Being with teens sometimes hurts my soul. Today I am upset with my gag order circumstances. Kinda goes against the grain of my -say it- fabric. I suck at keeping my mouth shut as I watch (especially) kids suffer with isolation, self harm, loneliness, craziness, betrayal, self doubt, etc.. Kids who have been abused and are actively living their struggle publicly. They so need intensive treatment but are not receiving it. So many undiscovered, unpaved roads on the journey back to self- and overseen by those who may or may not have dealt with their own traumatic past. Christ. Professionals who try to help but are only as useful as their own unhealed issues allow them to be.
Observing this. Observing this is both paralyzing and motivating. Triggering me and me wanting to connect with these teens. Uncharted territory for sure (for me to do this at work). To delve into the heavy with these poor babies. Although my dreadful childhood renders me one of the most qualified fuckers around. Sure, I’m technically not in the “mental Health” profession but trust that what I have endured and how I have lived life – despite – makes me MORE than qualified to connect with traumatized children. Good Christ, I feel so passionate about connecting with humans on the trauma front – I’d be willing to stick my neck out. Hell, I’m very spiritual, have certifications in intuitive energy healing, sound healing, Reiki Master and extensive guided meditation experience. I have helped many adults to uncover their true selves and address layers of buried trauma. I can do this, I could make a difference.
True, I may find myself in a heap of trouble for talking openly about sexual abuse with these children but they are suffering so much in an institution (school) that prizes academia. These kids don’t fucking care about anything but safety, validation, warmth, connection, aliveness and ultimately survival. Didn’t hear Math, Science, Language Arts, and Information Technology ANYWHERE in there. Didja? Schools, especially Public Schools, are not equipped to deal with the level of trauma I have seen. Yet we expect these kids to carry on and deal with THOSE feelings/thoughts in a special room or with special staff or after school with some therapist.
Body memories, feelings of wanting to self harm, self medicate, panic, dissociation, rage – they are not on a strict schedule of when to show up. We need more adults who are ready and willing to roll up their sleeves and process through things like this in real time. Maybe I work in the wrong setting. Probably. In this setting I find myself in I do not have the right to connect with children about trauma present or past, they’ve experienced. I am so perfect for assisting these young folks. I’m not coming from an energy of anxiety, hysteria, burn-out, anger, indifference, etc. because I have cleaned out my system to the point that I can hold space for these victims, yet SO IMPORTANTLY, not take on or be overwhelmed by what is shared.
I know how incredible and life changing it would have been for me to meet up with someone who knew the right fucking things to say to me back then. Some validation for my tears, anger, frozen, mistrust, panic. Especially when a child is showing every sign that she doesn’t want to be alive – at age 12! All of my life, I could not get the validation I so craved (for 40 years). Imagine how much further I would be on my path had I connected with someone who truly understood what I needed and was there for me. Imagine.
I have a problem – I care so passionately and what I’m left with is to watch, watch as staff anger them, watch as the staff get overwhelmed themselves and mostly become indifferent so they can still function each day without emotional overwhelm. If you don’t truly get it AND have not addressed your own trauma, I don’t care what kind of professional credentials you have, you’re not going to be effective with this population. My feelings of – I could do something about this. The feeling of – if I could only tell them that it happened to me too! If only… but no, I have to sit and wait and pray that they’ll start the conversation with me.
I recall last year, meeting a teenage boy who was very open about his physical and sexual abuse he suffered in an orphanage in Russia as a small child. He wrote a poem about how he can love, anyway. Most beautiful piece of work I have ever read. He kept telling me about what was done to him and saying that I wouldn’t understand. OH MY. I could not stop myself and I let that young man know that I was abused also. We formed a beautiful trusting bond. Then we had a conversation about him being selective about WHO he told – as he would just tell everyone he met.
I let him know that not everyone in the world would want to hear his message/history and that in no way does that mean that it was not real or didn’t happen. The point being that people will react differently and that it has very little to do with him and his “story” and everything to do with them and their experiences. Some people will tell you you are lying, others will ask you why you didn’t fight back, still others will tell you “who cares that was a long time ago” and still others will insinuate that somehow you could have avoided it. All fashioned to make you doubt your sanity, credibility, place the blame on your shoulders, and suspect that you’re making a big deal to get attention. SOMEONE had to tell him. Funny how the pendulum swings wildly from trusting NO-ONE to opening wide and assuming everyone’s got your back to titrating and discerning the rest of our lives.
I wanna be there for these babies. I have rich experience. Traumatized children are everywhere. If you don’t believe it – go visit a school. They’re the kids who refuse to work, the kids who are refusing to come to school, the kids who talk about dying on social media, the kids who cut, stick pins in their skin, who vomit everyday after lunch, attempt suicide, etc.. They are reaching for help, to be noticed, saved. I feel like shit because it wouldn’t be “appropriate” for me to help more.
Isn’t it sad that all I would have to do is get a degree in psych or social work to become instantly credible? Motivates me to find a way to NOT follow that traditional path. I was never a conformist, nor traditional… why the fuck start now? Lol