It’s been about a week since I left Singing River, my old job. I quit because of changes made to the company, not because of Government changes, though they did occur. I quit because I got fed up with a system that was designed to hurt people and not to help them. I was damn good at what I did. I was really great at working with children who had some kind of issue they were dealing with because I was that awkward kid when I was younger. Hell, in college, I went through such a terrible depression that I wanted to kill myself. I almost did. I went to therapy and my therapist was such an amazing influence on me. He didn’t treat the illness, the disturbance of the mind. He treated me like a human. Positive encouragement. He made me want to be better if only to help others. And I did. My time at SRS gave me an education I couldn’t get in a classroom. I was able to get such in depth experience on how to deal with serious issues. Sometimes it was how to deal with someone who was suicidal, or helping a family have something for Christmas, or even fighting against a school that refused to recognize there was a real problem. I think I got the most experience from being first partnered with an embarrassment. Someone who got their degree from a paper mill and actually had the gull to ask me to help her write a paper, no I’m sorry, she asked me to write a paper for her. I was tossed into the fire with no experience and I was expected to succeed. I hope I did. I hope I managed to change someone’s life. They did change mine. Whether working in the high school or at the office doing a day treatment course with a therapist who I believe is one of the best I have ever met and I count her as a friend of the highest caliber. I can only hope to be as good as she is at what she does.
I didn’t just work hard at SRS. I played hard. My first day I acted like an asshole but I managed to cultivate some friendships that were incredible. Really everyone was significant to my time there from Addison, Emily, Christina, Jessie, Janice, Kelli, Haley and even my boss Rita. She actually pushed me to fight back. She never told me no. She never let me back down from a fight and told me she had my back in personal times. She always had time for me. She is what a boss should be. A friend and a boss. She found a balance and while not everyone liked what she did, I even questioned somethings, I respected her. I miss spending my morning with Addison and learning to enjoy the smells that would be created by an all male office. I miss the afternoons spent with Christina bothering her while she did her notes and we talked about life. Incredible woman she is. I miss Emily who was one of my best friends. I spent a lot of time with her and learned a lot about myself because of it and I can never thank her enough and she is someone I will miss the most. I will always remember the adventures I had with my friends. I will remember the incredible things that we did, we laughed about and sometimes there were tears. Mostly smiles, genuine smiles. But there were tears as we fought our own pains, desires and demons. I had partners working where I did, I had friends. I would hide out in offices avoiding the grind of what was a murderous underpaid job while I was supported by staff that believed in what they did. Jessie would mentally spare with me and help me grow as a psychologist. As a person even.
My time with SRS was a challenge. I fought a lot of battles and was beaten. A dragon slayer I had to be somedays, but even a knight will fall. I always got back up though. I worked hard. I worked to make sure that people were taken care of. No one I know that I liked ever did anything to hurt a client. To hurt a child. Even if we hated someone, we fought tooth and nail to make it work with a system that told us to do it, but didn’t let us. The job was killing me. I can remember being truly happy at my job, but it was never because of my job. It was because of who I worked with. It was because of the relationships I developed. Without your social supports, you can’t do a damn thing. I had a group of people that I would follow anywhere. If you know me, and I mean know me, you know that I was really at the end of my rope. I won’t go into details here, that is unprofessional, but I will say that when I left SRS, it was to save my soul. It was to do something that was necessary. I am a completely different person from the week I have been gone than I was at SRS. I am happy. I am excited. I am writing for the first time since I lost someone two years ago and it feels good. I met some people who made such a profound impact on my life that I will not forget them. Some of them I am thankful I can keep in contact with. It will be the journey I am on now that is most important. I did something incredible at SRS. I saved lives and I changed some. I got changed. I loved, I lost and I carried on my wayward son. Awesome.