I Quit: Poem About Social Work

Today I quit my job
I’d had it up to here
I was tired of all the stress
The crying and the tears.

I went back the next day
Just as I knew I would
Because I know I’m needed
To bring some love and good

Tomorrow I’ll quit my job
Because of this or that
Paperwork piled high
But I always somehow come back

Why do I do this silly dance
Round and Round I go
Soaring with the few highs
Crashing often in the lows

Am I madwoman
Doing the same over and over again
Or do I just stay in this work
For the totally incredible friends

Some days I lose my ability
To love, to feel, to care
As the stress piles on and on
And becomes too much to bear

I eat chocolate to ease the pain
Color when I can
Get lost in good books
So I don’t have to think about it again

I show up early
Work late most days
I do it for the idea of hope
(Definitely not the pay)!

So if I can spread kindness
Give resources here and there
Show others it’s not hopeless
Then I guess I really do care

So here’s to a broken system
We do what we can do
I’ll show up early tomorrow
Bring hope, healing, and a little love for you

~I Actually Did It~

After MONTHS of agonizing, scheming, planning, praying, and generally feeling as if I have an elephant on my chest, I finally did it tonight. I finished my grad school essay and I submitted my application for the MSW to Rutgers University. If accepted I will start school in January. If not accepted, well I don’t know from there.

This past week I had all but given up on my application. I was tired, I was stressed, and my boss was driving me crazy. My families I work with were driving me crazy. I was ready to quit my job and turn into a hermit who lives in the woods. During my supervision on Friday I had it out with my boss and told her all my frustrations and how I felt betrayed by her. She stayed calm and told me that there are always exceptions to every rule and that is just how the world works. When I told her I was no longer applying for school she got mad at me and asked why. I said I couldn’t do my job, go to school, and get everything done. She looked away and said “whatever.” Naturally this made me furious. I don’t like being dismissed.

So tonight I had some time to think while my husband was out. I am literally worn out physically, mentally, and emotionally. If I don’t get this degree I can’t move up in the field and I will be stuck at my current job forever. If I go to school it’s going to cost a lot of money and time and possibly all of the little sanity I have left. But the time has come to move on because I can’t do anything else unless I get this degree.

So here goes nothing. Or something. We shall see!!

 

Who Is That Girl?

Today my husband and I had a million and one errands to run and obviously to get to the gym as well. One of our errands was to the mall a few towns over. I told him to wait in the car as I was only running in to get a bag of goodies I had accidentally left there last weekend at one of the shops and was too busy (and scared) to go back and get alone. For most people, no big deal, run in grab the bag, and leave right?!

Not for me…

Ever since the multiple assaults I have been through in my past I have an intense fear of going to large places (such as a mall or Wal-Mart) by myself. My palms sweat and my whole body is on high alert for danger because of course there is always a bad person luring around every corner to get me. Some may find this funny but trust me, if you were in my body, you would not be laughing at all.

So I made it inside the doors, alone. I decided to focus on the task at hand which was to get to the store, get my stuff, and leave. But then I saw some cute pajamas, and then I saw shirts I thought my husband would like. Then I stopped by Victoria Secret because they were having a sale and while I definitely am not Victoria Secret Angel material, I do love some of their perfumes. So then I managed to get signed up for their credit card because they promised $25 off a purchase at their store, Pink, or Bath and Body Works (my most favorite store in the whole mall!!!!).

I browsed the store, then went to Pink figuring I would buy my sister in law a present for Christmas to stash away. It felt awkward shopping in these stores as they definitely don’t carry anything close to my size and there were a lot of skinny, beautiful women shopping because, regardless of your size, a deal is a deal right?! So I found out that they did not carry her size either (apparently an XL is considered obese in Pink land because they only carry a few items in that size and only online).

So off I trot to Bath and Body Works and for once they had nothing I wanted. Granted last weekend I stocked up during an awesome sale so I was kind of jaded after scoring so much booty for so little moolah. At this point I get a call from my husband (who is still in the car) asking what I’m doing because I have been inside for an hour. I froze. I couldn’t believe it but lo and behold when I looked at my phone an hour had passed! I promised him I would be out soon. I quickly trotted back to the store I was supposed to have been going to and grabbed my stuff. Then I headed back to Victoria Secret and scored a free tote bag along with my purchase of a very nice perfume that I would never have been able to afford without $25 off.

At this point you are probably wondering, what the heck is the point you are trying to make here? The point was I was able, for the first time ever, to go shopping alone in a very large, very overwhelming place, without having a panic attack, without feeling completely overwhelmed, and without feeling like everyone was going to notice what a freaking lunatic I was. I was just another woman, enjoying a good bargain, and wandering around the mall like anyone else.

