All in a day's work

It is not very common and not everyday that I have a face to face conversation with the kids whom I work with. The last time was a rare opportunity for me to express my curiosity with one of the girls. She is a twelve year old girl. I don't know anything about them really because confidentiality is a big thing. I just know that I am dealing with at risk kids with different backgrounds and reasons why they are at the children's home are sealed and is not a public knowledge. But of course they are there for a lot of reasons like neglect, physical and sexual abuse, being an orphan or the parents are irresponsible, the parents are living with abusive spouses and so on. Although I already knew all these, it was still shocking for me to hear it straight from the kid's mouth. We were out at lunch when I started to ask her a lot about her family. I didn't expect her to be so open, but I could have gained her trust because she opened up to me and told me that she was raped by her father. I could hardly swallow my food. She has a condition of being overly nervous. She experiences panic attacks. And the last time she told me she pricked her wrist with thumb tacks. It was a little bit hard for me to comprehend, but when she told me what she went through, I somehow understand how she had been acting lately. She actually didn't go to school because she was too distraught and had to wait for a doctor's appointment. She also told me that her dad is already in prison and that she didn't want to have anything to do with him anymore. Apparently, her mom is also into drugs and so that's why she had been taken away from her. When she talks she seems very mature, but sometimes she just acts like a little kid. As I observe her, I think she just needed the attention. She often complains that she feels like there's something wrong with her. When she says that she maybe actually experiencing some kind of depression. I have heard her say that a few times and I think it confuses her that there seems to be nothing wrong yet she doesn't feel well. Must be a side effect of her experience. She even remember the exact date, I mean I bet that's a nightmare for her that never goes away. While listening to her narrate to me her background, I was speechless. It took me a while to regain my composure and tried to comfort her, tried to speak positive things that's going on with her life. She seems receptive and she tried to enumerate things she's suppose to be grateful for. But as the day goes on, I notice that she still carries a heavy load at her back. I mean how do you deal about something horrific that happens to you and it is your own very own father and mother that caused it. Aside from her own personal baggage, some of her friends don't agree with whom she should date. She tried to disclose her predicament to me. I told her that I didn't know what to say. I was not ready for that question. But I asked the same question to her " What do you want to do"? I know she's confused, but even myself is confused on what to say. Sometimes, silence is the best way to deal with it. Just let them know that you are there for them. Simply listen and when advise does not come so quick, just by having someone to talk to is helpful to them. Most of the kids don't see how lucky they are, simply because they are just too young. Some are from families that didn't even want them.

I talked to one of the boys too. He seems very rebellious. The first time I was there, he just utter every words he wants to. Most boys doesn't want doing chores. They are not as neat as the girls, well, even some of the girls are really messy and nasty. But when you go to the boys cottages, you can smell sweat, and the pungent odor of shoes and socks. I admit, I didn't like so much working with the boys. They are rude, well even the girls are. But I feel more comfortable working with the girls.

I was able to talk to one of the boys. It also happened because he was the only one who was on a spring break. We talked during our lunch time again. It's the only opportunity to talk to someone with his personal life. It's not really a good idea to talk about it, or ask about it within the ear shot of other kids because they can be the cause of picking and fight as they say anything to anybody when they get mad. So, hewn I talked to this boy I found out that he didn't know his parents at all. That one of his relatives have brought him to Georgia. And somewhere along the line, he was placed on a foster home until he made his way to the children's' home. It is sad and difficult to know about these children's life stories. That makes them also hard to handle sometimes because they do anything to get attention. The most disgusting thing I have witnessed so far were two girls about 12-14 years old came over to the senior boys cottages and threw their underwear to the boys. We laughed with the boys but it was disturbing to me. And a lot more things happen, from vandalism to run aways. I'm just glad that we don't have to handle these things by ourselves. Sometimes cops are called when things go way out of hand and when they run away. But there's an on call person that would be called when things like these happen. Working with them have been okay so far. I haven't been in a very extreme situation, but a lot of interesting things happen from time to time.


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