Crisis Overnight: “Where will people in need, like me, go?”
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This is the first in a series of Crisis Overnight posts. Our goal is to raise $150K to save the Community Crisis Center of Elgin, Illinois from having to close. Personal stories are shared at the discretion of the individuals involved. Any stories where anonymity is requested will be honored.
You can follow or participate in our story on Twitter with the hashtag: #crisisovernight.
How can I begin to explain how transformed my life is because of the work of Kate Van Eycke and the Crisis Center here in Elgin, IL. I am an ordained minister and an active member of the Elgin Community in the area of mental health. But when I needed help, the Crisis Center was there and has continued to be there as I continue my personal journey of recovery.
As I have been reflecting on the crisis at the Crisis Center, I thought about the healing that took place as a client of Kate Van Eyke. Kate and a couple of her colleagues were some of the first casualties of this financial crisis. After 15 or more years each their service at the Crisis Center was ended abruptly. Let me ask the folks who are proposing all these cutbacks – how many of you have ever lived in an abusive relationship? Physical, mental or emotional each takes their toll each devastating in its own way. That was essentially all I had known. I came from a good middle class home. My dad worked hard to support us. But as a family we had our secrets. My mother was emotionally abusive and it seeped into my being. I used food to insulate and self-medicate myself. I never felt that who I was or what I did was “good enough.”
Then I was married for 23 and a half years. By the time my divorce was final, my children were stashed with friends and I had the first of what would eventually be many psychiatric hospitalizations. Fifteen years later my daughter, now an adult, is still in counseling trying to recover from the emotional abusive reigned down on her by both her father and myself.
Kate helped me heal the cycle of abuse that kept repeating itself in my life. Through my recovery from my mental illness, I had come a long way in accepting who I was as a person. My work with Kate helped me continue to heal and to be gentle with myself. You took away Kate, please don’t take away the Crisis Center. Where will people in need like me go?
As I have been trying to picture my life without the safety net provided by the Crisis Center, I wanted to make sure that I had told Kate what a difference she made in my life. I sent her the following note -
I don’t know if I can summarize what an important influence you have been in my life. The holes in my life left by abusive situations are filled with self-respect because of the work that I did with you. I am no longer seeking a mate to fulfill who I am as a woman. If I were to find a man it would have to be a person that first and foremost treats me with dignity and respect because that is how I now treat myself.
Kate, I know in my spirit that getting you as my counselor was a God moment.
Rev. Patricia A. Lindquist
“Sometimes in the waves of change, we find our true direction.” - Anonymous