The Best Part Of The Job

I complain about my job a lot. I know I do. Long hours, not enough pay, definitely not enough appreciation from anyone.


There are days like today that make it all worth it. This week was brutal with parents screaming, canceling visits (after I had already confirmed with them the day before), and generally telling me I suck in every way possible. But it all melted away today.

Today I met with 3 of my little guys who have been quite challenging for their mother in regards to their behaviors. When we first started, mom could not even talk to anyone without getting beat up by all 3 boys. Punching, scratching, kicking, hitting, pulling hair, etc. Today it has been about 6 months since we started services. The kids were able to tolerate the treatment team talking to mom for over an hour without having any major meltdown. The one little boy, when he wanted to play a game on mom’s cell phone said “Tap, tap, tap” as he tapped her arm, then he politely requested the phone. This child normally would have snatched the phone and slammed it on the ground or run around with it. Instead he took the phone, sat on the couch, and played games on it.

I was absolutely FLOORED!!

I know most people would say “big deal” but to me and the people working with him it was a HUGE deal. I wanted to pick the kid up and swing him around and tell him how proud I was of him (but I didn’t because I think I would have scared everyone and the kiddo). I LOVE THESE MOMENTS!! The small progress, the small successes are so treasured and so appreciated in my heart. I love seeing mom feel hopeful again.

Maybe you aren’t meeting all of your goals (I sure am not) but that’s okay. Please take a moment to celebrate those small successes. They mean so much!!

small victories

Introductions and Such

Hello! My name is Jenny and it’s currently 2:48AM. I am supposed to be sleeping but instead I am here typing in Cyber Land because my mind is going a thousand miles an hour. I attended a friend’s daughter’s communion party today. I think the combination of BBQ, Coca-Cola, and cake is partly to blame for my insomnia. But there’s also the constant anxiety I live with that makes by brain operate like an out of control merry-go-round that only the most psychotic of people would want to ride.

The reason I started this blog is because everywhere I turn I am told to “not complain” and to “reset” myself. I am not allowed to be angry, upset, or sad. I am supposed to be a bastion of rainbows, sunshine, and smiles because as a social worker you can’t feed into the negativity of parents or kids. You are supposed to be as calming as the ocean when a parent tells you that their kid just beat the crap out of them because they are Autistic and can’t communicate what they want verbally. You are supposed to just trust that God has your back even when things constantly go wrong.

Do I believe in God? Absolutely. Am I sure He loves me and always has my back? Honestly not always. But that’s why I have Pastor Thomas. He is literally one of the best people I know. He’s kind of perfectly imperfect. You can guarantee most Sundays that he will make some cornball jokes. But he never does it at the expense of the truth. And he will always tell you the truth even if you don’t necessarily want to hear it. But he is gentle and compassionate and will agree to disagree. His wife Lauren is amazing and brilliant and her faith is so strong. I hope I can be a little like her one day.

So back to “reset.” This is a term used in the Nurtured Heart Approach by Howard Glasser. This is a therapeutic approach that I and my other fellow Care Managers (as we are called) are required to use with families along with all the therapists we work with. In short you are supposed to “energize” positive behaviors (in other words give lots of attention, praise, and rewards) and refuse to energize negative behaviors (not really ignoring just refusing to engage in an argument, waiting for a moment to praise the child for literally anything they do right). You also have to have clear rules and consequences in place and you have to follow through no matter what. Resetting is when you or the child take a minute to calm down and then resume working towards whatever goals you were working towards (sort of like when you play a video game and you lose a life and you just start over and work until you beat the game).

Our whole agency has to follow this including our supervisors. In theory it sounds nice but when you have had a truly craptastic day and you are one step away from a nervous breakdown, you want someone to acknowledge you have a right to feel the way you do and not tell you to “reset.” It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even talk about it anymore because it only makes me feel angrier and more depressed. But stuffing feelings is why it is 3:18am and I am wide awake (okay and the cake and Coke).

I need a place to vent, explore ideas, discuss my craziness, and as my blog title suggests, stumble my way to a deeper faith in God. I am open to ideas, suggestions, quotes, and DEFINITELY any books that are recommended (as long as they aren’t anything too crazy like how to cook alligator or something). Thanks for tuning in this morning. Hoping to add more content on at least a weekly basis if not more often. Just hopefully not at this crazy hour!