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Friday, January 21, 2005

People skills

I get a crazy rush out of putting people at ease, making them feel safe, knowing when to ask the right questions and when to listen, and giving them hope. It's weird. Today I did walk-in counseling for a woman, and by the end of our conversation, she said she felt relief knowing what options she had to keep herself safe. I left, and almost did my own version of a touch-down dance in the hallway. I feel so great knowing I am a good listener, and counselor, and that people feel comfortable talking to me. I can't believe the empowerment I feel, loving my job like I do. I feel like I am capable of anything it throws at me, and I've never felt that way about anything in my life.

Sometimes I wonder if my job has hidden stressors, that how much I put into it is taking unknown tolls on me emotionally or physically. But I also have a hard time believing it could hurt me when I have such crazy love for it.

Last night, though, I was thinking about a woman who has to encounter her husband occasionally over matters of their children, and how she told me the only reason he probably wouldn't kill her was that he believed in God and the afterlife. I'm scared for her safety anyway. Men can be really fucked up even if they believe in God. But I had to stop myself from thinking about her after hours, because I know that's when the caring gets dangerous.

But on a happier note, I led a fun support group yesterday; we made stress balls out of balloons and sand. Sometimes I worry that I relate too much on a client-counselor basis, and that I might start having a hard time in personal relationships because I'd do the same with those. But I've found that support groups I lead usually end up with everyone chatting off-topic after we're done with the educational parts, and it's a good way to get to hang out with the women on a more casual basis. At any rate, it's a nice reminder that everyone is human like me.


Blogger angiepants said...

Ellie, I admire you so much. I think your job sounds so fulfilling, but it takes someone pretty kick-ass to do it. I'm glad so many people have you to turn to.

11:30 AM  

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