5 Side Effects of Exposure to Social Work

The side effects of prolonged exposure to horrible human conditions are:

1. Your circle of friends will change.
Friendship circles change all the time – convenience plays a big part as we have jobs and kids and such so you won’t notice this right away and attribute it to your environmental factors. You may think you are simply becoming more popular and that’s why you have more people in your circle of passion.

The deal is this. You won’t have fewer friends and you won’t start to hate people -causing you to boot them from your heart and sight. You will discover you have more friends. Speaking as someone who is stuck up and hates people : I was not prepared for this. Social work didn’t transform the people in my purview into sparkling , delightful nymphs. Neither did it make me thin, rich, and someone who can tolerate loud music at a party. The change was in my tolerance for the awefullness of other people. Unconsciously, I was peeling their unappealing qualities away and appreciated who they were holistically.
Also, I found myself desiring the company of people who tried harder to benefit others rather than operate on greed. The character strength of lawyers, ministers, and charity workers are more appear companions, also they have similar stories to swap.

2. You will care more.
Bummer. There is no Soul Callous about to firm making you a tougher cookie able to be unaffected by horrors.

3. Politics will start to anger you.
The difference between what "sounds like the right thing to do" and "will help the lives of others without insult" becomes very clear.
Before I was a social worker I was a stuck up "Responsible Republican", absolutely convinces that not only was Reagan "Welfare Queen" real – she was turning my sweet country into her kingdom. I believed that USA knew best for the world, our government system was a one size fits all curative for all societies and poor people were poor because they are bad people and somehow dollars are more attracted to people who deserved them.
The ideal of an Altruistic Politician was my vampire and it burst into flames in the light of day.

4. The Princess Complex.
Classic fairy-tale endings will make you itch.
If I see one more person who is convinced that there is ‘ someone out there with a home and a.fortune just waiting to love them and shield them from the troubles of caring for themselves’, I will scream!

Sometimes I Cry

I don’t think I have told you that before.

Sometimes the work prompts me to cry.

Today I met with a man who does not know where his wife is, and does not feel he should remove his children from living with her parents because he is homeless. He sees them in the daytime and does homework with them and them sleeps on the streets at night. He was crusted in filth and smelled of urine and rot. Dirt filled the creases of his neck and his fingernails were indistinguishable because of the buildup of soot and debris. Looking at his clubbed thumbs, I am going to play amateur hour and diagnose him with heart problems. In speaking with him it was apparent that he struggles with English.

The part of me that is a mother wanted to hug him, bathe him and just cry. This man was someone’s baby.

The part of me who is a social worker looked for solutions, GR, Legal Aid, 211, Shelters, and all the places he could find food or a ride. I gave him that information.

The part of me that is human hid in the bathroom and bawled before unconsciously scrubbing my hands and arms and neck because I could not wash his.

Another State Might Adopt Foolish Drug Testing Laws for Welfare – attn:

No! Just No, people!
Are you going to deny benefits to drug users?
What are you going to do for the children in their care? – Really? Because have you even looked at the Foster Care System?

Lame.
I am sad Paul Walker has learned nothing.

Another State Might Adopt Foolish Drug Testing Laws for Welfare – attn:.

I Blog to Cope in Social Work

Today sucked.
It is 12:26am  and I am writing this on my Verizon Samsung phone. I did middle of the night grocery shopping, cleaned my kitchen and still have the events from work poking me in the eye.

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All else has failed, so I will write. It turns out that writing is pretty therapeutic (something psychiatrist have been saying for years, blah blah whatever). I started this blog officially to explain my passion and job to my parents and people I grew up with from the affluent town of Arcadia. Unofficially, I totally started it to impress a man I was dating who worked at Microsoft and friends with noted blogger Robert Scoble.

This has been a great place to toss resources for my own reference, mention events in the news, explain complex processes of government assistance and vent. Tonight it has been a measuring stick for me.

When I started as a social worker I was so excited and bright eyed. Not for the work I would be doing, but because having the work meant I had completed my college degree and the work would take me out of Welfare. That’s right, I was a Welfare mom who went to school on the DL because Welfare programs did not allow education – only work or community service.

I started at a Senior Center in Monrovia as a glorified receptionist who also did the MIS & database for matching care providers with low income seniors. While there I met a homeless man who was unable to connect with food, shelter or a way out if our parking lot. It occurred to me that Monrovia, Arcadia, and Temple City all were without food stamp or Welfare Check dispensaries. That’s right, in the dark ages before EAT cards benefits were handed through bullet proof glass and half the time you had no idea if your case was currently active until the moment of truth when the teller would either hand you a packet of coupons and a check or shake their head at you – causing an entire day trip to sit in the DPSS office completing forms and bad attitudes.

I did my research and found LAMP. For two hours before my first interview with Mollie the founder, I sat on the roof of my car and talked to the residents on Crocker Street. Skid Row, I discovered is more than a section of the city – or place where more people fill the streets than cars. Skid row is a smell, a stench of urine and police equestrian feces and people who had little to no access to showers. It was many things, but scary wasn’t one of them.

Working at a shelter and apartment for recently homeless adults was a trip. I had nothing to compare it to. Here is where I discovered how easily influenced I was by manipulations of addicted minds who worked differently than mine. I’m a gullible sucker. Also, I discovered how much I love people. For the first time, I dug in with people and met their problems and private fears. This happened just as my own daughter was developing her own perspective on the world. I was parenting at home and, to some extent, at work.

Non-profit organizations are hopefully run differently than this one was. “Non-profit” referred to the employees. We got calls asking who could live on $40 until the next pay period because they had not made payroll and sometimes were told we couldn’t use our insurance because premiums were not paid.I was spending 15 extra hours a week teaching residents of the shelter how to blog and MSN/Microsoft and employees had kindly given computer parts and books to assist me. . . . See, dating that Mocrosoftie wasn’t just good for me: it benefitted others. I’m a giver like that :smirk:.

For the last eight years I’ve been a contractor for the Los Angeles GAIN program: the same program that tried to prevent my college completion. So much has changed in that time.

I completed college, my oldest child turns 21 years old next month, bought a house and am raising a tiny tyrant – I mean 4-year-old. I don’t work for the paycheck anymore (in part because I realized social work never has much of a financial return), and I have the technical skills to solve hardware issues and the soft skills to connect meaningfully with clients.

So, today sucked. Today was the day of Opiates Addicted Pregnant People (can I see that on a Hallmark calendar? ) and PET team calls, paperwork, reports and audits. Today was the day a full grown woman collapsed into my arms sobbing about her death wish – I dealt with it – with compassion and humor and professionalism.

Okay. Going to sleep now I feel better.

Republican Introduced A Bill To Prevent Low-Income Women From Having Children

His reasoning is that Some Women may need "a breather" to think about life choices and sterilizing them keeps them from having children.

No mention is made of the men who parent children with low income women.

Look what I found at AddictingInfo.org! http://www.addictinginfo.org/2015/03/25/this-republican-introduced-a-bill-to-prevent-low-income-women-from-having-children/

I trade in human misery

I feel like the scum who lives on the dregs of humanity – taking money for other people’s drug addictions and emotional crisis. For as much as I rant and rave or celebrate here, the job often feels like a belt sander is being rubbed against my soul.