“I really wanted to slowly strangle that old man, strangle him until his eyes popped out,” says Frankie, with tears running down her cheeks.
Her manager looks mildly alarmed, as well she might. It’s not the sort of thing a mature social work student should be saying about a client’s husband. Frankie knows she is acting more like a fifteen-year-old than an adult of fifty, but she has just had the worst experience of her adult life and is trying to make sense of it.
“You know you’ll need to sort this out before you can continue with your career, don’t you?” says her manager gently as she hands Frankie the box of tissues from the corner of her desk.
Frankie is still trembling. Not exactly appropriate behaviour in the learning disabilities team. Her placement had been going well, and now this! She is embarrassed but still can’t stop the tears.
“I truly wanted to see him struggle for breath until he could breath no more,”
she continues. “The old pervert had caused such fear and pain. I know it was years ago, but I wanted him to know what was happening, to experience some of what he had done.”
The manager looks across the desk. Her large, kind eyes travel over Frankie’s face. She doesn’t comment about the smears on Frankie’s glasses, or the tracks of mascara snaking down her cheeks.
“What happened?” she asks.
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