4:21am

I am sitting at work as I type this up, working graveyard shift. Everyone is asleep and I have one headphone in my ear, one out so that I can hear if anyone gets up. Yesterday I had to go to work from 7am-Noon for a training. I work in a community protection program and honestly I had no idea what that entailed until I got the training, Essentially everyone in the program is developmentally disabled and registered with DDA and DSHS and seen as a potential threat to the community. That doesn’t mean that clients are excluded from the community, but need intense supervision while at the grocery store or on outings. Most folks in the program are sex offenders (not registered because they are mentally unable to stand trial), arsonists, can be violent, commit crimes against animals, etc… I personally work with sex offenders who have committed offenses against children which is… I don’t really want to comprehend it.

It’s difficult being a victim of sexual assault and rape and being in a home of several men and women who have committed such horrific acts. I trained at the house that I am at now and the head of household told me that there is no room to hold grudges; we judge the clients for who they are now, not who they were 20+ years ago. My thoughts on it are this: we all make mistakes and fuck up, sometimes big time. However he is right by saying I can’t hold a grudge because they deserve respect and care because they are human. End all, be all. They are human and deserve respect. As long as they respect me and my coworkers I am more than happy to be helping them cook, clean, and talk.

Part of me wants to know why it happens. But most of these folks have so much trauma in their life and early childhood that it makes it so it is almost inevitable that horrific events like this are to occur.

My parents fear for my safety while I’m over at these houses especially when I am at the male household. I am not fearful, I am not sure why but if the clients’ behavior is too severe they don’t like female staff like myself work with the male clients. Plus I don’t have my flight or fight response going off while here, I don’t feel in danger and these guys want to graduate out of the program so they are doing everything they can to be respectful toward staff and not make any waves.

I like this program because everyone is in therapy and working through their issues each and every week. The program does a lot of the steps of healing and taking care of the original problem rather than slapping a band aid on the issue and solving the problem reduces recidivism.

I have been working 50-60 hour weeks and I am super tired but my mental health feels really good. I don’t feel manic nor have suicidal ideation anymore. I did for a long time and I am happy that went away.

Also, I officially signed up for classes for summer and fall quarters at my local community college to finish my AA degree in Social Work. Starting July 5th, I will be taking sociology and geology online. I think the quarter is only a month and a half long which is about half the time of a normal quarter but it’s only two classes and I am working a lot of graveyard shifts so I will have the time to complete the work. As long as clients are asleep or preoccupied, I can bring a lunch and snacks, my computer, tablet, books, and my fidget cube and just watch movies, watch YouTube, listen to music, do whatever. I also like graves because I can go and smoke whenever I want to and that, my friends, is this job’s saving grace.

Not gonna lie, the first four hours of this graveyard shift was ROUGH. I was dozing off and everything. I had to force myself to go smoke to wake up in the cold outside air and eat some snacks so I would be preoccupied with that. I can’t help it! There is this super comfy recliner I like to sit in that looks over the hallway with all the bedrooms so I can see and hear if someone gets up. Plus I get to wear comfy clothes to work so it makes me extra sleepy lol.

But now I am wide awake with roughly t minus 2 hours until time to go home. Then I am at the women’s CP house tonight and tomorrow. The bonus of the women’s house is I brought over some canvases because they have a bunch of paint stuff there that they let me use. So I might work on a little project tonight which will be fun.

I think that’s it for this update. Life is busy but life is good.

Much love,

Dani

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