Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Let It #Burn

Hey Everyone!! :-)

My friend, Kate, has joined us again today and she's got some things to say about life, advice, and friendship.  I really think she hit the nail on the head here, but take a read and see what you think. ;-)

When I first walked into the group home I'd spend nearly two years at, I had no idea what I was doing. I'd had barely any contact with the population that experienced cognitive delays, nor aside from babysitting, had I done much specific caretaking.
I sat down on the sofa to talk to the staff and one of the residents plopped down beside me. The staff immediately said "Be careful, he hits" and then when I went to move away "NO DON'T MOVE! He'll take that as rejection and get mad!" So I froze. And that resident sat next to me the entire time nodding his head, laughing and showing me his toys.
When I left that day and went home my husband asked me how it went and I said "I.. Don't know." I guess we were all equally confused during those first few days. I met the other resident the next day and endured a few days of dire warnings by the staff about how horribly wrong things would go if I did anything other than exactly what they did and then I was left to handle the shifts myself.
It went horribly. It was easily one of the worst days of my life. I did everything the staff had told me to do and it turned out precisely the opposite of how they assured me it would. I was standing outside on the porch after one of them had tried to strangle me with my own necklace (my bad for wearing one, I would never do that these days) and something snapped.
I thought "You know what? My whole life I have been helping people, caring for animals, teaching children and watching my parents do the same. This simply cannot be that hard! They're just people and I'm going to treat them the way I would anyone else I was taking care of!"
So I got up, walked in and went to the bedroom of the one who tried to strangle me and said "I'm sorry. Let me help you pick up your toys, Sir." I went to the other resident and said "You know, if you want an orange, have one. Hell, have six. It's an Orange and it's your house."
We had dinner that night, everyone awkwardly eyeing each other distrustfully and those two eventually became two of my favorite people in the world. That job was a marvelous success in that way. For all three of us.
It occurred to me in later days that these two had been mistreated, institutionalized, beaten, chained to walls, mocked, shamed and stigmatized. What they were asking, although they didn't have the words, was "My life has been hell. I need to know if I can trust you when you care for me. I need to know, will you stand in the fire with me?" And the only appropriate answer was "Yes. Let it burn."
There is one person who can know what you know, that's you. There is one person who can understand what you experience and that's you. There is one person who knows which road you need to walk and that's you. You will consistently run into people who try to assure you that they know you and your life situation better than you do. Don't listen, they don't. They don't live in your skin.
Take advice, consider others experience and then follow your own instincts in situations. Do what you know is right for you because you're the only one qualified to know what that is. As for friends, always make sure you keep the ones who would say "Let it burn" and consign all the others to a distant “I'll get to you if I have the time” place in your head.


  1. THANK YOU for this amazing post. My eyes are filled with tears and feel like I'm going to burst out sobbing.
    I NEEDED this, truly. I need to learn to keep only the "Let It Burn " friends because I've been used and betrayed by so called friends too many times.
    What a beautiful post. Thank you again ♡

    1. I agree. Kate's post is amazingly perceptive. :-)