hold me tight and show me that you care…..


This is a fictional response to a training course i attended on the use of physical restrain to manage challenging behavior.

At 11….
Hold me tight and show me that you care.
Warnings given, sanctions outlined when inside of me the anger grows, a bottle shaken, ready to explode, past thought, past reflection, nothing left except a no, a shout, a wail of nothing left to loose, a stance against everything that’s wrong in my world, so everything then.
You move towards me, one each side, calm, quiet, professional.
Hips bumping into mine, eyes meeting above my head, hands wrap round my wrists, arms around my back, moving across the floor at speed, my heels drag, as we move, three as one.
And then down, seated, my head towards the floor, your legs braced against my thighs and another, another adult standing linked into this pieta of pain, three of you to hold me down.
Afterwards, my wrists bloom, red, purple, blue, flowers of defiance.
My decisions they say, my bad decisions, it only hurts if you fight, resist.
We hold you because we care, restrain you to keep you safe, your best interests are always at the core of what we do.
Words, so many words, words as camouflage, words to disguise, dissemble, draw the eye away.
A child held down by three adults.

The caring C, the Friendly escort, single elbow, figure of four, half shield, cradle hug – hidden in plain sight, made better by words, by labels
And when you go home at night and hug your child, sweet smelling, smiling, sleepy, do your hands remember what they have done today?

At 21……

You hold me tight because you care, you say, hands around my neck, familiar bruising, the jewelry of pain.
I made you do it,made you so mad that you lost it, lost control.
Its not your fault you say, I push you to the edge, make you someone you don’t want to be.
You do it to keep me safe, you say, stop me being myself, the self that still makes bad decisions.
Your holds don’t have names, fancy titles, a worker colleague,a paper trail, a training course, certification.
More improvisory, your techniques, but still, my heels screech across the wooden floor, my head pushed down, your weight against my chest, legs clamped across mine, restrained again.
And afterwards, your fingers trace across my skin and now you are restrained, careful.
You hold me tight because you care.

At 31……
i hold you tight to show you that I care……
You pull away from me, determined to have your own way, to put yourself in harm and suddenly enraged, I grab your wrist and twist and when you pull away, it hurts and you stop, shocked, your head droops and you move towards me, suddenly obedient.
Later, scooping mashed carrots into your mouth, i see your wrist, soft, rounded, lush baby fat and a delicate tracery of fingertip bruising, a temporary tattoo of care.
Bad baby, I say, it only hurts when you resist.

About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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