The other night I had to go in to the office for the domestic violence group. I’ve been observing it for the past month or so, with the aim of taking over facilitation at some point. It’s facilitated by a man and a woman, so that they can model a respectful partnership for the group members. Not many women want to do this sort of work though, because the group is for men who’ve used violence in their relationships.
When I say that, people generally respond with “Men who’ve used violence? What, you mean domestic abusers?”
Nope, nope I don’t. Cuz labelling isn’t helpful. These are men coming to learn how to have respectful partnerships.
When you define a person by their actions, for example a domestic abuser, or a drug addict, or a criminal, or a politician (and also when you define a person by their experiences, for example an assault victim, or an autistic) you aren’t giving them credit for doing and being all the other things they do and are.
Further by making it something they are, rather than something they’ve done or experienced, you leave no room for change or growth. It’s kind of fatalistic.
Anyway that was a big tangent. I went in to observe this group. It finishes quite late, and then we have a lengthy debriefing session. Often I don’t finish until 11pm.
At around 10pm my friend started messaging and calling me, asking me to meet her after work cuz she was upset. I left a bit early to go meet her, and then on the way I got a call from my mumm, telling me she wouldn’t be home that night because she was staying at a friend’s house because she couldn’t drive because she’d been drinking.
She said she almost drove home just so that she wouldn’t have to tell me, because she knew how disappointed I’d be. Well, man, I’m glad she told me.
I am disappointed, but not in her. She’s done really amazingly well. Slipping up is part of the process. I just hope she sees it that way and not as a failure.
Soooo I didn’t get to sleep till 2am. But it’s okay cuz my friend (who slept on my couch) and I watched The Goode Family alllll day. That is, until I realised I was late for work. And by that I mean until Brenton messaged me to find out where I was because my client had arrived. >_<