We have some frequent fliers in the drunk tank. They're people who wind up there time and time again. Some of them are shelter goers, street people, people who've gone through detox and treatment many, many times, and some of them aren't. It's a lot harder to get to know the ones who aren't, because the only contact I have is when they're discharging. I heard something a few nights ago though which really touched me.
There was a frequent flier in one cell and beside her a girl who I'm sure will quickly become a regular if things don't change. The two got to talking, which at least kept them from harassing me each time I walked by. As I listened to their conversation it gave me incite into some of the things they're dealing with and facing.
The first woman began to speak of her daughter, and how proud she was of her. Her daughter was eight she said, and most importantly to her, she had never laid a hand on her. To her this was the most important sign of a good mother, no physical abuse. She then began to reveal her own history of abuse and how much she had struggled as a child. The girl beside her in turn began to reveal her own history of abuse at the hands of her parents.
While it doesn't excuse the fact that these two women were drunk, disorderly, and a potential danger to themselves and others, it gave me incite into why it is that they were drinking so much on a regular basis. Fascinating. I have in mind to do a post about the different kinds of people who see in the drunk tank and then further analysis each sub group, but not today... today, i need to sleep!