Monday, April 18, 2011
"O" is for optimistic
"O" is for optimistic. Love this word because it is what gets me through when I'm ready to give up. I'm not a Pollyanna type and I can be harder on myself than anyone else. Sometimes when I'm in the middle of some daunting challenge, I want to just walk away from it and be over it. Then I remind myself why I'm doing it and what end result I'm hoping for. So optimism pushes me a little further so that I can get through that last mile. One of the most optimistic people I ever knew was someone I used to work with. She was always so happy and so positive about everything. In the first few months after she came to work for our company we noticed that every Monday she came to work with a bruise or a new injury. She always laughed and and said she was clumsy and that she had fallen, or tripped, or she had bumped into something.
She would joke about what a klutz she was and then make a statement like "well at least I have another leg to stand on" or "I've gotten really good at using makeup".
As time went along, she came to work twice on crutches and once with a cast on her wrist. We all knew what was happening to this seemingly happy lady who never missed a day of work. A few of us took her to lunch one day and tried to talk to her. We said we knew she was being abused and that we wanted to help. We told her that she didn't have to live that way. She talked about her marriage and family as if she was describing an episode from the Cosby show. Her answer was that it wasn't that bad and that it was her fault for upsetting her husband. She said he was very sensitive and he had been trying to recover from injuries from a serious traffic accident he had a few years before. She did admit that she thought he had become addicted to prescription drugs and when he ran out he was in a lot of pain and lost control sometimes. We were not able to change her mind.
Over the next few months she continued to come to work with suspicious injuries and then we got a call from her daughter. She had been admitted to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. My boss, who also knew what was going on, sent some of us to the hospital to see if she was O.K. The prognosis was not good, she was in surgery and we weren't sure if she was going to make it. While we were in the waiting room we overheard her husband talking to the nurse and he said that his wife was just making a big deal out of nothing again and that they just needed to patch her up and let her go cause she needed to get home to fix his dinner.
She was in the hospital for six weeks. In that time her husband never visited her even once. When she got out, she went home, she packed what she could into a friend's truck and moved herself and her three kids to her parent's home. It took almost dying to make her finally break that dangerous bond with her husband.