Monday, March 3, 2008


Two of my boys have moved on.... blown by the winds of change through the waves heading towards unknown shores.....

OK, perhaps I've gone overboard with the nautical and ocean references, but there are so many metaphors! To digress for a moment, I had a fascinating dream just the other night: I dreamed I was homeless and had to live in a shelter. This clearly reflects my fears about my finances (having some large phone bills and getting behind in many others, due to the boys being with me) and even losing my job -- however I was starting a private practice as a social worker and hopeful that I'd be on my feet soon. I had been referred a case, and was interviewing three people involved in the life of a fifteen year old girl. Eventually I began to get a picture of what was going on and why the girl was having various problems, and my plan was to counsel the parties involved and then talk to the girl herself. So I was very pleased with myself, that I solved the case, and would be getting more referrals.

I told this dream to some friends, and one, who is a psychologist, asked if I had actually though in terms of "solving the case" and I said yes I did, and it makes perfect sense to me! Similar to detective work, social work can involve putting together pieces of information from various sources and people in order to have a clear perception of the situation and/or person(s) who have problems ("challenges" is the politically correct term). My friend thought this was interesting and that he had not heard social work described in this way before, and he reflected upon the usefulness of using metaphors. And to think, I may have invented this metaphor for myself which I think will be very useful -- to think in terms of being a "private detective" in my "private practice".

It's odd (to continue digressing) - that I do seem to have a private social work "practice" -- one that I didn't plan, didn't seek out, and don't get paid for! Certainly I did, and do, want to start some sort of practice working with youth, but it appears that it is already happening here at home. Group home, drop-in center for recreation and social time, and counseling. Just today two girls came over, ostensibly to see one of the girls' boyfriend, but they seemed quite happy that he wasn't home and to be talking to me. The girlfriend seems to think I am her counselor and she makes numerous efforts to talk to me by phone and, when she is here, to tell me all the details of her family problems. Her friend had been texting me, trying to get an "appointment", and today she sat down, ran through a brief version of her history and described recent dramatic events (she had recently been hospitalized for an emotional outburst), then said she felt better.

Both girls have or had counselors, and are used to talking about their issues. Fortunately for me I had just returned from seeing my therapist!

Now I have digressed so long I cannot get back. How I need some calmer waters - to drift, to reflect on what I have experienced! The two brothers moved out this weekend; it was rather sudden but their parents were unable to pay for the heat and electricity at the house in Indiana, so they took the first apartment that was acceptable. I miss them, and wonder what they are doing, how they are doing. But the drama at the end was almost overwhelming, and it involved a triangle of the brothers and "Jerry's" girlfriend, a lack of "weed" to keep them calm, some damage to property (mine -- a chair, some broken glass, a kitchen cabinet kicked in), and an ambulance and trip to the ER. Everyone is fine - physically, at least, but I am by no means finished with these boys. My car is in the body shop, which gives me a perfect excuse to stay home and relax, but they will no doubt want me to pick them up soon, take them somewhere, and to come over and hang out. I believe they would have remained living here had I given them the option; however I made it clear they can come and stay sometimes, preferably on weekends, and I am still their "aunt" - as everyone calls me now. Indeed, they are like family to me.

The third boy, my parolee, has had a run of bad luck. Just yesterday he was arrested for something he said he didn't do, a misdemeanor battery charge, and there are all sorts of "challenges" involving his situation. No word yet on his transfer to Indiana. He has been out for the most part these last two days, so as I said, I have a little chance to rest before the next crisis. In spite of all the difficulties I have had - and there are many I have not written about yet - I am happy with my choices and feel I have done the right thing. Oh, not every little choice has been right, or good, but on the whole I believe I have made a little bit of an impact, maybe a tiny dent in the masculine armor boys are required to wear. And I have gathered so many, many clues on my path to solving the case!! The Case of the .................. well, I'll leave that title for another time. There will always be more metaphors.

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