A Normal Day
Today was a normal day.
We haven’t had a normal day in quite some time here. Our breaks and holidays are stressful because it’s different. Our routine makes the kids (and the staff) calm back down into regular life and I am so glad it’s finally here.
Last week was a rough week. I found out that three out of my four teenagers were moving out. They had been evicted. I had no idea what was going on. Their mother had not contacted me; the kids didn’t know. There was so much I could have done if I had known there was a problem. Their mother contacted me after her court date, at that point there was nothing I could do. They’re leaving.
I am so good about keeping up boundaries. We create these transparent walls—at least that’s what I call them—so the kids don’t know that there is a boundary. They see through to the other side. They see how much we care about them, but our emotions are never allowed to pass through that wall. That’s the only way to survive social services. You have to be relatable, lovable, but not get attached. You have to logically understand that these children are not your children, you have no control over their lives, and the people that do have control over their lives might make bad decisions.
I am so good at loving them, and logically understanding that I cannot get attached. This was the first time I ever cried when I lost a kid. And I’m angry that I allowed myself to get too close to them. It’s always the kids that you think you will never lose that end up leaving—the kids that have been here their whole lives. I hope they keep in touch, but I know they probably won’t. We all move on.
I came to work today feeling like a failure. I felt like I should have done something or someone should have told me. I truly felt exhausted at the thought of coming in today and dealing with my emotions. Knowing that tonight for the first day of program they wouldn’t be here. But 25 other kids were here, and I was reminded of that as each one of them walked through the door. As always, our normal routine calms all the negative emotions. Knowing that we will see each other every day for the rest of the school year is such an awesome feeling. We all have a goal in mind, we all want to do awesome things this year and we are ready to tackle it together. I’m so glad they’re back.
Service Coordinator: Friendship Village
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