Welcome to the Stories Archive Here you will find stories that embody the wellness journey of our community members. You can see other archived stories at this link:
"Not a usual pickup" A story about having second thoughts when I was faced with the humanity of a situation. One time I picked up two boys from a family. To me it was a usual and very common thing to do this and the boys just sat in the back seat and didn't say anything. They were two brothers. Clearly one was older and, after a while, he started doing the talking. "Where are we going? Will we be ever see our mother again? Do they have any pets there? I like chicken but my brother doesn't like chicken. Will we have to eat chicken where we are going?"
Something hit me while I was listening to these questions. I didn't have answers. But I realized that these were important questions to these boys. I also started thinking about how real these questions were, and how innocent they sounded right then. I did my best to answer and then, later dropped them off.
The story changed how I approached my work. Before I had tried to close off the real tragedy of what was going on with these pickups, and just to do my job like I had been trained. But I also had a duty to these kids as people and I realized I could make a difference for them right then and there. From then on I tried to be a face for the system and no matter whether it was not my responsibility to provide answers, I would try to get them and make a difference right then. I think we should all do this.
"The Touch Point" I had just finished one of the most upsetting home visits of my career. I walked in the door of the centre and needed to talk. Who was around? I saw my colleague Stacia packing up her bag. “Hey, Stacia, do you have a minute?” “That’s about all I have! I’m late for my next visit. How’s it going?” I took a deep breath: “Not so good. You would not believe the visit I just went on. This little boy is so delayed, and I keep suggesting things to try, but his mom – well, she just doesn’t seem to notice. We’ve been working together for six months, and I don’t feel like I’m making much of a difference.” I stopped for a moment and met Stacia's eyes. I must have looked really upset. Stacia said, “It sounds like you’re angry with this mom. But I’m wondering how else you’re feeling. Sometimes a visit like that can make you really question yourself.” I managed a shaky smile. “You must be a mind reader. That’s exactly what I was thinking. I don’t mean to be so judgmental, but I really want to help this family.” Stacia picked up her bag of toys. “This is important, and I want to talk more about it. Unfortunately, I’ve really got to run. But I’ll come right back after this visit. Let’s sit down then and see if we can make sense of this together.” I sat down at my desk. It’s going to be OK, I thought.
And it was, eventually. When Stacia got back we talked over my frustrations with this client and we shared some ways to deal with the anger I was feeling with the mom. But I have never forgotten that moment when Stacia stopped and just showed me that she had a willingness to help and talk. I look back on it often and I use it as a touch-point for times when I need to regroup.
Copyright (c) 2016 The Healthy Workplaces for Helping Professions Web Hosting by Domain.com