Lesson 3 – The Caretaker
Goal: Learn about behaviors of isolation and how an intervention can make a difference to break the cycle.
Activity: This lesson explores two isolating experiences including race & culture is reviewed from living with mixed blood. Drinking alcohol is reviewed as another isolating behavior. BOTH contribute to domestic violence. This lesson ends with Donita sharing of an intervention that changed her life.
Being an Apple
Donita Fry shares additional information about being an Orphan yet reviewed in these lessons. She identifies herself as an “Apple” a person whom was born of white and Indian parents. She helps us understand the importance of accepting both sides of one’s lineage and learning how to be able to be true. The lack of acceptance from the white world and the lack of acceptance from the Native community can create great conflict which supports continued isolation.
“I feel like I was walking in two worlds much of the time. I was beat up all the time from girls from our reservation. I seemed to come from the wrong side of the tracks; whether I was viewed from the white world; I was viewed as one of those dang Indians; or if I was viewed from our native community as that privileged “apple”; red on the outside, white on the inside. I would get the crap whooped out of me or my jewelry taken or whatever they wanted.”
- 1. Where do you come from? Does your family have blood of other races or cultures?
- 2. Do you know Indian people that have blood of other races or cultures?
- 3. How does one begin to make peace with race and culture?
“Being an orphan is not being able to be true to what you feel inside.”
She also identifies how alcohol contributed to her sense of becoming lost and alone.
Donita Fry shares that discovering drinking helped dull the pain of domestic violence. “I discovered when I drank a 6 pack of beer, my pain wasn’t as sharp. I never quit drinking until the end. I needed to take whiskey to bed for me to mask that pain.”
Donita Fry identifies someone who cared as a judge. Perhaps not understood or commonly understood, the judge she stood before stated the obvious. The judge said, “Ms. Fry, what is going to be today? We are going to get you sober one way or another. Either you are going to a prison or you are going to go into a treatment center.”
“Not only was I mandated by court but also my health; I had five bleeding ulcers; I was going to die from alcoholism.” We never know. In this story, perhaps the judge saved her life? Have you ever had someone care and do an intervention? If so, what did it look like?