Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

Six years of counseling is generally what it takes to break the cycle of abuse (violence) in Domestic Violence situations. As a City employee, can you kind of relate to the cycle? Why is it we seem to mimic the abused victim of a psychological tormentor; physical abuser? Why do we leave and then return; knowing we are in store for more abuse at the hands of the abuser? Why do we make excuses for the abuser and downplay the pain and suffering? How do we continue to go through our day as if all is well? Do our children suffer too; seeing and hearing the strife and struggle to maintain normalcy?

The mayor has been abusing this city's employees for several years now, with no remorse or shame. His actions toward employees have created more human pain, both psychological and physical than the most violent of abusers. The stone faced, double speak; do as I say not as I do; you will give back; I am taking; I am responsible to the taxpayer, not employee; we are replacing experience with enthusiasm; we struggle with thoughts of leaving and giving up or in to the abuse. Then the stealing of promised benefits; moving the date one could retire; capping or removing retiree medical at the end of a career; forcing employees into furlough and cutting pay; eliminating possibilities for promotion and advancement; all at the hands of our tormentor, abuser; mayor.

Why do we stay? Why do we accept the abuse? Some would say because we know nothing different. Some would say there is no way out; we have bills, kids, too much invested to leave; no-where to go; fear of starting over; not wanting to feel as though we failed; or is it because we just don't know any better? In some way do you feel responsible for HIS actions; did you make him do it; did you cause the reactions and the pain?

What do we tell our victims when we sit and listen to them recount years of abuse? What do we do when we see the fear and pain in the children's faces while mom wipes tears from her eyes and snot from her nose? Do we help them take the leap and promise a better life if they would only take charge of their life and stop allowing the abuser to abuse? Do we tell them it will never get better; once the abuser has struck out in anger there is nothing to prevent it from happening again; the violence and abuse will only escalate and get worse?

How about we city employees call the YWCA and see if they can intervene and prevent the abuse and offer a helping hand? Maybe a trip to Becky's house in hopes of finding solitude and peace of mind as we city employees get our feet under us again so we can make a better life for us and our children? Can we call Focus and seek advice and reassurance we are doing what is right, when we finally decide we have had enough and make the decision to leave? We have to do something; we can no longer afford to go along to get along. We must confront our mayor and tell him we will no longer take his abuse; psychological or physical. Our children are suffering and we must BREAK THE CYCLE OF ABUSE!!!

The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off due to budget constraints.

Elaine Ambrose


Anonymous said...

So what happened at the POA today? Will they step up to the plate? Are we just asking for more pain if we decide to stay, or will someone turn the light back on at the end of this long dark tunnel?

Anonymous said...

Would you care to give your interpretation about today's POA/Attorneys love fest? I'm still not clear if DROP and the ongoing battle with retiree medical is the focus of whatever litigation that may occur? Is their a time in the near future when, we who are caught in limbo, will have a clearer picture about the City and its real intentions?

SparkySanDiego said...

I am not sure I am the person to answer these questions. After you read my reply, call Brian Marvel or Jeff Jordon and have them answer your question. I went to the noon meeting. I have to admit I did not stay the entire time so my take is on what Jordon shared with me prior to the meeting. Conger is a very well informed attorney in this area of law. He is one of the best to handle these issues. Ann Smith is also very versed in these issues and will be working with Conger (my belief) and we will get some answers; good or bad.

The issues regarding the changes to DROP; entry age; interest earned on accounts; determining if a "vested" benefit; will all be answered first. When DROP is determined to be a vested benefit and changes cannot be made by the mayor the additional issues will be addressed. These issues will also address the DROP being eliminated as a benefit for managers (Chiefs and Captains).

The issue about the medical is a more convoluted issue. This will in all likelihood take some time to sort out to determine if the changes made will hold up. The decision will not come soon enough to help those on the fence.

I have been reading a lot of legal information (provided by Jordon) and making heads or tails out of it is not easy.

The best answer I can give you is this issue will be addressed but in what manner I could not say. If you are on the bubble and this is the issue that has you stuck; I would only say it is a personal decision that must be made based on your individual circumstances. Do you have a family medical history of concern? Do you have Medicare in your future? If your spouse is eligible; you too become eligible and this may offset the cap on your benefits. Do you plan on getting another job for five to eight years that would fulfill your quarters for Social Security and Medicare? Do you have a spouse or are you single? These are all determining factors.

I am not sure there is a clear answer and do not think we will have one in the foreseeable future.

Hope this helps in some way.

Night Blind Anyway said...

I thought the mayor sent someone to the end of the tunnel and removed the socket. He took it home and had it installed in a closet so he could eat and read a book in hiding.

A Detective in Limbo said...

Great analogy of what the mayor is doing to city employees. I worked DV a while back and started to laugh before tears welled in my eyes because it is so true what the mayor is doing to ALL of us. Somehow we need to break this cycle and get rid of him.

Anonymous said...

just found your blog when reading about sd politics...i am a victim of true abuse at the hands of my brother and you comparing your work environment to what it's REALLY like to be abused at home is the most appalling thing i've ever heard! the lifelong damage done to us TRUE victims cannot be compared to your paycuts, benefit fights, and promotions that don't happen! if you are good enough and smart enough, you can easily move on to another department or another career -- there are no follow-on problems with your family relationships, your sex life, your self-esteem -- you simply start over! is it easy? no. problem free? not hardly. is it life-altering? maybe. but at the end of the day, when you make the change, you are suddenly happy, calm, and upbeat once again and all the headaches of past are gone forever. believe me, that's NEVER the case for those of us who were physically, emotionally, and SEXUALLY abused by our relatives!!! get your head out of your ass and realize that you don't know what the hell you're talking about! you just "perceive" that you do...