Sorry for the late post, quite apt due to the problems I’m having with my laptop at the moment. One crisis I’m pulling my hair out over! So, I do hope (laptop permitting) I get to finish this post and take time to read a few posts, too. I haven’t sold out, just tenderly picking my way through, pleading that the laptop genie will grant me my wish today. Let there be power!
Okay, now that’s done, I’ll get back to the writing challenge.
Day 39. Honestly evaluate the way you respond to crisis situations. Are you happy with the way you react?
During my career days, I would say I handled a crisis quite effectively. I never became flustered. I never ran around like a headless chicken. And I always felt in control.
However, personal crisis is a different matter altogether. I’m going to tell you a story, a true story, something I don’t share very easily. You know from a previous post that I lost my dad when I was young. Well here’s what happened.
I awoke to loud screams. The bedroom was dark. I was sixteen. It took me a second to realise the sound was coming from my parents bedroom. As another guttural cry broke the darkness, I ran from my room to my parents.
The sight that greeted me was both terrifying and surreal. Lying on the floor beside the bed, was my dad. My mum hovered on the bed on her knees, a tiny tablet held between her fingertips. She screamed at me to help.
I dropped to the floor beside him. Think, I told myself. My mum’s cries of ‘he wouldn’t take the tablet’ echoing in my ears. Okay, I know how to do the kiss of life and chest compressions, I thought, urging myself closer. As I leaned over and tilted his warm head, blood trickled from his lips. I reacted, drawing my hands to my chest, horrified. Where my mum had tried to force the tablet in his mouth, she’d made his gums bleed. ‘I can’t do this,’ I said, staring at my dads lifeless face, his empty eyes staring at the ceiling.
A low rumble escaped his mouth, and for the first time I screamed. I found out later my dad was already dead by then, and the sound was the air leaving his body. A death cry, I called it.
My dad died 17th December 1981. My world ended that day.
It didn’t matter that they told me I couldn’t have done anything. I had failed myself and him. I froze in a crisis.
Three days later, I withdrew from six-form, cancelling my dream of becoming a graphic designer. My guiding force was no longer there, giving me hope and words of wisdom.
For years I withdrew from situations of crisis, which involved a family member. Up until the day they admitted my mum to hospital. I spent the night before her death with two of my brothers, sitting beside her, holding her hand, brushing her hair. Where we took the decision to withdraw medication so she could die peacefully. I wasn’t there when she actually died. But at least I had a chance to say my goodbye before she departed this world.
I felt a sense of redemption with the way I handled the crisis with my mum. Maybe, because I was older, had a mature head to think clearer, who knows. Only time will tell.