Tag Archives: suffering

transporting notes ~ Troibun ~ Feb 18 2020 Daily Moments

Sitting in front of the t.v. screen, she flips from one video to the next and finds nothing to capture her attention. It has been a long day. Day two of busyNESS, Day two of SadNESS, Day two of various fires to try and put out and yet…the day feels unfulfilled. There is the person who hung up too soon because someone walked in on them; there’s the person whose phone died and you never had a chance to see if he’s safe and the list goes on. All in a day’s work, some say…who the hell says that anyway?

Switching to music seems more healing…starting with Satie Song by Alanna-Marie Boudreau, then Kimbra’s Cameo Lover and Sara Bareilles’s Gravity. Lastly, she listens to one of her favourites, Damien Rice’s Accidental Babies…aww, total bliss! It is amazing how music can truly transform you.

She is reminded of a youth now who is a musician playing classical and jazz. How fortunate she is to do the work she does do. How blessed she is to hear their stories and to be the ear that hears those secrets they disclose for the first time…they actually dared to say “out loud”. Such courage they have had to gather to reach out for support.

Before the end of her evening, she listens to  one more song, Damien’s Rootless Tree…

 

sighing softly
thinking of those classical notes
cut at her heartstrings

sighing softly
recalling her soft voice
vulnerable and frayed

thinking of those classical notes
only ivory keys can articulate
such pain

cut at her heartstrings
images of doom and gloom
unearthed and naked

© Tournesol 2020/02/18

transporting notes Troibun Feb 18 2020 Daily Moments

Boudreau’s Satie Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppOvD4Egbno

Kimbra’s Cameo Lover https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaTEySLiLmc

Bareilles’s Gravity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEXhAMtbaec

Damien’s Accidental Babies https://youtu.be/ELTVP4aqWAI

Damien’s Rootless Tree https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1V6u3jdxwc

Daily Moments July 24, 2017 simmering skin (troiku)

burning
under thin filters
I’m melting

burning
through ozone layers
earth is slipping

under thin filters
barely pink
bubbling

I screaming in the night
silent cries

©Tournesol’17/07/24
Daily Moments July 24, 2017 simmering skin (troiku)

broken (haibun)

 

(c)Clr'16
(c)Clr’16

waning moon
like broken souls of broods
kiss the darkness
daunting clouds still hover
robbing them of their youth

Walking home with heavy heart she thinks of her long shift. So much suffering, such turmoil, youths turning 14 going on 40…all the tears and moans linger in her heart.

(c) Tournesol’16

Daily Moments October 20  2016  Broken

You are stunning!

I looked at the clock and noticed there was an hour left on my shift. It was a busy evening alright. But I like that because time passes quickly.  I had done two hours of Live Chat and I was now back on the phones after my dinner break. It is odd to call our breaks anything but “breaks” because we can have lunch at 2p.m. and dinner/supper at 10 p.m. depending on the shifts we work and how we have arranged to make sure the service is adequately covered.

The phone rang…

“Hello, you’ve reach a counsellor.”  I could hear faint sobbing, soft whimpering…

“Take your time, it’s okay; just take all the time you need…are you safe?”

I hear a weak “yes” and she tells me her story. She was just discharged from hospital for her eating disorder. She weighed well under 100 pounds…I winced at the thought of her wasting away and thanked the Great Spirit that she was, in fact, alive. “They fattened me up so much I can’t stand it!” she wailed.

The change for her was difficult to bear. She needed support in slowly accepting her “healthy” body.  We talked a bit about what she could do to distract her thoughts and then she shared some sad stories of her past. Such sadness I choose not to share here, but this is what I wanted to remember …  her fight to live even if for a brief dangerous time in her life and how she tried to become invisible…literally.

We explored her passions.  She was an artist and singer/song writer. I was blessed hearing her sing briefly and for a fleeting moment, I could hear her smile…what an angelic voice…such beauty, it managed to transcend through the wires of telecommunication.  She promised to try to focus on her beauty…voice, passions, art, inner and outer beauty and would call back if she felt overwhelmed.

When got I home late that night,  I could not help but imagine this beautiful person and wrote a brief message I imagined sending to her:

Image source: Thestir.cafemom.com

Do you know that you are stunning?

the last few years, I could barely see you

so frail were you, hugging seemed daunting

what if I’d crushed your bones,

you were really so very tiny;

I remember seeing you back then…

the wind was blowing and I could swear

it was pushing you farther from where

I was sitting on the park bench waiting

watching, silently observing you wasting

away and praying for a miracle.

 

That was a while ago my friend,

now the miracle did transcend

you are beautiful just as you are.

Pity you don’t yet see that far long

but hopefully in due time

with your gifts of beauty and song

you will sing the words that rhyme

and you will finally see

what’s so clear to me.

I pray someday your insight

will see your beauty transcend

as well as in the light

of day…blessings, my dear friend.

© Cheryl-Lynn, 2014/03/14

 Inspired by my original post at StopTheStigma You’re Beautiful

Witness of their pain

Do you remember January 1st, 2000?  I remember looking up into the sky at those fireworks, at 00:01 standing on Front Street in Toronto.  Many people worldwide wondered if our computers would crash and what the future held for us. I knew I had a passion to reach out and help.  In July  I crossed a major threshold in my counselling career by joining Kids Help Phone.  This would be my career of the new millennium!  I’d won the Lottery!  

Who knew, crossing that line,  my life would change forever?  I had joined an agency that offers a unique service to youths in “their” mode of comfort, in their style, in their time, from the comfort of their own place.  I was hooked for good! 

Like so many people who work at Kids Help Phone, either behind the scenes fund raising, spending tireless hours promoting this unique service or the endless hours listening, counselling, responding to on-line messages or chatting on Live-Chat…I fell in love with this amazing family who cares about reaching out to youths across this vast country, reaching out to cities, towns and more isolated regions where help and hope are often scarce. 

