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There’s something about Sunday night
that really makes you want to kill yourself
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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

It's the kids

The kids kill me every time. I put my hands on my hips, cock my head, and watch a 4-year-old mimic me, realizing that in doing so, she's saying that she finally trusts me. And I think about wanting to protect her, from her father who hits her mother, from her mother who isn't the best parent in the world.

A 10-year-old who catalogs the abuse his mother has suffered, and lists it readily for her when she asks for clarification (even after I've told her not to treat him like a partner, and to let him be a kid). And the 7-year-old who has suffered more at the hands of a sick and twisted relative than I ever want to know about. Who looks up at me and hangs on my arm like I'm going to save her from all that.

I can deal with women in pain and crisis. Because they're adults. Theoretically they can help themselves; my job is only to listen and give suggestions. But the kids. There's no use in saying, "Things will be ok. I'll help keep you safe." Because I can't, and who knows if things will ever be ok?

I couldn't ever work just with kids. It's too heart-breaking. I think about them long after I've forgotten their mother.


Blogger erin said...

Let it be known that I could never do what you do.

(I mean this in an admiring way...)

1:52 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

That breaks my heart just reading it. I couldn't imagine dealing with it.

6:45 AM  
Blogger LE said...

Last night was the first time I cried because of my job.

I talked to my dad, who counsels kids every day. He said he focuses on how many children of alcoholics or abusers can grow up to be fantastic, amazing, well-adjusted adults. Mostly the statistic I know about is how sons of abusers grow up to be abusers, and daughters grow up to date abusers.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Skeezix said...

I don't know how you do it either. I know that I would be a total and complete mess if I tried to do your job.

11:43 AM  

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