This doesn't mean I like or agree with things clients do all the time. However, I challenge myself to remember that their diagnosis does not define them. It is a part of their lives but it is not who they are. If I reject them or judge them what is the point of them coming to see me? They can get rejection and judgment anywhere - for free and without having to drive all they way to my office. It's my job to tell them, "Hey, I saw what you did there. I'm curious about it and I think you are too. Let's figure out what happened and how to move forward."
In all the years I have been doing therapy I have never been wrong. About anyone. And this time I know I'm right, but it doesn't matter. What I am learning (and it is a bitter lesson) is that I can be right about someone all day long but if CPS has decided something, there is nothing I can say or do to change that. In fact, the harder I try to make my case, the worse it goes. Advocate too strongly and I look like I'm overemotional and blinded. Step back and say nothing, it looks like I'm abandoning and distancing myself from the case - yet another nail in the coffin.
What I am experiencing is an absolute travesty of justice. Obviously, I can't give details but I can say watching children be hurt and traumatized because of the small-minded, short-sightedness of the people in power is sickening. Watching family members destroy each other, use children as pawns, and generally make punishing a parent into a game for sport, is nauseating. And heart burn inducing.
This again brings me to a place of powerlessness. And it is this feeling, this experience, that makes me say I don't want to do this forever. I don't think I can survive it. I never understood why so many therapists won't see children or even take state insurance. And don't get me wrong, I totally judge them for that because I think it's shallow but at the same time I can understand the desire to avoid the heartbreak and acid reflux.
Thankfully, despite my horror at news that things just keep getting worse, I have yoga group this morning. I will go forth and do some light processing and relaxing yoga with some lovely clients then I will get on with my day and see friends as planned. This does not define me or my life. I will not deny there is a palpable impact. But if I am to survive this career choice of mine, I have to resist the urge to fixate on the bad and let myself be sucked down into the darkness. I am no good to anyone if I let that happen. People need me to be okay because if I'm okay, they're okay. I can help, I can contribute, I can empathize, but only if I take care of myself and consciously and consistently force relaxation and distance. They are my life rafts and I am holding on to them with an iron grip.
|Damn. That second part is hard!|