Friday, January 21, 2011

The one where she comes home late

I start blog posts in my head all the time about work. And then I remember how dangerous it is to write about work. I have all of my clients' stories bouncing around in my head all of the time. I feel like I should write about poverty and intergenerational trauma and systemic dysfunction and transference. But I don't know how to talk about any of these topics without telling you pieces of their stories. Even sanitized of names and personal details it feels too dangerous to talk about.

In the marginally safer world of offline conversation, my work stories sound different outside my office walls. At work, stories that include drug abuse and incest and suicide attempts and prison and foster care sound normal. Outside they sound a lot more intense. I think there's a certain amount of desensitization necessary for doing this type of work. Sometimes though I fear that it holds me back from providing everything that I should to some of the families who need it the most.

This post isn't flowing the way I want it to flow. Perhaps I should have stuck with my original topic: exhaustion. Sometimes it feels like the exhaustion is related to the stories bouncing around in my head is related to the desensitization. Or maybe it's just the 1am bedtimes. Either way, it has been a long week (despite only being four days!), after a few other long weeks. Monday we did the drive back from MA, Tuesday evening we had an insane rendezvous with a lawyer and two other lesbian couples (more on this some other day), Wednesday I worked late and then we socialized at Kara's until much too late, Thursday I worked late again, and now it's finally Friday.

Another worker said to me tonight "I just can't fight anymore," regarding trying to summon the energy to argue with a supervisor about whether to indicate a case. We spend enough time dealing with exhaustion from our own lives and exhaustion from the intensity of the clients' issues. Why do we also have to fight with the system itself to get anything to work right?

1 comment:

  1. I commented before. But now I'm too tired to remember exactly what I commented before. This blog following thing is complicated. Just like working with people and their difficult problems. Or maybe not.