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Open Thread for Personal Stuff, Part Deux

Hugs if you want them.
Hugs if you want them.

An open thread to discuss personal stuff, continued from here.

No trolls, no arguments.

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Viscaria
Viscaria
7 years ago

And the other thing I wonder is tacky is he never mentions donating any proceeds to long term recovery or the public works projects, like rebuilding our schools or anything.

I think that’s pretty fair. It’s a lot more valuable to have money come into a community rather than have someone talk about how sad they are that something bad happened — particularly if they seem fuzzy on the actual details.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

Trigger warnings: domestic violence, animal abuse.

I could use some help/support processing an abuse case.

So as I’ve said before, I work in the emergency room at an animal hospital, which is one of many branches of a large animal welfare charity (the MSPCA).

Sometimes, we get abused animals. Neglect is more common, but abuse happens. Last week, a man brought in his little poodle mix, who had been strangled and thrown around by the man’s ex-boyfriend. As is procedure in a cruelty case, we called the MSPCA’s law enforcement division and let them know what was up. Unfortunately, the owner had very little money and could not afford the surgeries needed to save the dog, so he had to put it to sleep.

Since then, I’ve been thinking way too much about what I could’ve done. I know I need to find out if the MSPCA has trained the emergency doctors about abuse (beyond the two pages in the training handbook). For one thing, I’m uncomfortable with the mandatory reporting. I know the animal cruelty is a separate crime, but it’s entwined with an abusive same-sex relationship, and I don’t know if that man consented to having all that made known to the police. I also don’t know if I could have done more, given that this man’s ex is clearly still abusing him. I thought about mentioning this really great LGBT survivors’ organization to the doctor that was working with him, but is that really the vet’s place? Or mine? Am I just desperate for a way to fix something that’s none of my business? I know I can’t save every client, just like I can’t save every animal that comes into the hospital (and god knows, I’ve often had to fight the urge to pay the bill myself when it’s that or euthanasia), but I hate that I did nothing.

What should I have done? What would you have wanted from the vet staff if it were your pet?

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Jesus, emiliygoddess, Jedi hugs to you. This situation sucks. I don’t know what you could have done.

I honestly do not know what I would want from the vet if it were my pet in this situation. Big help, I know.

kittehserf
7 years ago

I know what I’d want, but it’s unprintable here. I’m so, so, sorry, emily goddess, and I don’t know what you could have done, either – if anything.

katz
7 years ago

Fuuuuuuck. I’m not sure there is much else you could really do, unfortunately.

Ally S
7 years ago

Oh fuck, that’s just awful. I’m so sorry to hear about that, emilygoddess. =[ I’m afraid I don’t know what you could have done, like the other folks here.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

Honestly, it helps just to know I’m not the only one who’d have no idea what to do in that kind of situation (except the unprintable things Kittehs mentioned).

I think I’ll make a donation to The Network/La Red, and I’ll try to figure out what our policies are re: human abuse victims so I can try to be better prepared next time.

grumpycatisagirl
7 years ago

Hey, I’ll make a donation to them too since you mention it here. It’ll be a tiny donation but I’ll make it.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

I miss “my” little poodle mix (he was my roommate’s dog technically, not that he ever learned that)…and yeah, my thoughts are unprintable.

That aside, isn’t it standard for human doctors to ask about abuse and make recommendations? Maybe it should be for animal doctors too? And make the standard for police reporting just be “partner” or “lover” or something gender neutral like that?

As for what I’d have done, I can’t get further into that train of thought than “try not to cry in front of that poor doggie’s human”

Is it your place to recommend survivor groups…I don’t think it’s not your place to, but idk if that means it is your place to, if that makes sense?

katz
7 years ago

FWIW, animal abuse and human abuse often go hand in hand, and the police know that. So reporting the former can help stop the latter. But I’m sure you’re aware since you’re at a shelter.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

I know the two go hand in hand (it’s an area I’d like to see the MSPCA get more involved in, actually), but I have no idea if reporting actually helps stop the abuse. I just have very strong feelings about nonconsensually outing queer people, and about taking control away from survivors (by, for example, calling the police for them). I’m not saying they outweigh the good of reporting in this case (and I’m not the one who filed the report anyway), but those concerns are muddying the waters for me.

But if this ends up getting the abuser out of this man’s life, then I’m all for it. I hope it helps.

(Sorry about all the parentheticals)

cloudiah
7 years ago

More hugs if they’re wanted. It’s a terrible quandary.

Hrovitnir
7 years ago

Oh, emilygoddess. That is horrible – poor dog, poor man. 🙁 I don’t think it’s out of line to mention the survivors organisation, and the appropriateness can only really be determined by gauging from your interaction if you think he’d be OK with it.

