This post is by our guest blogger and A Little Peace of Mind graduate, Amie Joof.
Here Amie shares her story of change…..
Last week, I went into work as usual, my shift was going well, the odd few patients that were unnecessarily rude but that’s nothing out of the ordinary and besides I never take it personally. Around 2 hours before my shift was over, I came across a particularly rude patient who wasn’t happy with a doctor in the practice I work in, as always, it’s usually the receptionists that pay for it!
Anyway, I wasn’t taking this personally, my calm response was making this patient even more annoyed, but I was just doing my job. After becoming more and more rude, the patient became quite aggressive and begun to make a few of my colleagues feel intimidated. I remained calm, with a few of my staff members constantly asking me how I was so calm. I just was.
I knew that for 1) this individuals behaviour could not at any point have an effect on me emotionally, I know this, so I remained as calm as ever. And for 2) this individual was acting in the moment, doing the best he could in that current moment, with the thoughts he was experiencing and believing in that moment of time. Eventually, he refused to leave and was frightening people. My colleagues became distressed and my manager instructed me to call the police.
Now, before this understanding I had huge PTSD as many of you know. Growing up my brother had involvement in gangs and extremely frightening things. I had bad thoughts about the police from a child, I remember them raiding my home, searching and trashing my bedroom, asking me scary questions and searching me which made me extremely frightened as a child. On one occasion they raided my home with guns and police dogs, I remember being 11 and my brother trying to run in one particular incident and the police dog breaking his leg. I became so afraid of it all.
Fast forward to now, I happily called the police at work, explained the situation and I felt immensely grateful for the police. How lucky are we to have a service that we can call at ANY time in our lives, night or day, to come and protect us! Wow! I felt so, so grateful for them! All of my old thoughts about the police melted away. They came to my workplace and helped us all a great deal. I couldn’t thank them enough. I now even have an Alsatian/German shepherd dog. I think they’re the most beautiful and intelligent dogs. All of the thoughts, PTSD and beliefs I had about them and the police = GONE.