therapistYou can find these shoes in…

California, United States

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They belong to…

I’m a 32 year old white American female, born and raised by a working blue collar family in Southern California. I’m a first responder/therapist, working with law enforcement deputies in the field handling psychiatric crisis. I am married to a police officer and intentionally child free.

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What it’s like to walk in her shoes for a day…

On a typical day, like many, I start by getting ready for work. However, unlike most therapists, I have to put on a bullet proof vest and carry a medical trauma kit in case someone tries to hurt me or my partner during our shift. This is something that caused incredible amounts of anxiety to start, but I was able to learn to manage. I respond to police calls with a mental health component or when someone is having a psychiatric crisis. This can range from someone needing a simple resource to active suicide attempts. For 10-12 hours straight, I am often with people during their darkest times. This means on non-work days, I try to be cognizant of including self care and keeping things on the lighter side.

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Growing up in her shoes she was…

I had an odd dichotomy of high academic expectations mixed with understanding and freedom from my parents. As long as I was doing well in school, my parents were pretty liberal, which I loved. Unfortunately, my parents’ marriage was stressed throughout my childhood, causing a lot of internal expectations to developed because of anxiety. I grew up with two sisters and no brothers; there was always a strong female energy in my family.

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Her biggest challenges day-to-day…

I am a female dominant position in a male dominated field. I am a woman with authority. I wear a uniform and a vest but I am not a cop. I have a specialized knowledge in mental health, which is being actively integrated into many aspects of our culture…causing some growing pains.. All of these things work for and against me, depending on what’s happening. And sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s working in my favor at any given moment.

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Things you should know if you’re going to walk in her shoes…

I feel like the people that value women already have an awareness of the understanding women want. I appreciate when people ask and are curious. I suppose I wish people would understand that a growing amount of women are choosing not to become parents, and that’s just fine.

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What are the advantages of being a woman in the 21st Century?

Only because of the women before me, am I able to have endless advantages that others didn’t have or don’t have now (because of where they live). I was able to go to school. I can vote. I can choose who I marry. I can work for a female lieutenant. I can walk down the street and feel relatively safe. There are so many advantages, that should be a part of every human’s experience, but unfortunately are not.

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Flashbulb memories (s) or what it’s really like to walk in her shoes…

I find it hard to choose just one

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Hey you, can you relate to Briana’s story? Do you have a favorite quote or thought? Share it in the comments

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How about YOUR shoes?

“This story, it is unique, it is Briana’s and it tells you something about being a woman in the 21st century.

If you identify as a woman, your story is just as important. CLICK HERE to get the questions and be part of our story, history and  Her-story.”

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