Who is this girl? This woman who even had the confidence to go into these stores and think she had a right to be there when she is not a size zero and her ribs are in a warm snuggly bed of flesh hidden from the world? Who is this girl who thought she had the right to wear makeup and be noticed by buying a sensual fragrance she knows her husband will enjoy? I feel like a caterpillar just emerging from her cocoon about to burst forth as a beautiful butterfly.

But I am terrified of this as much as I want it. My cocoon kept me safe from the world. Nobody could come inside (except my husband because he just barrels through every barrier I put up as if he is a human wrecking ball full of love). But now I am this person that people are noticing and expecting to be in leadership roles. And I never ever would have pictured me in ANY kind of leadership place. I am the behind the scenes girl. The supporter of leaders. And yet I keep getting nudged into these positions where I must take a leadership role. Only time will tell what lies ahead…

Can we get real for a minute?

Getting Real

Yesterday I did not blog . I wanted to because I had much to say but I needed time to get my emotions in order so the words I had to say made sense.

I’ve been watching a series on Netflix called 13 Reasons Why. The first season dealt with a girl named Hannah Baker who took her life. Each episode of the first season deals with one person who she feels played a part in the reason for her death. She recorded cassettes before she died and everyone on each tape has to listen to all 13 tapes then pass it on to the next person. It was heartbreaking and so real.

Then seasons two comes along. **SPOILERS AHEAD** The season deals with the aftermath of Hannah’s death from season 1. The memorial for Hannah, the parents breaking up because the father cheated, the ongoing bullying, the school totally being responsible and yet not getting blamed in court, rebellion, all out fighting in the school halls, vandalism, guns, and of course lots of drugs and alcohol because hey we’re dealing with teenagers right?! The coverups and the lying. SO MUCH LYING!!!

And then there is Tyler and Bryce. These were the characters that bothered me the most throughout the second season. Bryce is a rich kid with parents who constantly leave him home because they are always off in the world doing something or other and they have been doing this most of his life. He is a sick bastard who rapes girls, drugs girls, and even takes pictures of all his conquests. One of the girls finally stands up to him and takes him to court. And you know what this bastard gets?! Three freaking months of probation. NO JAIL TIME!!! Seriously WTF?! But we all know it’s because he comes from a rich family. His former best friend Justin gets 6 months in juvenile detention for knowing it was going on but not doing anything about it!! Naturally it’s because Justin is poor and comes from a broken home. Again WTF?!

**GRAPHIC CONTENT AHEAD***

Tyler is kind of an outcast and he finally finds some friends at school that are also outcasts who initially support him against the jocks who are bullying him. But eventually Tyler goes a little too far and the crew abandons him. Tyler is sent away to get some help. He comes back seemingly doing better. But the kids he was friends with before being sent away still don’t want to be friends, and the girl he liked was now dating someone else. Tyler told the truth in court about the bullying going on in school. Naturally because of what Tyler did as well as some other students he is still a target when he returns to school from this program. So on his first day back some jocks grab Tyler and shove him into the bathroom. They hit his head against the sink and then shove his head into the toilet several times. Then they hold him down while another jock shoves a mop handle up Tyler’s buttocks as far as it will go.

I was not prepared for this scene.

Honestly I thought they were going to drown him in the water or beat the shit out of him. I was not expecting this and it really shook me to the core. I’ve been a victim of rape and sexual assault unfortunately more then once. I am not ashamed to share this because I have survived these attacks and become a more compassionate individual and advocate because of it. Do I wish it had never happened? One hundred million times over YES! I have chronic anxiety and it is very difficult for me to go out into the community alone. I am making progress but it’s still scary.

I can handle watching shows like Law and Order Special Victims Unit which deals with sexual assault crimes. I love Criminal Minds which deals with serial killers and why they do what they do. But for some reason this shook me to my core. I mean I literally was crying, shaking, and felt like I was going to vomit. It triggered so many emotions at once I didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t even put into words later how I felt when trying to explain it to my husband. I felt so violated watching that.

And then Tyler goes home from school and DOESN’T TELL ANYONE!! And you know why? Because he did the first time and NOTHING CHANGED! In fact it made it worse. And unfortunately this is the reality kids face today. There is no break from the bullying. You go to school, it’s there. You go out in your neighborhood, still there. Online bullying is sometimes worse then in person because people feel more empowered behind a screen. I wish I knew the answers about what to do for these kids now. When I was growing up I was bullied unmercifully both verbally and physically. But it stopped when I got home.

The show is excellent and I highly recommend it. I would definitely be careful watching it if you are easily triggered by self-harm, suicide, or discussions about or viewing sexual assault. I strongly recommend watching with someone who cares about you and who you can trust.