Peggy and Gary Wed
Peggy Jenkins Retires
After ten years on the police force, Sargeant Peggy Jenkins was seriously wounded in a terrible shoot-out, which left three persons dead. Peggy was taken to the emergency room where she underwent several operations. Her boyfriend, Gary Bradley, was with her every step of the way as she recuperated in intensive care. It was a long healing process, but, Peggy survived.
The struggle Peggy went through to heal, and the fear Gary felt of the possibility of losing her, made them both realize how much they loved and needed each other.
They were married two months after Peggy was released from the hospital. Peggy's Captain, Sherman Parker, gave the couple a nine week old German Shepherd for a wedding gift.
The puppy, which Peggy named Jake, fell in love with her immediately. He sensed in Peggy a physical weakness and decided she needed a protector. Though he was quite young, Jake had an instinct of what his duty was to be. He would lay in front of Peggy's feet and yip threateningly if anyone came near her. Jake accepted and respected his new master Gary who never tired of throwing the ball for Jake to run after.
Peggy could not return to active duty and was offered a desk job, but, something within her had broken and being on the police force was no longer her desire. She had been known as one of the toughest and bravest of the officers. She had faced some pretty bad crime scenes and never failed to do her job. She had kept physically fit and took down the meanest of gang members and the toughest of men who fought against arrest. She kicked down doors to bust up fights and save victims. No one who knew her thought she would ever lose it, least of all herself, yet, she did.
On her doctor's recommendation, Peggy began therapy with Stephanie Morris, a well known psychologist who worked with police officers and soldiers who suffered from PTSD. Stephanie wanted to start with the most recent trauma and go back into Peggy's past, slowly, so she first focused on the night Rory was killed and Peggy was so badly wounded. Not much surprised Stephanie, but, she was amazed Peggy was able to take down that man who killed his wife then Rory when she had broken ribs, a shattered shoulder blade, and several cuts on her face, plus dimmed vision from paint and metal chips.
Stephanie saw something in that incident that went far deeper than bravery. Rory's horrible death had triggered something in Peggy. It was anger, a fury that burst forth so strong from Peggy that it blocked any sense of pain. And Stephanie sensed the anger came from something in the past Peggy had buried deep within. Stephanie was determined to help Peggy face her demons and confront them.
Therapy was taking a long time for Peggy. When at home with Gary and Jake, she was happy and put a lot of effort into her new career choice. She decided to go back to college and pick up on the genealogy studies she had a great interest in before she joined the police academy. But, when in therapy she became despondent and withdrawn. Stephanie had a difficult time trying to reach deep to find that one thing which would trigger the first step to healing. She knew it could just eventually pop out unexpected, and that day finally came.
Stephanie liked to observe her patients while they were in the waiting room. It helped to see how they acted when not under the scrutiny of the psychologist. One
afternoon she stood at the one-way mirror to watch Peggy for a few moments. Peggy looked relaxed as she flipped through a magazine. Stephanie noticed that Peggy's physical health had progressed so much that she had gained back the weight she lost. She looked lean, fit, and gorgeous in her olive green turtle-neck sweater, tight blue jeans, and boots. Peggy's new short curly bob hair style was perfect and flirty. At the age of fifty-five and a little over-weight, Stephanie was a bit envious.
Then something happened to transform Peggy from relaxed to fearful in just seconds. A young mother came into the waiting room with her little girl who was six years old. They were to see the child psychologist. Stephanie watched the girl as she hugged her mother's legs and looked around shyly. When Stephanie looked back at Peggy she saw a great change in her. Peggy had scooted to the end of the sofa and pressed herself into the corner. She had drawn her knees up and had her arms around them in a tight hug. She kept staring at the girl and began shaking uncontrollably.
Stephanie quickly left the observation room and hurried out to the waiting room. She opened the door and said cheerfully, "Hi Peggy! I am ready for our session." She walked over to Peggy took her hand. Peggy got up and followed Stephanie, watching the girl and mother.
When they were seated in Stephanie's office Peggy was still a bit agitated. They chatted for a few minutes about the lovely autumn they were having. Stephanie wanted to keep it casual and distract from the little girl, then switch suddenly back to what frightened Peggy. "Love your sweater. The autumn color enhances your green eyes and auburn hair." Peggy was pleased with the compliment and smiled. "It's the same color as ... as ...,"
Peggy was confused and her voice faded away. Looking down at her sweater she pulled at the waist line to smooth it out. While Peggy was distracted and seemed to be mentally drifting, Stephanie wanted to throw a hard punch right into Peggy's subconscious. Stephanie hit dead center when she asked, "Why were you hugging Mommy's legs when you were about six? What scared you?"
Without looking up Peggy started brushing her sweater as if something was on it, and in a little girl voice said, "I was crying and begging Mommy to come down. Then I saw blood dripping on Mommy's pretty green skirt and tried to brush it off. It got all over my hand, then Mommy fell on me."
