Well, let me backtrack and as we say in the jargon of case managing...write a late entry.
Late entry- 10/20/08 12pm- oooh my goodness! The concert was...exactly what I needed. And more for that matter. I have been to so many concerts...soo many...and all I can remember is the background noise. The people around me...the person I am with...all of the drama and loudness and drinking and drugs and nonesense that I really feel uncomfortable around. But last night-it was just me and the music. I have never felt so exhilarated during a concert. I was just listening to my favorite musician perform (he is a very talented performer for the record) and being right where I was. There were people 'partying' all around me, not really listening....2 very small women to my left TALKING (loudly) the entire time waiting for him to play his single...and all the while I was swaying, bobbing and singing along...smiling. I love his music. It makes me peaceful and his poetry is exactly the way mine is; I find sometimes it is hard to speak the same language in the arts so to find someone who has the exact same dialect is wonderful. It was just wonderful. So wonderful.
Special thanks to Harley for accompanying me on my exhilaration---make.cute.mixes.asap. haha
So now back to today....during which I spent a total of 10 hours in the wonderful CHF walls.
It was long. We are always understaffed. That is frustrating and scary in a crisis shelter. But that is life as well.
I wish I could post more about my girls...I wonder how much information I can expose without giving any details that would identify a youth...I think I will check on that tomorrow because I think we can all learn from their stories. I have one youth I would like to tell you all about and ask for your prayers...but for now (since I don't know what I can expose)....please just pray for her if you believe in prayers....think of her if you believe in energy....or just know that there is someone out there who never deserved any of her scars and now struggles daily to keep herself from snapping for good.
That is my thing I am thankful for today actually.
Today I am Thankful For...the opportunity to love the aforementioned youth. She is so special and doesn't see it. I guess I understand what my friends have been telling me for so long....when you shine to others but can't see your own light. I don't know if I reached her...but during a conversation I had with her today (that was 2 hours long...) I stopped taking notes, I stopped going through the normal run through...and I just looked her in the eye and said "I just want you to know, I will never, ever give up on you. I know you have trusted people to be there your whole life who haven't been, who have in fact caused you more pain than anyone deserves. But I want you to know that I will always, always care for you. No matter what. Even if you do something unforgiveable...I will find a way to forgive you. Because you deserve that kind of faith. And I want to teach you that not all people are bad...not all people will hurt you. I care and I will prove to you that no matter how many times you make mistakes, I will accept you and help you keep going." I am sure I said other things. It is so cliche but so true that jobs like these help you more than they can ever help another person. I meant everything I said to her. I mean it with my entire heart. But as I reflect on it...I realize that I have never had anyone do that for me and show me that the mean it. Prove it. And I know that I will do whatever it takes to show this youth my unconditional love. I think that is the guiding force at the center of my heart. I have always thought this was a flaw- that I could always keep loving someone, no matter what they did or said. Now I see that it is a gift for those people who deserve it. She deserves it. I think I deserve it too. So tonight before I go to sleep (and anyone reading this can hold me to it) I will have the same talk with myself.
I told her that the only thing I can be sure of so far in my life is that until you can really love and accept yourself, you will always struggle in your relationships with others- because the truth is they are filling up a void that you need to fill yourself. They may leave, they may pass away...they may change. It is not another persons responsibility to save or make you whole. I am learning about this...and I will do whatever I can to help these beautiful, capable and moving young women that I spend my days with understand this too. They really are amazing. I mean...I know I could just be saying that...but I love these girls. I love them. If I could I would just sit and hug them all day and show them that they are amazing and worthwhile.
I am having a real hard time not hating the people who have hurt my girls- taught them that the world is this ugly and unfeeling. Parents...families....strangers...friends....lovers....these girls have no solace. They have no protection and they may be 'grown' but they are still children in their hearts who needed nurturing and respect and have never found anything but pain. I will also talk to myself and pray this evening about forgiveness for those people- I know that they are clearly struggling and in need of my prayers...I just wish that people would stop hurting children. That is the one thing I have never been able to understand or tollerate. It is a child...an innocent, trusting child. I am trying to have forgiveness. To have grace about it.
So anyway...please hold me accountable any of you who see this. If you see me detereorate as the year goes on and suddenly I am frustrated and unfeeling (which man I would have to incurr some serious damage for my nature to change that much), please remind me of my promise to do whatever it takes to love these girls and be there for them. And pray for them/think of them/learn from them. I wish I could share them with all of you so you could love them as much as I do...but since I can't, trust me. I love them and they need all the support they can get.
So on a lighter note, I wanted to share a funny story. Today a male youth came RUNNING through the dining room while the +18F's were eating breakfast and myself and my co-worker Miss Kristi asked him to slow down- and he replied to me to shut my face. Miss Kristi had a talk with this youth, to which somehow someway he decided that the reason she was frustrated with him was because she is not well endowed as a woman *hint hint*. I don't want to repeat his vulgarity, out of respect for Kristi, my affiliations and the fact that one day that boy will be a man and maybe regret having said it....but....it was a very, very funny moment as somehow he equated a safety concern with a cup size. I mean...it is very hard to be graceful when these very angry youths make such blatanly disrespectful and out of line comments...and so for Kristi and I...it is about finding a small corner to ourselves and just laughing it off. She is "Barbie" and I am "Miley Cyrus"...and we just take it with stride and a laugh. Everything is so serious when you are 18, but sometimes ridiculous to those of us past that marker. Grace....oh my...grace.
As I already gave my thankful comment, and I just returned from a 2 hour workout with my original secondary (who is like my new trainor at the gym...and she seriously kicks my butt- my poor stomach!)...I am going to shower...and then sleep, I am sure, better than I have in days.
I love my friends. I love my family. I miss all of you who are not here, and probably even those of you who are because right now you are all only in my heart (as I am alone in my room, haha) and I will go to bed loving you all with Mr. Albert bear and Army-Dude Steve bear. Keep me, my youths and the messy beautiful life I have in your hearts/prayers/minds.
Mmm...a song...a song...
This is my FAVORITE Death Cab for Cutie lullabye. I hope it calms your heart like it does mine.