Thursday, October 27, 2011

give me my innocent suicidal kids

I was driving home after a very very long day of work. I was in a new place, with new kids that day. These kids made me think that I had never really met a real at-risk kid before in my life. There had been an incident where I witnessed some disturbing domestic violence. The RCMP were involved and I went home feeling sickened by the whole incident. Many of the teens I work with have experienced abuse. Physical, sexual, emotional, and every other kind you can think of. I've sat there in Starbucks hearing their stories, feeling empathy for them, helping them along the path to healing, but I've never had to watch it happen before. As you can imagine this was difficult for me. Please don't be concerned for me. These things are supposed to be difficult.
The day I become numb to these stories is the day I quit being a youth worker.
The difference between these kids I met that day and the kids I usually work with is that my kids take their pain out on themselves. They cut themselves, they try to kill themselves, they don't eat and don't sleep. They are depressed and suffer from anxiety. But they've never stabbed anyone. They haven't done jail time. These new kids are suffering the same pain. But instead of taking it out on themselves like I'm used to....they take it out on anyone who gets in their way. When I got home and debriefed my day with my husband I said "Just give me my innocent, suicidal, depressed kids! They are easy to handle." We both listened to the echo of what I just said in our heads, and started to laugh. I went for a run, showered off the day, wrote up a critical incident report, and by then the feeling of God's hope had replaced the feeling of sickness. God is good. It is well with my soul. I'm going back tomorrow.

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