life on its twenty-year anniversary providing answers to my probing and often difficult questions. Her resilience, enthusiasm, kindness, positive attitude and joy for life is inspirational.

More of her thoughts can be found in her writings: "A Toolbox For Novice Nurses," "The Rain and Everything," "Kylie's Blossoms," and her many other works.

Her story has been featured on the TV shows "I Survived," on the BIO Channel, and in "Obsession: Dark Desires, A Dangerous Mind, Season 3, Episode 3," on the ID Channel.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Peg Cole

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    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      4 weeks ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Dear Nellieanna,

      Each time I read Maria's answers to these questions, I learn something new or am reminded of an important lesson. I'm grateful that she was willing to share this experience and the valuable things she took away from this terrible event.

      Thank you for coming by to read this and for the sweet and loving remarks. Hugs.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      4 weeks ago from TEXAS

      Oh, my! This is far too powerful and full of important ideas and considerations for just one reading, but I had to tell you my enormous respect and admiration, Maria, for what you did in response to a vicious attack and what you suffered because of it. I also treasure the many jewels of wisdom you gained and shared here from it. No wonder you are the outstanding, inspiring person you are, Maria. My love and gratitude for sharing this, along with all the treasures you share.

      Peg, you've done a magnanimous service to do the interview and share it with us! Thank you and love to you!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      5 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Peg and Martie,

      Peg, I thought surely I had answered your last sweet comment. So happy your angel arrived and that you love her, as I do you.

      Martie, Your words are so very kind. You know I hold you close in my heart despite the miles that separate us.

      Love, hugs and peace to you both, Maria

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      5 weeks ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Dear Martie,

      I'm so grateful for your reaction to this interview, for your kind words and for your heartfelt thoughts about our mutual friend. Thank you so much for sharing the significant impact she's had on your life. Beyond the sadness of the tragic event that happened to her, we can learn so much about kindness and forgiveness and inspiration.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      5 weeks ago from South Africa

      Dear Peg, this is one of the best interviews I have ever read. Always, when reading Maria's horrific story, sadness overpowers me completely. Maria's survival is an amazing miracle. Indeed, 'her resilience, enthusiasm, kindness, positive attitude and joy for life is inspirational.'

      Dearest Mar, you are an excellent role model for everyone. Knowing you - even only online - enhanced and still enhances my perspective on life and everything people have to endure. Your thoughts (and advice) are absolutely precious. Without it I would have made many wrong decisions. You have survived six gunshots and tremendous physical and emotional agony in order to be a mentor to each and everyone who has the privilege to meet you. You know I adore you with all my heart ♥♥

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Dear Mar, I love love love my tiny angel in blue. Returning home from a 7 hour flight after a 5 hour wait once we checked out of the resort, it was such a pleasant surprise to find that bit of mail from you. Thank you, dear one, for always thinking of me and others. Love.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Paula, You are an angel to come by and share your kindness and sympathies for a dear fellow writer. I feel so special to be part of the group that surrounds these beautiful angels on earth. Love and hugs.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Dear Shauna,

      Sorry for the delay. I've just returned from a wonderful vacation in Hawai'i and found your endearing comment.

      My heart aches for the loss of your dear dad and I can completely understand how deeply it affected you. Our daddies shape our images of the perfect man and set the course for our futures. They adore their little girls who have an uncanny aptitude for wrapping them around their little tiny fingers. Nothing can replace them once they move on to the next realm. We can only pray and hope that we will all meet again in the next life. I'm glad that you took some time off to reflect and connect with your inner feelings and to experience the emotions rather than hold them inside. I still miss my dear Daddy even fourteen years after his passing. Love to you and a great big hug, sister.

      Thanks for coming back to share your reaction to Maria's TV story. The reenactment was well done and chilling in its portrayal of these true events. We are all blessed to have met someone who not only survived this unthinkable act, but lived to inspire others with a kind heart and compassion for others.

