This is the 3rd article prepared especially for TIDBITS-of-WISDOM, intended to fulfill my commitment to have periodic guest columnists. Carrie-Anne O’Driscoll is the daughter of my very long-time-good friends, Dan and Pam Gallagher, Sr. I have followed Carrie-Anne and the numerous traumas of her young life for about ten years. Carrie-Anne comes from a family of true Americans who, for generations, have served their country in several branches of the military, with some family members having made the ultimate sacrifice. Carrie-Ann carries on the family tradition of serving their fellowman, both locally, statewide, and around the world. She has the added distinction of being an accomplished Author; and has dedicated her life to God, and the promotion, awareness, and education of domestic violence.
Carrie-Anne O’Driscoll has authored two books; The Worm Fiasco- A True Portrayal of Domestic Violence and Last Kiss – The Life and Death of Ka’Tara Gallagher. She is a deputy sheriff/crisis advocate in the state of Texas. In 2011, she founded Amy and Ka’Tara’s Legacy – The Strength Without Fear Foundation. Proceeds directly assist local shelters and programs to promote awareness and education to prevent domestic violence and child abuse. These endeavors have enabled her to work with the Sexual Assault Family Violence Investigator Course and Advanced Child Abuse to show officers in Texas how to work a case and be an advocate at the same time. Carrie-Anne can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org – Carrie-Anne’s personal website is: www.thewormfiasco.com
This is my Story…..
I am a mother, a wife, an author, an advocate, a domestic violence/sexual assault survivor, and a deputy sheriff. First and foremost I am a Christian. In many walks of life, and lines of work, the term “Christian” is forbidden and taboo. Not so in law enforcement. In fact, most of us live and die by the passage of Matthew 5:9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
Each morning, most of us look at ourselves in the mirror and make ourselves one promise and that is “to come home safe at the end of the tour.” In addition, I say a quick prayer to God requesting His protection for all of my brothers and sisters in blue and all other first responders. I know in my heart that at any given time a routine traffic stop could turn into a life threatening situation. I also know that while Kevlar is a necessity that it will not be what saves me. My faith in Christ will be my redemption.
As an officer, I see people at their worst and lowest points in life. I hold addicts as they detox while en route to the local hospital. I wait with injured victims of car accidents while their friend dies as we await an ambulance. I have to knock on doors and explain that my condolences are with you and your family in your time of loss after I announce the death of the previously mentioned friend. In all of these circumstances…. I see God. He gives me the words of encouragement to whisper to the shaking addict; He gives me the strength to look the injured in the eye and say, “It’s going to be ok” and mean it; and most of all, He stands beside me and gives me the courage to ring the doorbell at 3 am. Certainly, He is there in the shadows when I scream “Drop the gun!”
I can also state in all seriousness that in my life, a bullet has not been the biggest threat I have faced. A bullet will either kill you or it won’t. I have faced fear, heart break and spiritual questioning on levels that few people can understand. In 2001, I was raped and almost beaten to death by a man I had called “husband” for a mere six weeks. I was also six weeks pregnant. At age 21, I found myself battered, bruised and broken. I had turned to a local pastor for help; and his response was, “You cannot divorce him because you will go to Hell.” I was stunned! I was faced with a decision to LIVE in Hell or burn there. Neither option was appealing. It was at that point in my life when I realized that I have a special relationship with God. He will not give me anything I cannot handle and he will love me for surviving, overcoming and believing in His mercy.
It took me close to ten years to figure that out. In 2011, I heard His call to service in several ways. First, I wrote my first book on domestic violence for education and prevention and donated most of the proceeds to local shelters. Secondly, I became a certified Crisis Advocate for the state of Texas. And, thirdly, I enrolled in the local Law Enforcement Academy, and while I had my rear-end handed to me daily, I persevered and am in Service. Shortly after being hired at a local sheriff’s office I wrote my second book. This book was about my niece, Ka’Tara, who at 20 months, was murdered in Spokane, via child abuse. Through this book, I further my goal of prevention of abuse through education. Now, I am not only a deputy sheriff, but a crisis advocate, as well.
I would not be where I am today without God, who, for many reasons, allowed me to live through these ordeals, and then He led me through the darkness so that I might help others find the light. I have lost much and cried many tears, but they have all been worth the lessons learned, and His Gift of Grace. It is through Him that I SURVIVED, and through Him, that I continue to truly live.
Carrie-Anne can be contacted at: email@example.com
Carrie-Anne’s personal website is: www.thewormfiasco.com