by Chelsea Brooks
I'm not sure where to start
Not certain where's the end
I've got some observations
and some reservations....
Observation Number 1
Take care of yourself
Which seems complicated to do when all I can think about is...did that little girl sleep tonight, or did she stay up tortured by the images of her rapist
Competence is necessary
Of course I already knew this
But apparently in some it doesn't exist
Competence means knowledge it means understanding
Competence is knowing that this family didn't magically appear with issues
No, its been generations, cycles of people whose one commonality, other than DNA, is struggle
Struggle of addiction, struggle of poverty, struggle of depression, struggle to be happy
Competence means understanding that policies are also barriers to real change sometimes
Which leads me to observation Number 3
It's complicated, it's bureaucratic
It's sometimes diplomatic.
It's the reason we have registered sex offenders
But also the reason we had severe DFCS budget cuts
It's why my client can never seem to have enough money to provide for all three of her children
Am I cut out for this? Can I really evoke change?
Can I handle hearing about another 12-year-old being abused?Can I really watch another child cry while they're separated from the mother that beat him unconscious?
Maybe it’s my passion to heal those who are broken
Maybe it's because for years I listened on the phone while someone I loved told me about what HE did to her over and over
Day after day
From age 10 until I'm not even sure when it ended
Maybe it's because I have my own story and troubles that I wish someone could've saved me from
But when I look in a child's eyes and see that longing for happiness
That longing for normalcy
I know this is where I belong
Here in social work
With the good, the bad, the ugly
I can't let the fear of failure dominate me
I have too many lives to change
Chelsea Brooks is currently obtaining her Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia. She is passionate about writing and performing poetry in her spare time. Upon graduation, she plans to work with sexually abused children and hopes to help those survivors express themselves through the art of poetry.