The Honeymoon Ends
Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2005, 12:53 AM
If there is one thing I have learn about life, even though I have lived very little of it at this point, it is that every new thing has a honeymoon period. Everything from marriage to starting at a new school, from earning your driver’s license to moving into a new apartment, there are times when everyone has to enter into a new chapter of their life. More often than not these new chapters start out with a somewhat calm beginning, and then life really takes hold. It is when the honeymoon is over that reality sets in, and real experiences being to create that collection of memories that we call “life”.
Today signaled the end of the honeymoon period for my new Job. I have had very hard work days up to this point, that only involved a high volume of kids coming to me to work out problems that were solvable. Earlier last week, that changed when a kid’s mother reported to me his extremely violent behavior at home. I thought maybe my three weeks of semi-normal kid problems had ended. This morning confirmed it in full. I filed my first CPS report today, a kid is calming their friend’s parents won’t let them be her friends because she is black, and a boy’s mother died earlier this week suddenly and with out warning.
It kind of puts your life into perspective. I took for granted these last few weeks how much on an impact I actually can make on the lives of the kids at my schools. Today, when the student who I had to file the CPS report about was in my office, I almost choked up and cried. It was not the horrible circumstances that she lived in that almost brought me to tears (something a crisis councilor should never let their cases see), but at what she said as she left my office. “Thank you for believing me, no one else who can do anything about this does. Thank you so much.” This student has been living with abuse in their home for years, and is only just now able to gather the courage to tell someone about what is going on. I was the person.
My last job threatened to burn me out because I was a cog in a wheel that was part of a big machine that didn’t not know I existed. This job may kill me from this kind of stress, but at least what I does is actually saving the lives of kids. I don’t think of myself as a hero, I don’t think of myself as a wise and learned person. But I know that one student is out there that I have helped into a safer home. And that student knows that someone out there actually cares enough about their well being to do something about the injustice in their life.
I don’t know how much longer I will be in this job. But I do not look forward to that day, because I will no longer be impacting lives like the student that was in my office today.