      Thanks again for your visit and your heartfelt words. Hugs to you.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      2 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Hi Sha and Paula,

      Your comments make me smile from the inside out. I do have a master plan to send "some form of angel of protectiveness" to my circle of friends over the next few months. I'm trying to select the perfect time and a color I associate with you. Your feedback makes me feel like I'm on the right track!

      Love you both and Peg too. Happy Monday and be peaceful, Maria

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Sha.....Girlfriend...you just gave me goosebumps! I was coming back here to comment again too! You see, I got an "Angel" from our "Angel on Earth" yesterday,as well! This is all becoming too spooky to me.....Did you and I exchange vibes too? Eeek! I believe I referred to our Miss Maria as an Earth Angel, many moons ago. So, it's settled. She is one!

      Sha, honey.....my love and sympathies to you. So very sorry for your huge loss. Of course taking some time off from the world at this time is the best thing you can do for yourself. Know I am with you....holding your hand with whatever support you want.

      I said to Maria that I feel it's wonderful that so many of us have formed a bond of friendship here and have one another's backs! I feel I've known & loved you ladies forever. Please be well, Sha. LOve ya, Paula

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 months ago from Central Florida

      Peggy and Mar, I'm compelled to come back and leave another comment. In my first, I mentioned how Mar has an innate sense of knowing when her friends need a hug/boost.

      Yesterday, I received in the mail a beautiful purple angel from Maria. It's now hanging over my rear view mirror so I always see her. What's ironic, is Mar's note said that she saw my post on Facebook just before Memorial Day about my recently deceased father who gave 34 of his years to the USAF. What's even more ironic (magical) than that, is last Friday I receive several boxes of Daddy's personal property, much of which I didn't expect. Needless to say, his death became very real for me. I ended up taking this entire past week off work because I simply wanted to be alone.

      Mar's gift arrived on that last day.

      There's no doubt in my mind that an angel slipped herself into Mar's soul when she was conceived.

      Months ago, Mar sent me the link to her story. I didn't view the video until today. OMG! I can't imagine living thru what she did. One thing I noticed is she was wearing the necklace she wears on her avatar for her website. I'm thinking Miss Sammie gave that to her many years ago. It gives her strength and connects her to the angel that has encapsulated her body.

      No doubt in my mind. Maria Jordan is an angel on this Earth.

      I love you, Mar! And I love you, Peggy for sharing this beautiful soul with whomever may have not known her before.

      Love to you both,

      Sha

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      2 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Thank you, Shannon. I appreciate your kind words very much.

      Kimmie, You have been a faithful and loving friend over these years. It's so great to see you here.

      Peg, Hope you are having a wonderful week. Love and hugs, Maria

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hello Kimmie,

      Thank you for your kind remarks and for taking time to read this article. So good to see you here. May God bless you, too.

      Hugs

    • profile image

      Kimmie 

      2 months ago

      Dear Peg

      I am still in awe of Maria’s strength and perseverance through this horrific time in her life. I am so proud to call her friend and thank you as well for presenting a great interview so she may share her story as she offers her wisdom and insite.

      God bless you both

      Kimmie

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Good morning, Maria. I'm grateful for knowing you and for your willingness to share your story with these friends who clearly love you. Love and hugs.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hello Shannon, Thanks for the astute comment and for your kind words. Maria's kindness and strength are an inspiration.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hello Lois Stern, What an honor to have you visit this article. I remember when Maria introduced us to your collection of stories in "Tales 2 Inspire." Her story is one that truly does inspire admiration and hope. Thank you.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Good morning, Genna. So good of you to come by. Agreed, "we are as a society in dire trouble." We've drifted from our core values and have allowed violence and hatred to serve as our entertainment. Seems like it's time for a shift in the other direction. Again, thanks for taking time to visit and for the intuitive comment.

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      2 months ago from Texas

      Maria has always been a source of inspiration to me. Her kindness is beyond measure and her strength amazes me. There's a visceral reaction to her story, for sure, which makes me even more aware of the blessing she is.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      2 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Good morning, Peg. I am humbled by the response this interview is receiving. Thanks once again for the suggestion and sharing.

