The World is Heavy

Yesterday I had one of those days at work where I hated my job.

Not because of what my job is, but more because of what it can’t be.

I had to sit with a 7 and 10 year old as they were told that their Dad had to “go away” for awhile to rehab for being addicted to crack, and nearly killing himself two days ago from drug overdose.

I had to sit with a kid who drew a picture of shooting his Mom in the head, and try to figure out where this anger was coming from.

I had to sit with a kid who told me he believes his father does not love him.

And all I can do is sit with these kids.

I cannot make it better. I cannot make them unknow what they know.

I cannot take away their pain.

I cannot even going to tell them “it’s all going to be okay,” because in their world – it very well may never be okay.

And some days? The world seems so heavy, and it is so unfair that these kids..KIDS..are carrying around knowledge and pain that even most adults will never know.

And I hate it.

And although I know that it is important that I am there. That it is important that I do what I do… I hate it.

There is nothing a control freak fears more than being helpless.

And sometimes, sitting on the front lines, with these children – it is hard. And it gets to me.

Because I get to leave and live my life with people who I know love me, who make me laugh, and support me. Who tell me that I’m such a good person for doing what I do. And they? They go on to live what they know – fear, abuse, drugs, pain, loss - and it is forever altering who they will be.

And I really, really, really hate that.

*****

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16 Responses to The World is Heavy

  1. I think it’s a DARNED good thing they have you – even if only for a short period of time – to know there are people in the world who are stable. You never know what a gift that may turn out to be with one of them someday.
    Missy | Literal Mom recently posted..No GuaranteeMy Profile

  2. Shell says:

    I can’t imagine how frustrating that would be, how heartbreaking. But know that your being there makes a difference.
    Shell recently posted..Pour Your Heart Out: This Is My HomeMy Profile

  3. Sarah (Smldada) says:

    This is such a testament to why YOU are so important to the world.

    And tangently related: have you read there are no children here? Such a sad sad book.

  4. gina says:

    I had that day on Friday. I cried a lot. I hope your week gets better.
    gina recently posted..Blessed are those who are persecuted.My Profile

  5. processrecorded says:

    I agree that it is wonderful that they have that space to share all this with you and that they know you will sit with them even when the things they have to share aren’t “pretty.” In many situations saying or drawing the things you describe would elicit fear or discomfort instead of comfort and support. I really do think the opportunity you have provided for them to express things that they might otherwise keep secret is invaluable. That being said, it is obviously not easy to be the container for terrible things children have to but shouldn’t have to deal with and I can relate to that feeling of heaviness… I hope today feels at least a little lighter.

  6. Becky says:

    I have those days, too. More of late for some reason. I keep reminding myself that I have no control over what happens when they leave me. All I can do is be present with them right then, in that moment. Because a lot of the kids I see – and probably the ones you see, too – don’t get that very often. And so I have to remind myself that sometimes that is all I can do. And so I will do it, with my whole being. ((hugs))
    Becky recently posted..The Kindness of StrangersMy Profile

  7. Kristen says:

    My BIL & SIL just became foster parents a few months ago. I can’t believe how many kids they have already had in & out and how they ended up there. It does break hearts and it does hurt souls. And it takes wonderful people who can sit and listen and care to change the way these children see the world. You may not get through to all of them, change all of them or even leave a memory with all of them but you will do it with more than you know. I know most days are hard so I just want to say thank you for setting an example for all of those children and giving them a safe place to land.

  8. For their short session, I know you are the sunshine in their rainy day. Poor babies :-(
    Kenya G. Johnson recently posted..Don’t you like surprises?My Profile

  9. misssrobin says:

    Having grown up in an abusive situation and been in an abusive marriage AND gone to a lot of therapy, I can tell you — you are doing so much more than sitting with them.

    You are giving them moments when they feel safe. You are telling them that their voices, their experiences matter. They matter. You are validating that the experiences they had were awful. You are strengthening them so they are better able to carry the load. And by sharing the load, you are making it lighter. And you are giving them tools to better face the battles coming their way.

    You may be the first person in their lives to ever make them feel valued and loved. Please don’t underestimate that.
    misssrobin recently posted..Gay Marriage and My HeartMy Profile

  10. Kristen says:

    Love you, girl!! I cannot imagine how hard it is on you — but thank goodness those kiddos have someone on their side, to stick up for them, and fight for them. You are an amazing person.

  11. Jenny says:

    Jenn, you have a gift of listening and empathy. You cannot take away your patient’s pain, but they leave your office feeling validated and heard. I cannot imagine how wearing that must be on you day after day. Huge hugs.
    Jenny recently posted..Who inspires you?My Profile

  12. Sela Toki says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. You’re being there gives them an outlet to share their fears, frustrations and that can give them some type of light and relief. They count on you. Blessings.
    Sela Toki recently posted..My Sweet Angel MotherMy Profile

  13. Just a quick note to say thanks for what you do. Seriously. You probably don’t hear that enough.
    another jennifer recently posted..Philanthropy Friday: Generosity As a Business ModelMy Profile

  14. You are doing such an important job.
    I can very much see how the fates you have to witness everyday get to you and make the world heavy for you. But: even if you can only sit with them, you’re making a difference for those kids. I know that I would’ve appreciated somebody like you during those times during my childhood and youth when life was not so good.
    RelaxedNoMore recently posted..Step by StepMy Profile

  15. kyfirewife says:

    I cannot imagine how difficult that must be. But at the same time, I want you to remember that you ARE doing SO MUCH for these kids. Just by being there. I guarantee that for some of them, you are the first adult who is there FOR THEM. And that means so, so much.

    {{ stopping by from SITS }}
    kyfirewife recently posted..Stuff Going OnMy Profile

  16. Wow, I can’t imagine working a job that difficult and emotionally draining. Power to you. Visiting from SITS!
    New York Cliche recently posted..Other NYCs: The Bonafide BrooklyniteMy Profile

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