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Ask Me If I'm Safe At Home

Nurses Article   (10,976 Views 48 Replies 1,825 Words)
by Ruby Vee Ruby Vee, BSN (Member) Nurse Verified

Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 65 Articles; 170,457 Visitors; 13,938 Posts

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Ask your patient if she is safe at home -- even if her husband is handsome and charming, well-dressed and well spoken. Ask even if you know her husband, he's the life of the party or you've worked with him for years. Ask because maybe you've only met Dr. Jekyll; she may be living with Mr. Hyde You are reading page 2 of Ask Me If I'm Safe At Home. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

LikeTheDeadSea has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

1 Follower; 4,799 Visitors; 502 Posts

I wanted to stand up and clap after reading this.  There are few better feelings than the, "I don't have much, but what I do have is mine," feeling that you mention. After 2 years of living with my parents after leaving my ex-husband, I recently got my own house and have unpacked, and although there isn't much in it, I've never felt more at home. I never thought putting silverware in a drawer could make me so aware of my current happiness.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 65 Articles; 170,457 Visitors; 13,938 Posts

4 hours ago, LikeTheDeadSea said:

I wanted to stand up and clap after reading this.  There are few better feelings than the, "I don't have much, but what I do have is mine," feeling that you mention. After 2 years of living with my parents after leaving my ex-husband, I recently got my own house and have unpacked, and although there isn't much in it, I've never felt more at home. I never thought putting silverware in a drawer could make me so aware of my current happiness.

And I hope that one day I'll have my own home as well.  Thanks for the reminder that I am in an enviable position, and life will keep getting better!

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Pixie.RN has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

6 Followers; 32 Articles; 127,009 Visitors; 13,024 Posts

I love Ruby Vee. 🙂 I would bet that these articles have helped people in similar situations. 

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 65 Articles; 170,457 Visitors; 13,938 Posts

3 minutes ago, Pixie.RN said:

I love Ruby Vee. 🙂 I would bet that these articles have helped people in similar situations. 

Thank you.

I sincerely hope these articles have helped someone -- that's why I keep writing them.  If it makes even one person stop and wonder for a moment whether she is actually safe at home, it's worth it.

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Ruby Vee has 40 years experience as a BSN and specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

11 Followers; 65 Articles; 170,457 Visitors; 13,938 Posts

10 hours ago, LibraSunCNM said:

I'm so sad for what you've gone through but happy to hear you're in a better place.  "Do you feel safe at home?" has always been my standard entry into domestic violence screening---glad you feel that's the best initial question.

How has it been since leaving, in terms of feeling safe?  Does your husband know where you live?  Did you have to get a restraining order?

I've been thinking about this post since I read it almost ten hours ago . . . and you're right.  "Do you FEEL safe at home?" is the better question.  If someone asks "Are you safe at home?" you might answer that you ARE safe because you don't THINK your spouse would physically harm you, even though you might actually FEEL threatened by him.  FEELING safe is probably a more true reflection of your actually safety than THINKING you are safe.  In fact, research suggests that a woman's actually FEELING of safety or not is the most accurate predictor of her safety.  

And if I was so danged safe at home, why was I so afraid to GO there?

When I left, I rented a car and drove five states; a thousand miles away before I felt safe enough to stop.  I do FEEL safe now.  No restraining order -- for one thing, there's the five states and a thousand miles.  And for another, there's the other woman that he kept after I left him.  I'd feel sorry for her, but she was willing to mess with a married man, so . . . she can keep him.  

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CelticGoddess has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Palliative, Onc, Med-Surg, Home Hospice.

1 Follower; 11,249 Visitors; 887 Posts

Thank you for sharing Ruby.  

 

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1 Follower; 2,856 Visitors; 307 Posts

Thank you. I learned this at school but this was really eye opening. I will make it a habit to always ask.

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NutmeggeRN has 25 years experience as a BSN and specializes in kids.

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Your strength is amazing!

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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3 hours ago, Ruby Vee said:

I've been thinking about this post since I read it almost ten hours ago . . . and you're right.  "Do you FEEL safe at home?" is the better question.  If someone asks "Are you safe at home?" you might answer that you ARE safe because you don't THINK your spouse would physically harm you, even though you might actually FEEL threatened by him.  FEELING safe is probably a more true reflection of your actually safety than THINKING you are safe.  In fact, research suggests that a woman's actually FEELING of safety or not is the most accurate predictor of her safety.  

And if I was so danged safe at home, why was I so afraid to GO there?

When I left, I rented a car and drove five states; a thousand miles away before I felt safe enough to stop.  I do FEEL safe now.  No restraining order -- for one thing, there's the five states and a thousand miles.  And for another, there's the other woman that he kept after I left him.  I'd feel sorry for her, but she was willing to mess with a married man, so . . . she can keep him.  

That's so funny, because I didn't even realize we had worded it differently.  Looking back, of course you're right.  I can't remember exactly when I started asking it (I think one of my preceptors in midwifery school used to phrase it that way), but the "feeling" is definitely more powerful, I agree.

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AnnieNP has 20 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Adult Primary Care.

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Thank you for sharing.  From here on out, I will ask using the " feeling" question.

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 248,127 Visitors; 9,638 Posts

This is an amazing story, and Ruby, you are an amazing woman. You are indeed resilient and very brave and strong. Bless you for sharing your experiences with us. HUGS

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DallasRN specializes in ICU/ER/Med-Surg/Case Management/Manageme.

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Just a thought...perhaps the "safe at home" question should be asked of men, too.  We don't typically think of men being abused but they sometimes are.

And for those of us working with the elderly - home health, senior centers, assisted living facilities, etc. - another place we should probably focus on asking the questions on a regular basis and not with just the initial assessment.  Once the patient gets to know us they're more likely to share.

Thanks for giving me so much food for thought, Ruby Vee. Fortunately, I've never lived with abuse so my mind doesn't "go there" but people like you who are willing to share help to open our eyes.

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