As a good portion of you bloggy friends know I am a Child and Youth Counsellor and i work with teenagers and their families in a counselling capacity when the adolescents come to stay in our treatment center. The young people that come to stay in our program are usually facing a vast array of problems that are behavioral, emotional, and psychiatric and truthfully over the years I am becoming immune to everything – meaning that really there isnt a struggle that a teenager would come to our treatment center with that would surprise me. I think that’s a really hard place as a mother to be in, despite the fact that it makes it easier to focus on helping the youth the right way – instead of through my own emotions. I’m not allowed to share the details about our clients, I never would but I do talk about the variety of problems we see teens facing in general to my friends and family and the response is always “wow I dont’ know how you do that everyday”….well the truth is, neither do I. For some reason it’s just the right thing for me to do and the desire to help and guide young people to get to a better place in their life is just really engrained in me. I guess you could say it has a lot to do with some of the struggles I had as a teenager that I overcame, but really I think it’s just that I’m a sensitive caring person by nature.
Mike and I always ride the subway/bus home from the big city after work and yesterday while on the bus we encountered a situation that I’ve been trying to figure out and it’s been a battle between my heart and my head about what the right thing to do would have been. Sitting very close to Mike and I on the bus was a young teenaged girl no older then 16 years old I’m sure and looking very much the modern day teenager (I’m making this assumption based on seeing teenagers on a daily basis and not because I think I’m a stylin happening mama *wink*). I observed as the young woman turned around in her seat to face the window and became slightly curious as she pulled some items out of her purse and proceeded to look around the bus to see if anyone was watching her. Having worked in my profession for nearly 10 years now I have a very casual way of observing a situation without people really realizing that I am observing so I’m pretty sure she was unaware that I was watching her. After a short time I nudged Mike and he looked up just in time to see (as I did) the teenaged girl lean down and snort a line of cocaine – I’m not sure what happened in that moment but my heart started to bleed I’m sure because I immediately felt overcome with the need to understand what was so wrong in this little girl’s life that she was so deep into an addiction that she couldnt’ wait even to get off a bus to snort the drugs – whatever it is that brought her to that place yesterday I am sure it was not an easy road and I know it will be a very difficult road for her to get to a better place in her life. I wanted to help her, to reach out a hand to her and point her in the direction of help, of hope for the future. In that moment, and I’m sure it had a lot to do with the fact that we were nearly home to see our 2 year old son, I wanted to cry and I am not usually moved so much at work because it is just what comes naturally to me (the helping and listening part) but I wanted to cry because dear gosh let me be a supportive loving parent that guides her child in a direction that is not similar to drug addiction. I confess it will be a learning game when it comes to my own child…I can only pray and hope that I have the right tools and a good portion of love and guidance to help steer Jacob and any other children we may have away from such choices. I can’t stop thinking about this girl – I can’t stop thinking about my choice to do nothing – I wish I had reached out to offer her some kind of helping hand……I didn’t even try to offer a way out to this girl adn today I’m not okay with that because that’s not who I am.