      Paula, You are part of my heart now. Your feedback, friendship and love mean the world to me.

      How lovely to see you here, John. Thanks for your kind words. Hope all is well with you.

      Chitrangada, I agree wholeheartedly that we need more love, positive thoughts and peacemakers. Thank you for your empathic and compassionate remarks.

      Verlie, Your words comfort me from the inside out. Thanks for your loyalty, friendship and love.

      Genna, I hope and believe that this interview will be shared far and wide. I am personally sharing with my colleagues, former and current students...raising awareness is more important than ever. Thanks for your wisdom and insights.

      Lois, It is an ironic benefit that this trauma leant itself to an avenue for my self growth. Thanks for the positive and inspirational role you play in my life.

      Wishing you all a peaceful day.

      Hugs, Maria

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Verlie, Hello! It is good to know how therapeutic our fur babies are when we have difficulties. They really seem to sense our moods and provide comfort, company and healing.

      I was also very sad about Carol and touched in the TV presentation when Carol twice tried to convince the shooter to let Maria leave and get medical attention. Her courage was inspiring.

      Thank you so much for coming by and for taking time to read and comment. Hugs.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hello Chitrangada,

      You have identified clearly what Maria has in abundance: inner strength. Thanks so much for your keen observations. Her story makes us realize there is way too much anger and hatred in our world. Hoping we both will see that change in our lifetimes.

      God bless you as well. Hugs.

    • profile image

      Lois W. Stern 

      2 months ago

      I was fascinated, pained yet in a strange way also uplifted by your story Maria. Fascinated to read a more in-depth story of your experience, uplifted because it gave you further avenues for growth. I was mesmerized from start to finish!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      2 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      When tragedies such as these become common occurrences, and funding for mental health and gun control measures are fading, we are as a society in dire trouble. I agree with Mike in that "Maria, in the toughest possible initiation, you became a role model," and is an inspiration to us all. Bless you both for this wonderful and courageous interview. Hugs. I only wish that this could be read by everyone.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      2 months ago from Canada

      Kudos Peg for this interview with our friend Maria Jordan who we are blessed to have with us today, after surviving the worst workplace violence imaginable. It pains me to even think about the ordeal she, and her co-worker Carol (who so sadly did not survive) went through at the hands of this monster who will thankfully never again see the light of day except through prison bars.

      I was touched by the way that Maria's two lovely 'fur baby's' aided in her healing after such a horrific experience. And happy that she had the strong support of her family (her dear Mom) and her husband Geoff, and the music!

      Thanks so much for sharing with us Peg.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      2 months ago from New Delhi, India

      A great survival story/ incident. This was so engaging and inspirational and I appreciate both of you, Maria and Peg, for sharing this with the readers.

      I can visualise the unimaginable situation, Maria had to undergo and how much inner strength, she must have had, to come out of this.

      Thank God, it was all over. Yes, the scars remain, but you have inspired many.

      Unfortunately, these days we see lot of anger, hatred, depression and negativity all around. The World needs more love, more positive thoughts and peacemakers.

      Thank you and God Bless.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hello John, Thanks so much for taking time to come by and for the kudos. Maria was incredible in her exacting detail and clarity. I had little to do with it.

      I know she will be delighted to see your name here. Cheers my dear brother.

    • PapaJohn2U profile image

      John 

      2 months ago from New Jersey

      Peggy, as always, you have done an excellent job!

      Maria, congratulations on surviving with dignity and compassion. You are truly an inspiration!

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hello Paula, It's so good to have friends drop in with support. I had the same reaction to the disc with the "I Survived" episode. It was difficult to watch - heart wrenching. I can only imagine how difficult it was to experience. We are lucky to know someone has been through this and yet continues to shine with an appreciation for life.

