The hardest, and I mean the absolute hardest part of my job is keeping my cool. There are days and times when I see a case file, talk to a “Parent” or sit and listen to a story that a kid tells you about a nightmare that you know actually happened. It makes it real hard for me not to lose all compassion for those that choose to destroy the lives of their children.
The hard part is not trying to love the kids, thats the easy part. No, the toughest part is trying to teach unconditional love to a kid when you feel nothing but absolute loathing for the people that dumped on them. If you have been an HP for any amount of time, you know exactly what I am talking about.
My situation at the moment is one of absolute frustration. My faith dictates that I have to forgive and I must love my enemies as I would my closest friend. It just makes it difficult when I have to tell a kid that they have to forgive those that have put them thru hell and continue to do so at every opportunity.
One of the parents of our boys has had a very difficult time in actually showing up when they tell the kid they will be there. When the kid does go home on the rare occasion, they run the street because the parent refuses to provide anything close to a home for them. They than tell the kid they are working on getting a house, a car and a job. They will then say to the child that the next time they pick them up to go home it’ll be for good. Only problem is the drug habit takes up all the time and money to put the dream into action.
So, we step into the void. We are the ones that are left to deal with the tears and the rage. I find myself on many occasions wishing I could fix what cannot be fixed. It’s heartbreaking to watch a kid that finally has stabilized and for the first time had consistency in his life, be thrown into a tail spin when the insanity and chaos of a dysfunctional family creeps back into his life for short periods of time.
It’s times like these that I have to remind myself that in many of these cases the dysfunction has been a part of that family for probably many generations. The hope and prayer is that dysfunction, can and will be broken by this generation we are raising.
Many of us have heard or said that many of the kids are doomed, they will be in jail or dead shortly after they age out of the system. I have seen HP’s even tell a kid that in the middle of a behavior issue trying to “Shock” them into behaving better. So much for positive reinforcement.
The few who read this blog can probably remember somewhere in their own past, a time when someone close to them told them they would fail. It could have been your coach, another kid or your own family. Imagine, or remember, what it is like to have those closest to you say you will fail at life. That kind of pain sticks around a long time and is hard to forgive in order to move on with a fruitful life.
Thats where forgiveness has to be a must. Wether you are religious or not, you have to find a way to teach a kid that, and at some point realize that you also need to do the same.
Much of my former life was spent not feeling that I was “Worthy” of forgiveness for real and imagined transgressions, even after giving my life to Christ. It was not until I met my in-laws did I realize what honest and real Christian forgiveness was. Unbeknownst to them I was set free from a lifetime of bondage from holding onto past anger towards others and myself by watching how they forgave others, myself included, and lived an authentic Christian life.
I really look forward to a day when I can pass on what they have shown me to the kids. I try, but somehow they make the whole forgiving thing look way easier than it is at this point when I’m dealing with a boneheaded parent I would love to set straight. -Launch