I am a vet nurse, and I would definitely do it if I thought they would be open to hearing it. You can always misjudge, but it could really help. We already have a very casual vibe at our work and can be quite close to our clients (the front staff and nurses, less so vets).

I definitely agree mandatory reporting is not ideal – especially considering as vets you’d be reporting the animal abuse and we all know how effective animal abuse laws are. I don’t think it would help.

I don’t think you could do more as vets. You did a good job. It’s just not fun to have in your head. 🙁

cloudiah
7 years ago

It’s Hrovitnir! I was just poking around in older threads where you were, and wondering about where you’d gone. (Not that you need to comment here all the time; just that I missed your posts!) I feel like I conjured you up. 😀 Hope all is well with you.

titianblue
titianblue
7 years ago

Hugs if you’d like them, Emilygoddess. You have done the best you could and you are looking at being able to do even better, next time. That is the most caring person to be.

kittehserf
7 years ago

Hi, Hrovitnir! ::waves::

mildlymagnificent
7 years ago

I’d see if ringing around might find one of those public service leaflets about abuse and where to go for advice/ assistance. Seeing as you’ve got a) same sex relationship and b) animal abuse as a possible signifier of abuse in that relationship it sounds unlikely that any such leaflet would cover this specific situation, but it might be useful generally if it exists.

But it’d be nice to be able to just slip a business card or leaflet in with the client’s receipt or prescription without having to openly broach the topic when you’re not qualified as a counsellor or trained to deal with a disclosure of abuse should it be prompted by questioning.

Ally S
7 years ago

There’s a flash flood threat here in Erie, CO (I’ve been staying at Erie because that’s where my mom is). Around 6:30 PM we saw some minor flooding in the street, and then I heard a siren. We found out through the National Weather Service that there is a flash flood warning for Boulder county, CO. For safety reasons, we evacuated almost immediately. By the time we left, the flooding went from a little bit of running water on the street to huge pools of water all over the place. Apparently it had rained at least 2 inches by then. We went up north to Longmont, CO and saw that it was flooding there, too. The entire county has flooding – including the city of Boulder itself.

Here’s a recent photo from r/Boulder: http://imgur.com/j8OskTR
Another one: http://imgur.com/Ox4ApJk
And there’s a video, too (I’m not in there, FYI): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiiLhNJ5-Io

Erie is a decent distance away from Boulder, but there is still a high risk of flooding – especially since Erie happens to be next to Boulder Creek, which had a peak height of 7 feet this evening (flood level is 5.5 feet). Fortunately, the storms seem to be decreasing in intensity. But there’s still a chance of flooding occurring, especially tomorrow, if the nearby canyon is flooded enough.

After we ate at some fabulous Thai place, we stopped at a random neighborhood in Longmont and tried to get some sleep. My step-dad was impatient, though, and he couldn’t go to sleep, so we decided to return to the house – after all, the predicted time of abatement had already passed. And it turned out that our house wasn’t flooded or damaged in any way – even the farm didn’t sustain any water damage.

I was going to go to bed since it’s 4:46 in the morning right now and I’ve had at most 30 minutes of sleep in the car, but right now I’m staying up in case an emergency happens and we need to evacuate once again. Everyone else needs their sleep, and I tend to be a night owl anyway. =P

I wanted to go to the trans* support group at Out Boulder, the local LGBTQ center, but not only have my plans been canceled due to the current situation, but I’ve been anxious as fuck for the past 8 hours. If the flood is destructive enough, my mom, my step-dad, and my little step-brother will suffer greatly because this farm is all they have. And while my mom and my step-dad seem to be cautious about driving during a flash flood, I’m worried sick about them getting into a fatal accident. I really hope all of this ends soon.

Ally S
7 years ago

Two people have died so far: http://kdvr.com/2013/09/12/live-blog-flash-flood-emergency/

Aaaaand here comes a spike in my anxiety.

Ally S
7 years ago

And this just in:

Flow rates on the Boulder Creek indicate this is the worst flooding in the state since the Big Thompson Flood — the deadliest flood in Colorado history — over 26 years ago.

neuroticbeagle
7 years ago

I’d see if ringing around might find one of those public service leaflets about abuse and where to go for advice/ assistance. Seeing as you’ve got a) same sex relationship and b) animal abuse as a possible signifier of abuse in that relationship it sounds unlikely that any such leaflet would cover this specific situation, but it might be useful generally if it exists.

But it’d be nice to be able to just slip a business card or leaflet in with the client’s receipt or prescription without having to openly broach the topic when you’re not qualified as a counsellor or trained to deal with a disclosure of abuse should it be prompted by questioning.