      God bless you and keep you safe. It's an honor to know you as well. Hugs.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Mary, That is a wise way to look at our daily interactions. I once heard someone say, "When someone is rude or behaves inappropriately towards us we should ask ourselves, 'I wonder what is troubling them?'"

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      2 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Thanks, Flourish. With your experience, you certainly understand how complex and protracted these situations can be. I completely agree that safety of all needs to be our #1 priority.

      Thanks, Linda. If sharing this story and what I have learned helps raise awareness of the potential for violence to even a few readers, I am grateful.

      Thanks, Pam. You are a dear and respected friend. Your words of kindness are most appreciated.

      Aw thanks, true blue Sha. The hard part of this story is over. I'm ever grateful to have survived for so many reasons. Friends like you are at the top of my list.

      Yes, I agree that the incidents of violence in all kinds of environments is skyrocketing, dear Peggy. I'm grateful to Peg for giving me the opportunity of this interview. Thanks for your wise comments.

      Thanks for the beautiful comment, Dora. Nice to meet you!

      Mary, I vowed this incident would not jaundice my view of all people. Like you, I believe that most people have a good and decent heart. Very happy to meet you!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Peg & Maria......Peg, a wonderful interview. Kudos, dear writer-friend. I appreciate your professionalism and gentleness, dealing with this dark time in our sweet Maria's life.

      Maria was kind enough to share this nightmare ordeal with me via a disc, a few years ago. I clearly recall not budging a single muscle while watching & listening, as well as my shock & total numbness afterward. To me, Maria is a Hero, Angel on earth. I am so saddened by the senseless loss of her friend and co-worker, Carol.

      I must echo Sha's comments about Maria.....so true.

      God bless both of you dear ladies. I'm honored to know you. Hugs, Paula

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hi Dora, Maria is truly one of those people we need in our lives to serve as an example of strength and love. Thank you so much for coming by this interview to read and comment.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hello Peggy,

      You're right about the volume of violence in our society. Sometimes I wonder if there is more than there used to be in old times or if we just hear about it more routinely on TV, in movies and on social media. Either way it doesn't look like we've embraced "All We Need is Love."

      Thank you so much for your kind remarks on the interview and for taking time to come by.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hi Shauna,

      You're absolutely right about Maria's thoughtfulness on any and all occasions where a greeting card is appropriate. She not only remembers birthdays and holidays, she honored my mother and my Aunt Louise with cards, gifts and other generous and time-consuming acts of thoughtfulness. They considered her part of the family. She is the ideal friend.

      As far as the interview goes, I had the easy part. I was truly concerned about bringing much of this into the front light of fragile memories. My hope is that readers will absorb a thing or two about the precious nature of life and the power of love and positivity.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      One never knows the many things that take place in every employee we interact with each day. We just have to trust in the goodness of people.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 months ago from The Caribbean

      Peg, thanks for bringing us this interview. What exceptional strength portrayed by Maria Jordan! So sorry that she had to endure this trauma; happy that she survived and is sharing her experience for the benefit of others.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Too many people today are confronted with violence, whether it is road rage, school shootings, or an incident in which Maria and her workmate Carol became victimized. Maria thankfully survived and now serves as a role model for many people who know her personally or through her writings.

      Peg, you did a great job with this interview with Maria. She is a generous and loving soul. Reliving this experience could not have been easy, but she generously shared some tips that might serve to help others in a similar situation.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 months ago from Central Florida

      Peggy, this is heartbreaking. I know of Maria's horrific experience back in 1999, but never heard her talk about it in such detail. This interview is testimony to her strength and love for life. She's one of my favorite people. Mar never forgets a birthday, holiday, or special event. She's one of the few people I know who still send cards in the mail and little gifts to let you know she's thinking of you. I can't tell you how many times she's surprised me with an uplifting gift for no reason other than she suspected a pick-me-up from a friend was exactly what was needed.

      Mar's spirit, generosity, and loving soul never cease to amaze me. To have overcome such an ordeal and not be a bitter person as the result is angel power. Mar truly is an angel on Earth.

