By Susan Mankita, LCSW
Dear Social Work,
I cannot say it was love at first sight for me, though you undeniably found your way into my heart. Ours is a romance of 25 years … & like relationships of any length, it’s certainly complicated. ...You have become a comfortable life companion, though occasionally you challenge me beyond reason.
When we first met, I wasn’t sure you were my type… I mean, face it – you didn’t have the best reputation – the whole taking away kids thing… the bleeding heart bit…the salary...but once I started taking you seriously, my thinking changed forever...
Because of you, I bear witness to people’s pain on a daily basis.
Because of you, I take the visions and hopes of people seriously.
Because of you, I have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to truly impact lives.
We’ve taken some incredible journeys... stood in the shoes of abused children – and the parents who’ve lost custody (often abused children once themselves). We’ve visited high crime neighborhoods where we were welcomed into homes where we were afraid to sit down.
Social work – you and I have held the hand of a hospital patient, dying alone with no family or friends in sight. We’ve walked along side people who were newly diagnosed with terminal illnesses and born witness to their grief.
We’ve written so many soap notes – well, there isn’t enough water on the East Coast to wash away all the suds
Although we’ve seen unimaginable suffering, together we’ve also learned to NEVER underestimate the power within any individual – you and I have seen first hand that people have strengths and resources I couldn’t possibly have imagined. Thank you for a career rich in meaning, and filled with challenges and possibilities.
With love from your life partner,
Susan Mankita, LCSW