Valerie Stafford: CADA did right thing
July 3, 2008 · Updated 9:21 PM
I want to tell you about my friend Tammy, I dont know if I can call her my friend because I was not a good friend in return, but I think that you should know about her.
Tammy started working at CADA after I had been there about a year. She was hired to start a program for children that witness domestic violence. One morning after the first group she had held for these kids who live with domestic violence in their lives, she was describing to us what had transpired. She was doing an exercise where the children were labeling their feelings. One child said he felt fluffy. All the other children proceeded to tell him that was not a feeling. As Tammy was describing this to us, she got up from her chair, stretched her arms out and proceeded to show us what it felt like to feel fluffy, as she had done with group of children the previous evening. Feeling fluffy kind of meant having all these emotions and not knowing were to go with them, they just kind of engulf you. She validated for this child that you could feel fluffy. I knew then she was the perfect person for the job she had been hired to do.
I left CADA not too long after that, but Tammy stayed. I became angry with Tammy because I could not understand how she could stay so long when she knew how badly our fellow employees and friends were treated at that organization.
I even went so far as to hide from her one time while having lunch with my children at Burger King. As she entered the building, I turned so that she could not see me. I was mad at her and did not want to talk to her. I dont know why Tammy stayed working under the conditions as they were at CADA, but I can speculate it was because she was so good at what she did and she truly wanted to help victims of domestic violence/sexual assault and their children. Tammy had the courage to stay under adverse working conditions and continue to make a difference in many young lives.
So with the recent events at CADA, I have thought of Tammy and the courage it took for her to stay there so long and the courage of the current board of directors to do the right thing. Someone recently told me that the definition of courage is doing the right thing in the face of adversity. I applaud the board of directors for their decision.
As a military spouse, Tammy and her family have left Oak Harbor and unfortunately Tammy is very ill and I hear not doing well. I would want to thank the board of directors for her, but I dont have that right. I guess if Tammy or anyone asked how I felt about what has transpired at CADA, I would have to tell them I feel very fluffy.