Tell me Peggy
Peggy raised her hand and stared at it for several seconds. In her mind that hand was covered with blood. She was not aware of Stephanie or anything in the present. She was down in the basement of the house, screaming because she was pinned under her mother's body. Blood was on her face and soaking her hair. When Peggy tried to brush the blood away her vision cleared enough to see Stephanie watching her. Peggy covered her mouth with both hands when a sob burst out and jerked her whole body. Her eyes grew huge and instantly flooded with tears that ran down over her hands.
Stephanie handed tissues to Peggy and quietly said, "Let it all come out, Peggy. You remember now. Tell me all about it. Take your time. Why was blood on your mommy's skirt?" Peggy took the tissues with a shaky hand and buried her face in them. She bent over her knees and cried loudly. It was a cry that deeply saddened Stephanie, yet she could not reach out to hug Peggy, for it might put a stop to memories coming from the past.
A mixture of sobs, loud groans, and several times almost yelling, "Oh, my god, oh my god," wracked her body with painful memories. Stephanie punched a button on the table next to her, an emergency code that sent a message to her secretary to cancel all appointments for the rest of the day. Then she sent a message on her laptop, "Call Peggy's husband and tell him to come to the office as soon as he can, emergency. I will let you know when he can come in here." Stephanie knew this was going to take a long time.
Peggy had slid off the sofa and was on her knees, her head thrown back and groaning, "No ... no ... oh my god ... no!" over and over as she swayed back and forth, arms wrapped around her chest.
Peggy's father had been a police officer and was killed in the line of duty when she was seven years old. Her mother could not deal with the loss of the man she loved and took her own life a few days after the funeral. On that fateful day Peggy had come home with her best friend, Ally, when they got off the school bus. Peggy yelled, "Mommy, I'm home." Then she fixed peanut butter sandwiches and poured milk in cups. She sat down at the table with Ally and called to her mother again, who always came to the kitchen for hugs.
Peggy ran to her mother's bedroom, but, Mommy was not there. Peggy went over to the dresser and picked up her Daddy's picture. Tears dropped on cheeks as she kissed the photo. She had not been taken to the funeral, but, knew someone had killed her Daddy and it made her angry. She went back out to the hall and saw the door to the basement stood open. She called down the stairs, "Mommy?" There was no answer. Peggy hopped down the stairs like she always did, but, stopped at the bottom and stared at Mommy hanging from the large beam. Peggy ran over and hugged Mommy's legs. "Mommy come down. Mommy, Mommy. Come down." Peggy saw the blood on Mommy's pretty green skirt and tried to brush it off. The thin rope Ellen had used to hang herself was cutting her throat and blood was flowing fast. Then the rope broke and her body fell on Peggy. Blood was dripping in Peggy's face and soaking her hair. Terrified, she started screaming. Ally came running down to see what was wrong and stared in horror at the scene. She ran home and got her mother. Police and an ambulance was called.
The next thing Peggy remembered was lying in a bed in a strange place. She slept a lot and screamed every time she woke up, striking out in anger at everyone. Kind nurses soothed and comforted her, telling her to forget all those bad things that happened. Then the head nurse would administer the medication to help her sleep. Peggy's maternal grandmother, Norma, adopted and raised the child. Norma took good care of Peggy , and, like the nurses, would tell Peggy to forget what happened in a comforting loving way, hoping to help subdue the fear and anger. Unfortunately, Peggy did eventually forget and never learned how to deal with it. A child psychologist was never consulted and Peggy buried the past. The only life she knew was living with Grandma, a grandmother who loved her so much the horrible past was never talked about.
Now, in the present, Peggy was on the floor, curled up in the fetal position and sobbing uncontrollably. For Peggy it was like her Daddy had recently been killed and her Mommy had just died. The anger came out along with the fear and sorrow as Peggy struck out at ghosts of the past. Stephanie pushed the button to call Gary in then knelt down to hold Peggy's wrists so she would not harm herself. Gary had heard his wife yelling and crying before that button was even pushed. He burst through the door, noticed Stephanie on the floor trying to comfort Peggy and immediately sat down, pulling Peggy close. He hugged her and rocked her as she kept trying to hit him. He hugged her so tight she could not move her arms. With tremendous love and patience he kept talking softly till she was quiet, knew where she was and clung tightly to him, crying so hard tears soaked the shoulder of his suit jacket.
Compassion, Love and Understanding
An hour later, Gary sat with Peggy on the sofa, his arm around her as she rested her head on his shoulder. When Stephanie asked if they wanted to see the video of Peggy's session they both said yes.
Gary silently cried as he watched the terrified little girl come out from the past. Several times he hugged Peggy harder and kissed her head. He always knew how much he loved Peggy, but, now his love knew no bounds. He vowed to himself to protect and love Peggy eternally. And Peggy knew she was safe in the arms of the man she belonged with and loved so very much. Peggy was healing.