January 22, 2006

Great News, Great Joy

Guess what!!!

Mama, I'm comin' home.

That's right kids, clear your calendars! I'm heading back to the maritimes for a wee little visit this February the 20th until the 27th. It's not a permanent visit, but I was able to wrangle me some time off, and by golly I'm going to use it!

I haven't booked a flight yet or anything, but I'll be doing that as soon as my back account can eat another meal. I'm excited, but the trade off is that I'm going to have to work myself to death between now and then... a trade I guess I'm going to have to be willing to make.

So this afternoon I almost had a mental breakdown. They seem to be growing in increasing regularity and usually happen the day I get back to work.

I really don't like my job. And here's why... I work too much, I don't have a life in any way shape or form. The work I do seems to have little lasting effect on the kids, and I don't know how to do it any differently. These kids don't need me now, they needed me four years ago when there was a better chance. These girls all have the same things in common, abuse, bad schools, broken families, drug use. And it all starts around the same age, give or take a few years.

But, we can't do anything for them until they start being a danger to themselves and society (mostly society, if they hurt themselves first they probably wouldn't get as much attention...). It's sad really. Not sad. Ridiculous... Stupid. Moronic.

I'm not saying minority report here, I'm saying that once you see these characteristics occur you need to bring in the big guns of proactive treatment.

They tell us to be proactive here at work. Proactive would have been investing in the schools they went to. Proactive would be parent/family support (not welfare... support). Proactive would be fighting drugs with more than an informational pamphlet (for kids that are only functionally literate in the first place, re: school comment).

I'm not doing what I want to do. It's not even treading water here, we're drowning in social dysfunction, trying to help kids with words and discipline. They'll go back to their homes, their drugs, their schools and fall back in to what they had before. I fully believe that demography is not destiny and that any kid has the full potential to "rise above" the situations they're born in to.

But it's stinking hard, and most of them aren't going to make it. And even the ones who do make it are going to be on independent living or welfare. They'll be perpetual drains on social resources. And that seems to be the best we can hope for... Though is it any better? Welfare or jail, those are the options around here.

Ahhhh, thinking, how I've missed you... I had lots of things to say but I seem to have been distracted from telling y'all about the mundane details of my daily life.

Two bad girls are being sent to another program on Tuesday. They've been behaving lately, but because I've discovered that they've been breaking in to things and stealing the belongings of other kids. They behave because they don't want to get caught for the really big thing that they're doing.

I throw my hands up in the air. What can I do? (ooooh, but now I feel bad for saying that, because everyone in their lives has said that... it's a cop out, an excuse that I can't get around)

Namaste, y'all.


Holly said...

Oh man I totally feel your discouragement. How to help these girls?? It's something only they can decide I guess. Praying is the only thing I could think of. It's really sad. :( I know b/c I was there once. (Well not there, but "there" if you know what I mean.) But on a super happy note, I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU!!! YAY EVY'S COMING! :D !!!!!!!

nicole said...

Evelyn you deserve a break. well done you. Sounds like your days off should be spent at a day spa.

May your time at home be rewarding :)

Andrew said...

Don't be discouraged. 1)You're impacting them more than you realize, 2)You've wanted a good, steady job like this for a long time. Did you think it would be easy? 3)You'll have many exotic stories to share of your time in a far off land. 4)The only thing that could possibly make Evelyn Downie perfect is a Southern accent.

Shannon said...

Oh Ev'y, I'm so very Friggin' excited that you are COMING home... if only for a few days... PROMISE I'll get to see you - I think I'm going to book you for the weekend... and maybe we'll head on up to Moncton and have a get together...

Don't worry Ev'y I know it looks dismal... you're making a diffenerence.. I promise, on some level, to someone you'rehelping. at least you're someone around to help out.

I can't wait to see you- oh i can't wait.. i'm giddy with joy, and so very happy... Oh I can't wait to see you... have I said that before?

love ya

Anonymous said...

Hi Evelyn
I found a job for you as a Counsellor II witht he provincial governement. I sent it to you e-mail. the postiion assists social workers. pays more then you are making now. Take a look.


Andrew said...

Congratulations on your new government!