(Welfare) Check, Mate.

So, remember that little passive aggressive tweet to the bank I mentioned in my last post? Well apparently it caused a flood of panic for them and their little anti law suit brigade which resulted in me receiving a “welfare” check from our little village police man. (as in the village is little, not the cop – he’s actually rather imposing..)

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Now I know the Sarge because he’s a local, his kids go to the village school, he’s very nice, about as Aussie as you get and we chat about random things while waiting in line at the servo or doling out soft drinks to sugar high 7yr olds at community sausage sizzles.

However, other than the odd 7am random breath test where we joke about how putting vodka on cornflakes might help us start the day, on a professional level, our paths had not really crossed; until yesterday.

You see, somehow I have avoided being flagged as any sort of risk to the local constabulary, information that was supposed to be passed on, wasn’t, I talk my way out of situations quite well, paperwork gets lost or not filed, the last one is evidenced by the fact that I still held a gun licence for several years after being hospitalised for multiple suicide attempts.

So anyway, Officer Gaz rocked up in my driveway at the same time as hubby came home from work yesterday afternoon, luckily I’d already had a sobbing hissy fit to hubby over the phone prior to their arrival so he didn’t have to guess too hard that the reason for the police being at our home may have been that I’d opened my big fat trap to the wrong person and they’d instigated this little visit from the authorities.

Hubby walked into our messy bedroom where he found me wearing my at home “I hate myself outfit” which involves no bra, a baggy, old, stained t shirt and leggings (yes as pants… oh the shame) with a hole in the bottom while hiding my tear soaked cheeks under the covers and posting that last blog post, he looked me up and down awkwardly for a sec and announced that Officer Gaz was also here…

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My first comment was “OMG NO!” actually, thats a lie, it was “fucking bank!!” Quickly followed by “OMG No! Holy crap I’m not exactly looking sane here, don’t you dare let him in!!” To which hubby replied “Uhhh… he’s already in the living room” So I hissed back “Well let me get dressed first then!” Hubby nodded awkwardly and walked out again. He puts up with so much from me.

After quickly surveying the room and realising jumping out the window and running away was less than practical and probably wouldn’t end well for me, I decided to play it cool, pulled on semi respectable clothing in two-seconds flat and tried to rub the $2-hooker-esque mascara tear stains off my cheeks while walking out saying “Hello Gary how are you, wanna take a walk?” In my most non-chalant ‘I’m not crazy’ voice.

Apparently I had caused quite a stir back at bank headquarters and Gas explained that he had to “come and do a welfare check, mate” after stifling an inappropriate giggle because one of my inner devils made a dark humour comment about the term ‘check mate’ being used in these circumstances, I convinced Officer Gaz (with minimal crying) that I was just having a bad week and was disgruntled about my customer service experience and had expressed my frustrations in a rather poorly thought out manner and was not an immediate threat to self or others.

He eventually got on his radio and called off the ambulance and hospital who were apparently on standby to come tackle me to the ground and lock me away again for a while.

Now note that I live on the fringes of a teeny tiny town where stigma is rife and gossip is life blood, everyone knows everyone and therefore everyone knows everything about everyone. I had thus far somehow managed to keep my mental illnesses under wraps and I was NOT under any circumstances about to let myself be dragged back to hospital alive at the risk of being spotted. (Yes, I am being overly dramatic and yes, I was smart enough not to say that out loud!)

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That’s one good thing about country cops, they are bound by law not to gossip about this kind of thing and they’ll be more inclined to let it pass with a cuppa and a quick chat, they also know the social repercussions of people finding out about this sort of thing probably ends in my having to move house so if possible it’s better to forgo the mandatory handcuffs and psych eval you would get in the city.

After our little chat Gaz commented that he felt comfortable leaving me as I had “no history of self harm or mental health issues” which nearly made me bite my tongue off before finally deciding to be honest with him and fess up that I did actually have quite a history but that didn’t mean I wasn’t ‘safe’ now.

He seemed to understand that my honesty about this was an unspoken trust pact between the two of us. He won’t use my history against me today and I won’t do anything to make him regret that choice today.

I figured being honest was a safer bet than have him get back to the station and pull a file on me somewhere that exposed the several months worth of previous non-voluntary hospital holidays I’d had and get suspicious that I may in fact be lying to him about my sanity status and change his mind.

It’s funny how people can beg for help and nobody will give two hoots and yet you can make a misguided off the cuff comment and all hell breaks loose as you find yourself desperately trying to prove that you are safe to be among civilisation.

– Note that next time you want help for suicidal ideation and the medical system isn’t interested, just call your local bank instead! *eye roll*

So, Officer Gaz left me with my family and I made an awkward explanation to my children about how making rash statements on social media is not advisable because this can happen, but the police are still doing a good job by checking that people are okay.

I also spoke to the bank again on Twitter and told them I was okay and apologised for scaring their lawyers them because, I have been on the other side of a suicidal telephone call a number of times when I worked for that un-namable government organisation – given the statistical unhappiness of the population I dealt with, calls can sometimes end in them receiving welfare checks rather than welfare cheques but the person in the call centre never gets to any outcome resolution and that can be hard to deal with.

-Kate

 

3 Comments on “(Welfare) Check, Mate.

  1. Does your bank have social media monitors or what? My sister has worked at the bank for 20+ years and I cannot imagine her on Twitter much less to call in a concern. That seems extreme to me but I also don’t know the ins and outs of Australia’s systems.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, basically I had a snide go at them on Twitter using the ‘S’ word because frankly that was exactly how I felt, and hashtagged the bank name in it, then they contacted me to ask what happened & how to improve their service, DMd for a bit hoping they could give me answers and stupidly gave them my customer number for their “feedback escalation”- as soon as I did it I realised it was stupid – 15minutes later the cop turned up – and given I’m ten min from the part of the village where he is, I guess have to give points for the response time! lol
      It doesn’t look too good if a company ignores a tweet like that and something happens I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

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