I haven’t written on this blog for a while. But my mind has been full of thoughts. When these thoughts occur to me, I am usually on the road driving somewhere and cannot write them down.
When I have written, my thoughts have been recorded in a journal no one could see. This is very therapeutic, and such journals which I have always kept, contain thoughts I will barely let myself know about.
One of the things I’ve been wanting to blog about, in order to better understand it myself, is the great injustice that I felt was recently committed against me.
To anyone else it would not seem so bad I guess, it was not a murder, or a rape. No one sold me drugs, or even got angry at me, or entirely ignored me altogether.
How can I describe this to you? I set my feet on a path so incredibly rich with promises and rewards. It took me years to finally get everything in order, to get the right number, to get entered in the classes to follow a goal I always had and never really knew I would be good at. I started an internship, which I seemed to get very easily. When I arrived for work, I received little direction. I wanted to learn what to do more than anyone they had likely ever seen before. I tried to communicate, to ask to be led. I sat in groups, and volunteered to do all the notes which the other counselors did not want to do. I boasted that I was a writer and had no problem helping in any area where I could be of service. I would do intakes, assessments, stay later, come in on Saturdays. I was very enthusiastic and willing.
I found that I was able to connect amazingly well with the clientele. I understood them and seemed to be cut from the same cloth. I discovered that they had walked a path I would have entered down myself had it not been for for the decision I made 30 years ago, when I committed my life to God.
My natural analytic abilities enabled me to detect where a person was at, and help them arrive at the best conclusion for their current dilemma, often pertaining to why they couldn’t stop using their “drug of choice.” Amazingly, I was able to help them, using some gifting I had in myself all along, which I never knew was there.
I eventually butted heads with a young lady who took it upon herself to give me orders. She had only been there a month, and was much younger than I. This was awkward and strange and unnerving to me, so I brought it to the attention of the leaders. They were accustomed to doing family sessions. And so, it seemed like a good suggestion that they address this issue in like manner.
It wasn’t long before I was being let go, and ushered by the director into another program he ran. I immediately ran into the same situation there. In this other place, there were other interns who also didn’t know what they were supposed to do. Believing in counseling my own self as necessary, I decided to be proactive, in order to get as much as I could out of the program and begin down the path to learning what I knew I needed to know.
This particular place was, in short, a colossal mess. I did find a kind gentleman who had an outstanding rapport with the patrons of the program, namely the men. He invited me to co lead and even had me head up a couple of groups myself. It wasn’t long before I was also meeting with clients in individual sessions.
The director never did teach me as he had intended to. He frequently said one thing, and then the next day contradicted himself. He skipped meetings, and fired counselors, including the one who had taken it upon himself to mentor me. He disappeared for days. I set out to try and find a better internship, and eventually was called by the new office manager and told they couldn’t use me in the office, which was a great relief to me.
In retrospect I now see, there was no way I could have won. I hold on to hope moving forward, a little more jaded at what this industry really has to deliver. I have indeed learned and grown. This I made sure of. My challenge to myself now is to recognize the great imperfections in everything and somehow be okay with that. Nothing has ever been perfect, or alright even. Yet I find I often expect it to be. I moved in that chaos, which I suppose was a victory for me. I knew my time there was limited somehow. I made sure I got what I needed and now can say to new agencies that come my way, “I have run groups.” “I have had my own clients and individual sessions.”
I thrived in these places within me, but not enough. I was cut short of the fulfillment of something with in me yearning, grasping for what somehow belongs with me. I am hoping with all my heart to move forward now, and pick up where I left off.
My star on this new and brilliant, and promising path, has yet to shine. Though the road may be rough, I know that my best days as a counselor are still before me. As unfortunate as my beginning has seemed, I know it can only get better from here.