      Thank you for this interview, Peggy. I know how difficult it must have been for both of you.

      Mar, I love you. You'll always be my True Blue!

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hello Pamela, Thanks so much for your deeply meaningful and thoughtful comment. When someone shares an experience like this it really helps to put minor problems into perspective. Glad you stopped by.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hi Linda, Thanks for coming by to read this interview with Maria. She has a lot of wisdom to share along with lessons on overcoming workplace trauma.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hi Flourish, I'm glad you came by to share some of your experiences in this type of situation. From the HR perspective, I would imagine the proof for dismissal of an employee who appears to be impaired would be tremendous. Thanks so much for your visit.

      I recall working a flight on which one of the airline's top executives "appeared to be under the influence." We weren't allowed to call it like it was. He was flat out drunk, screaming at the flight attendants, intentionally breaking his wine glass on his fold down tray and complaining about the dinner service. Some of us received a letter of apology later. Wish I still had that.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Peg, I think you covered this horrific event in Maria's life in a very compassionate, thorough fashion. I have known Maria for many years now also, and I don't know anyone who has recovered from such a horrible event like this.

      I can only imagine the days, weeks and months after this shooting were difficult for Maria. Now, as a professor of nursing students and an author, I would think her life is full in a positivve. Maria is a strong woman that I greatly admire.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting and important article, Peg. Maria had a horrible experience, but the information that she has shared is very valuable. Thank you for interviewing her. It was kind of her to share her experience and her thoughts.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 months ago from USA

      Maria’s story of survival and resilience is moving. I have investigated employee harassment and bullying claims and dealt with mentally ill people in the workplace who were involved in tense conflicts. On occasion these cases had potential for violence. Unfortunately, lawyers often erred on the side of wanting a lot of proof (an imminent threat of harm to self or others) before they’d intervene. It was sometimes unreasonable. Safety should be first. I wish Maria the best in her journey. She’s a strong lady.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Thank you, Maria, for allowing me to probe these difficult memories and for your thought provoking and candid answers. I'm grateful to be a part of your life and for your continued positive influence on me and so many others.

      Hugs and much love to you and your family.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      2 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Peg, Thanks for doing such a tasteful and compassionate interview with me. I especially appreciate your patience with the process.

      Bill, I agree this is no time for states to be cutting mental health and substance abuse treatment services.

      Mike, Thanks for your ongoing support. The image of surround sound speakers in my Secret Citadel makes me smile.

      Hugs to you all, Maria

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hi Mike, Maria is truly a positive role model. Her having survived this unfathomably difficult and unimaginable situation and coming out with love and gratitude is truly a miracle.

      I have the episode of Obsession: Dark Desires saved on my DVR from when it aired and have watched it recently, too. It is sobering and a reminder to be constantly vigilant.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 

      2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Peg and Maria - Maria, in the toughest possible initiation, you became a role model. The books you have published are positive rays of light in a darkening atmosphere. All who know you realize that your, Secret Citadel, has surround sound speakers for your music. My hats off to Geoff, Aunt Baby and Alvin, for knowing just the right dosages of love to administer to you as you got back on your feet.

      I sat in my living room in front of a TV not too long ago watching Obsession: Dark Desires, A Dangerous Mind.

    • PegCole17 profile imageAUTHOR

      Peg Cole 

      2 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Hi Bill, Yes, this type of behavior seems to be in the news quite a bit. Sometimes I wonder why we do not address the issue of drug dependency and the root causes of addiction. I'm seeing where the Police are even carrying Narcan to administer to those who are believed to be overdosed on the streets.

      You're so right that we are fortunate to share in the positive and loving influence of this brave woman whom I admire. Love to you as well, brother. Peace.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sadly this sort of thing is on tv a couple times each week,and states are dropping the funding for more mental health workers and social services like counseling. In this story, the best news possible arrived...Maria survived and we were all able to share in her ongoing story. Love to you both always!

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