Feeling Helpless

17 05 2012

I am used to helping people.  It’s what I do.

Despite my very sheltered upbringing, I’ve had friends who have battled anorexia, cut themselves, dealt with abusive parents – and I’ve been there for them as much as for the friends who needed relationship and romance advice.

I went to Barton Springs today with a handful of friends.  As I was leaving, I noticed a woman passed out in the woods.  I had seen her drinking and maybe she would sleep it off, but what if she had alcohol poisoning?  I could see that she was still breathing, but was there any way for me to know if her situation was dangerous?

I asked for help because people were just walking by and I didn’t know how to handle the situation properly on my own.  I was able to recruit a few folks who roused her and oriented her and I was about to head out, confident that she was in fine hands – or at least better than mine.

As I was about to go, a tremendous fight broke out between two young and muscular men.  I didn’t see how it started, but one man fiercely punched the other in the face – breaking his nose.  The amount of blood was tremendous – more than I’ve ever seen – and I stuck around to offer water to the injured person and to see if medical attention was needed and if an ambulance should be called.  I turned to other people to come over and help because I didn’t know how to handle the situation on my own.

I left before the police came but after making sure that the bloodied person was safe and tended to for the moment.  Should I not have gotten involved in either situation?  Could I have done more?  Should I have stayed and given a description of the person who threw the punch to the police?  (He had a clearly identifiable tattoo pattern.)

Over the past months, I have found myself more and more ministering to other people through words, touch, love and sound advice.  But I felt a bit helpless today and I don’t want to feel as helpless the next time around.

Advice?

posted by ayo

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6 responses

18 05 2012
tamar d

make changes where you can and accept the times that you can not. You can’t help everyone, hon. You can be kind, giving, warm, loving, attentive. But not every situation can be altered by those good actions. Sometimes, it’s just out of our hands. The best advice, stay safe while helping others as best as your gut tells you you can. If your gut tells you to stay clear, then get away. Love ya!

20 05 2012
ayo

Thanks for the encouragement and reassurance. I hate it when things are out of our hands! ;-p

Love you, too.

18 05 2012
Fran Fine-Ventura

Our tradition teaches us that in order to lead rich and valuable lives we must perform tikkun olam. Our lives are dedicated to service in order to make the world a better place. If you did all you were capable of doing and believed you had left the situation in a better condition than you found it, then you did enough. Unless you are trained in these nuances, that was the road to take. if you felt you could have done more, like giving a description, in the future, leave your name and contact information with a person in charge for the authorities to contact you in the event that it is needed. Hope this helps.

20 05 2012
ayo

It does help. It’s good to have people who I respect weigh in on this.

I did, in fact, contact the authorities later that day with information. I try not to get too involved, but hopefully that phone call will bring the fight / assault one step closer to resolution.

19 05 2012
libertatemamo

Honestly being in situations you can’t control is a part of life, especially if you put yourself out there. It’s super-hard for an A-type personality, but accept the fact that you did as well as you could given this new and very scary situation. I agree w/ Fran that it would be impossible to know what to do unless trained. The best you can do is call & involve the authorities who know what to do and be around to help those folks as you can. If you really feel you want to learn more there are first-response & first aid classes offered thro’ Red Cross which are actually both fun & educational.
But you did well…you stepped in, you helped and you were there. Don’t beat yourself up too much {{hugs}}
Nina

20 05 2012
ayo

Thanks for the love and encouragement, Nina. I have taken the Red Cross first aid classes, which provides some helpful information.

Yair and I have considered taking an intensive 1-month EMT class while on the road to “up” our knowledge, though I’m not sure if I have the stomach to deal with some things that EMTs are faced with.

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