The problem I have with that is that it is possible for the abuser to find said leaflet or card first. If that happens, it would not only be unhelpful, but could put the victim in a really bad position. However, it might be a good idea to have leaflets/posters around the office about how animal abuse is connected to domestic abuse for people to read/take home and possibly hide on their own.

Falconer
7 years ago

Ally S — It’s been two hours, I hope you’re okay! Sending you a big, warm internet blanket for your anxiety, and wishing you a nice, long sleep when you can get one.

Flooding’s not much of a problem here in the wrinkled Appalachians, but I really freak out at the thought of tornados.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

Ally, my love to you and your family. I hope you’re still safe.

sarahlizhousespouse
7 years ago

Ally, I hope you, your family, and the family farm stay safe during this flooding. Sending good thoughts your way.

Ally S
7 years ago

[Content note: natural disasters]

This morning, there was an alarming knock at the door – I opened it and someone told me that we need to leave immediately because the flood waters were coming. So I woke up everyone and told them what the man said. We started packing up, and then suddenly half of the front yard was covered in 6 inches of water from the nearby creek. I rushed out of the house with my step-brother while my step-dad and my mom grabbed some of the pets. And then my step-dad had to go back and get the last cat, who almost fell off a tree and drowned. Luckily we managed to not only get the car out of the water, but we also got all of the pets. (There were chickens at our farm, too, but I doubt they’re going to survive.)

The house is probably partially submerged now. I’m just glad that my step-dad and my mom have maximum flood insurance coverage. This whole ordeal has been very stressful and frightening. I’m in a very anxious and alert state, and every other hour or so I feel like bawling. The flooding came as a complete surprise because I stayed up all night checking the NWS for the creek water level – to see if there was any chance of a flood approaching.
My step-dad almost died trying to get the last cat, and if we didn’t act quickly we would have all been swept away. In fact, if it weren’t for the neighbor who knocked on the door, we would be trapped in the house.

We’re completely shaken right now, but we’re all safe. I really hope everyone else in Boulder county and Weld county is safe – they got the worst of the flooding.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Ally, that’s so scary. Glad you, your family, and your pets are safe. So sorry about the flooding! Sending all the hugs to Colorado!

Falconer
7 years ago

Oh god, Ally, that’s horrible. I’m shaking a bit just thinking about it.

I’m sorry to hear about your chickens.

All the hugs!

Falconer
7 years ago

Huh. Post a new comment, get sent to the top of the last page. Weird. ‘Snot doing that on the PAX DICKINSON DOUCHEBAG OF WORLDS (worlds worlds orlds rlds lds) thread.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

Ally, that sounds terrifying. I’m glad your family and most of the pets are OK. Thank goodness for your neighbor!

Let us know if there’s anything we can do.

Ally S
7 years ago

The road our house is on is completely submerged in water. An alert that my sister received says “Wall of water coming down boulder canyon. STAY AWAY FROM BOULDER CREEK”

Yeah, a whole fucking wall of water is coming to destroy the house. I’m starting to break down again.

katz
7 years ago

Wow, Ally, that’s terrifying! I’m glad your family and fur-babies all got out OK. Stay safe!

grumpycatisagirl
7 years ago

I’m so sorry you have to go through this, Ally. How scary for your family and the animals. Do I understand correctly you are all out of harms’ way now (except for the house and the chickens. 🙁 )

Ally S
7 years ago

Thanks everyone. And yes, grumpycatisagirl, we’re out of harm’s way at this time. We’re in Fort Collins, which is decently far away from the flooding zone.

Things are only getting worse for the flood zone. The death toll is now 3, and the governor has declared a state of emergency for Boulder county. Almost all of the school districts are closed. Many roads have collapsed, and there are reports of mudslides in Jamestown. And in Broomfield, which is east of Boulder, two bridges collapsed due to flooding waters.

Dvärghundspossen
7 years ago

That’s horrible Ally! But kudos to your stepdad for rescuing the cat!

hrovitnir
hrovitnir
7 years ago

Oh Aaliyah, how awful. I’m so glad you got your pets (pity about the chickens, but they might surprise you). That is what absolutely terrifies me about natural disasters; and the earthquakes we’ve been having recently. :/ I hope things go as smoothly as they can!

And thanks Cloudiah and Kitteh! I feel loved. I’d comment more, I just keep getting so behind it feels almost rude to butt in. 😛

leftwingfox
7 years ago

Glad you’re all safe Ally. Best wishes.