The uniqueness is the availability, the free access and more notably the anonymity of this service.  Finally a safe place for youths to reach out and not feel judged; youths, who sometimes are sharing for the first time, exploring their options and feeling a sense of empowerment because THEY are in charge of their call.  Some youths may have been robbed of this privilege by abuse or neglect; here they are heard, respected and believed.  As a counsellor, I do feel privileged accompanying a youth on their journey. I take the lead from the expert…the youth on the other end of the line or the other side of the screen.   

Most youths who call are looking for some direction and may not know where to turn. Most do have good caring supports but don’t want to worry their family or friends.  And then there are some who don’t have this…

 

Witness 

Sometimes I hear

or read on-line

from far and near

their storyline

truths that need

and must be heard,

my role to heed

bear witness

to their pain.

I may appease

but must refrain

from judgement

and rather aim

solution focus

actively  listening;

compassion’s key

and soothes gently.

 

they won’t divulge

they want to spare

their loved ones

for whom they care

still…

they just want

to unburden

confidentially

and safely…

feeling unlaboured

a weight off

their shoulder…

sense of reprieve

in total anonymity!

they are relieved

and finally believed!

 

And so I listen…

 

I hold their stories

gently in my heart

listen with my soul

witness with my ears

their pain I hear

catch their tears

embrace with my mind

their stories

one of a kind…

always unique

in their distinct tale

of deception

and betrayal

of violent nature

appalling misuse

of human behaviour

alas!… child abuse.

 

Cheryl-Lynn, Counsellor – Witness 2014/03/11

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.

Exploiting for ratings!

me sideways

This man has a degree,
of a higher level decree
yet he’s slipped in the arms of fame
money may also have been his claim.

How does one get caught in such games
and losing integrity for a bit of cash
to show melodrama and T.V. trash
exploiting the pain and suffering
of people who are actually struggling?

They are all human interest shows
but must they always air their woes
in front of a huge live audience?
on occasion there’s no public appearance
just the camera and this host with a Ph.D.
Global home viewers don’t count as a presence?
I find his approach an atrocity
he makes a long process look way too easy
when we all know counselling is a long journey.

He may give the impression of informing
or a pretense of educating?
Well, I beg to differ.
why exploit those who suffer?
that’s what I see when pain is publicized
this exploitation is really insulting
and it should be criticized
rather than be glorified.

So that’s me diffusing, my heart spills
after watching a few minutes of Dr. Phil.

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts

This is just my opinion on some exploiting the suffering of folks; On Christmas Day an old September episode of Dr. Phil interviewing a grieving mother was aired.   He went through details of the last moments she spoke with her daughter as she took her life. 10 minutes of this was enough for me to change channel but I felt sad 1) for having this poor mother feel her guilt, as if it was not bad enough  for her to process the grief she was living 2) for showing such an episode on Christmas Day when there are so many vulnerable and suffering on this day. So I decided to voice my frustrations on shows like this.   Cheryl-Lynn

Diamond Jubilee Medal – Addendum

 image003 (1)

At the reception with all those fancy shmancy people (corporate donors, upper management), regional directors along with  counsellors, colleagues and volunteers, I was feeling pretty calm.  I was allowed a guest, so I had invited a long time, former colleague and friend, Kelly, who I had not seen in years!  I was pleased to have  her “witness” this moment with me. It was also great to have my best friend and colleague, Maria,  receive this honour with me too!  There could not be a more perfect evening than this!…until…

It was especially wonderful getting to talk to a volunteer who also was recipient for this honorable award. How she touched my heart!  Her daughter had been bullied A LOT and she had taken her life!  I felt an imaginary boxing glove sock it to me right in the solar plexus and then tears started filling my eyes. I remember the series of suicides in that area of the country 2+ years ago. It had impacted me the most in my entire career working on this youth line.  What struck me were the stories shared in the media and how I had recognized one youth as a teen to whom I had spoken…I felt so guilty and powerless.

Now here I was facing this amazing woman, grief-stricken mother,  and volunteer who goes to schools to talk about bullying and spread the word to get help and not take your life.  I told her I remember speaking to a girl at that time and how sad I had felt.   She just smiled and tried to comfort ME!  She kept thanking me for doing the wonderful work that we do on this youth line.

This wonderful woman…this amazing soul, mother, angel of grace deserved this medal more than she can ever know!  She has shared her story month after month…she has spread the word that our youth line is an option and she has saved so many youths from taking their lives…so much more than she will ever know.  How fitting that SHE received such an honour…The Great Spirit has created some amazing angels of mercy …Pam, this amazing woman and her daughter, Jenna who continues to be a part of that important message…Don’t ever give up…there is help.

And so when I received this medal, I opened the box and looked at the medal and tears welled up again. I noticed how it resembled my step-father’s medal he received from the army for having fought in World War II.  And I…an ordinary person like me who did nothing extraordinary was holding this medal in my hand now!  How my step-father and Mom would have been proud of me today!

My thoughts went back to Pam and her extraordinary courage for sharing her story with youths day after day despite the pain it must bring to her.  How I feel honoured and thankful to have met this woman. For over 2 years I have carried this guilt and fear whenever I get a similar call nowadays.  I had not realized how much I had been moved by this tragedy.

If it had not been for my having this opportunity to go up to Toronto, thank you Kathy, to receive this medal…thank you Kids Help Phone, I would never had met this outstanding person, Pam…I accept this Diamond Jubilee medal in honour of  your Jenna.  Thank you!

http://tech.ca.msn.com/mom-believes-bullying-pushed-teen-to-suicide

© Cheryl-Lynn Roberts, June 6, 2013