Ally S
7 years ago

Now there’s a minor flood threat in Fort Collins. We might end up needing to flee to a flood shelter, although according to a firefighter we just talked to, this hotel is safe and the creek is far away from us. I think we’re going to stay here.

My entire day has been filled with dread. It’s like there’s water completely surrounding us wherever we go. All of us have been feeling unsafe and fearful today – we need a break for once.

And if anyone has some tips for avoiding the worst of floods, I’d greatly appreciate it.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Ally, no tips since I’ve never been through a flood. It must be incredibly unsettling. I remember not being able to sleep for a while after the Northridge earthquake. For me, it really helped to throw myself into cleanup efforts and other things that helped people, but it was easy for me because my apartment had no structural damage so I wasn’t in a shelter. Do they have services like counseling available?

Ally S
7 years ago

It’s about 4:30 AM. There is now a significant flood threat in the Fort Collins area, although we are still in a safer part of Fort Collins. In any case, the NWS advises people to not travel anywhere: http://forecast.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=COZ038&warncounty=COC069&firewxzone=COZ238&local_place1=&product1=Flash+Flood+Warning#.UjLoXrxv76o

@cloudiah

Ally, no tips since I’ve never been through a flood. It must be incredibly unsettling. I remember not being able to sleep for a while after the Northridge earthquake. For me, it really helped to throw myself into cleanup efforts and other things that helped people, but it was easy for me because my apartment had no structural damage so I wasn’t in a shelter. Do they have services like counseling available?

I’m not sure if I have access to counseling services, although there probably is something like tha around here. (I apologize if I completely misunderstood you or I’m sounding strange – I’m very tired and worn out right now.) All we are focused on for the time being is keeping ourselves safe from floods.

Emilygoddess
Emilygoddess
7 years ago

Ally, there’s a free government disaster distress hotline:

http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/

1-800-985-5990

chibigodzilla
7 years ago

Also in Colorado here, we’re in a decent situation north of Longmont, no immediate danger, but we can’t get much of anywhere.

I see the Cache la Poudre, in Ft Collins started flooding this morning, Ally I hope you’re ok.

Pretty much the entire north east quarter of the state is flooding, it’s definitely the biggest flood I’ve ever seen. Ally mentioned the ’76 Big Thompson flood(which killed ~140 people) for reference, the crest of that flood was 9.3ft; overnight the Big Thompson reached 11ft.

But hey, the sun just came out, so hopefully the worst is behind us.

Falconer
7 years ago

Oh god, Ally, that sounds terrible.

I am crossing my fingers that your family’s farm escapes relatively unscathed. I have helped raise livestock before, it’s a lot of work, and I’m starting to tear up just thinking about losing all of that. Fortunately, I grew up on the top of a hill in Kentucky, so flooding wasn’t much of a problem.

I also hope your family’s insurance comes through. I had a minor flood when my sewer backed up not two weeks after we moved into our new house, and my insurance which everyone had blithely assured me would cover things like that, refused to cover things like that because they said it was a maintenance issue. >:( I think I complained on here about that at the time.

Ally S
7 years ago

We may be forced to evacuate Fort Collins – or at least move to the top floor of this hotel – this evening. The Cache la Poudre river has started to flood very close to our area, so we aren’t as safe as we thought. I think I’ll have to delay my flight to California so I can help out my step-dad and my mom. They forgot their cell phone and their laptop, so I am sharing my cell phone and laptop with them. Of course, they can get their own essential items, but if they get trapped by the flooding and find themselves unable to get to a store that sells phones and laptops, things will get extremely difficult for them. And I really don’t feel comfortable leaving them until I know they’re safe for sure.

@chibigodzilla

Yeah, my step-dad talked to some of the locals here, and he saw that the part of the river next to the intersection of Mulberry and Lemay is flooding. The sky is clearing up here, too, but there is still as risk of flooding from the river, so I can’t relax just yet.

Ally S
7 years ago

Fuck, a helicopter just flew over our hotel. Not a good sign.

@Falconer

Some reports here suggest that most people who are in the flood zone, especially Boulder, don’t have flood insurance. That’s just horrific.

@emilygoddess

Thank you!

katz
7 years ago

Big hugs. You are all going to be OK.

chibigodzilla
7 years ago

@Ally
Good to hear you’re OK.

The helicopter may be on the way to help with evacuations in Lyons, Drake, Estes etc where the roads are not in great condition. Most of the helicopters have been grounded for the past few days due to poor visibility. Now that it’s clearing up, I assume they’re scrambling to play catch up.

cloudiah
7 years ago

Since I can’t do anything to help, I am sending a bunch of golden retrievers:
GR #1
GR #2
GR #3
GR #4