Friday, November 16, 2012

You Can't Make Me....

Sometimes, you just need room to breathe.  To think.  To feel.  The Man and I, we don't fight often.  A major issue between us has been my job.  I love it, he hates it and there's just no middle ground.  The last round of "I want you to quit."  "You can't make Me!!!" was rather painful.  And then, after some serious talking, thinking and alot of nasty ugly things, he uttered some very difficult words for him.   "I'm not going to ask you to quit  your job again." 

That was two months ago.  I guess for those who don't know, I am a children's social worker.  I have been for 23 year in one capacity or another.  I have been in my current position for 11 years, almost 12.  As I sat writing court reports this last week, knowing I was going to be forced to return children into situations that at best, weren't in their best interest and at worst put them at high risk for abuse, something dropping into my heart and settled over my soul.

In the years I've worked this job, I have said many things.
  • I'm tired
  • I'm overwhelmed
  • I'm weary to my soul
  • I don't know how long I can do this
  • I don't know how long I want to do this
But I have never said what settled over my soul.  I hear that small voice say.... "I'm done."  Now for folks who are close to me, they know that is the finish line.  For me to be done, means there is no going back.  I want to leave while the kids and families I am working with can still say they had a damn fine social worker and never felt like a job.

I can not leave right away, and in talking with The Man, we have agreed that I need to do this the right way in a way that maintains the reputation I have worked so very hard to build and maintain.  He was gentle as he told me, "I'm not going to push for a time frame, but I am going to begin to prepare us for you to leave."

He humbled me.  He didn't gloat (and he could have).  He didn't fuss me out or get angry because I could have agreed to his decree two months ago, two years, ago, four... you get the idea. He didn't demand a time line.   It wasn't time then.  I needed room to breathe... to feel...  to let go.   Am I afraid?  Yes.  I don't know what is to become of the future.  I am not meant to stay at home.  I worked very hard to build my career.  I was, well mine.  It was the one thing I did well, when it felt that I had failed in so very much.  He is supportive of me.  He was kind, and my feelings mattered.  Ya just can't ask for more than that..

20 comments:

  1. Good luck in your transition Dana. I'm sure you are good at so many things you will find the next step more easily than you think. You are in my thoughts. Let me know if you need to talk!

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    1. It's scarey but in a good way I think. You are too kind.

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  2. Awwww Dana - Sitting here with tears in my eyes - the Man knew exactly what you needed. Watching the two of you grow is such a privilege.

    You have worked very hard and whatever opportunity next comes your way, whatever you choose to do, you will be and outstanding success.

    BTW - You have never failed - maybe stumbled, possibly tripped, perhaps faltered, might have slipped but you have never failed! Got it?!

    Blessings,
    Cat

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    1. You are biased... He really listened when I talked to him.

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    2. Hey! I might be biased but you know from experience that I am always honest - even when you don't like it. ;)

      So happy the Man finally found his HoH ears!

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  3. My aunt worked in this field for over 40 years until she retired. She refused to discuss her work, but I believe it is the most difficult job there is.
    I also agree the skills you have developed over the years will help you to be successful in whatever you choose to do next.
    All my best to you!

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    1. It is a tough job, but one I have loved so very much. I will always be a social worker. I just intend to do it in a different way.

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  4. Hay D,
    I think it's wonderfull that he let you come to this on your own. It was important that you decided this for yourself, and no one pushed you into it. This way you wont be looking back saying "but what if I had stayed, what did I miss". And it's fantastic that he is standing behind you, preparing for this so that you will be able to transition easily, and not worry. Just remember how many of us love you and will help with incouraging words when ever you need them. This isn't an end, it just the beginning of part 2.

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    1. Have I mentioned that I don't do change well? AT ALL.. I finally admitted that, and he simply chuckled and said, "Well, yes, I had noticed that a time or two..."

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  5. sounds like he's managed to be the sensitive HoH you need him to be right now, making this huge transition. sending positive thoughts your way!

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    1. Thanks Fondles. I struggle with leaving my kiddos, but there is always going to be another child.. It is the nature of the job. Yes, he is trying very hard.

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  6. This was just a decision that you needed to come to in your own time I guess. I love the way he's there for you in all the ways that you need him to be. :)

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    1. Tess,

      It is one of the things I love best about him and one of the MOST shocking on the very rare occasion that he isn't. And yes, I had to come to it on my own. This just wasn't a decision anyone could make but me.

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  7. HI Dana, I am a social worker too. Here in the UK there are many of us who move from children's to adult services due to stress, burnout, wanting a change for whatever reason. I hope you are able to embrace change and find new challenges. As one door shuts....good luck, Rara x

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  8. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I'm not sure what I want to do from here, but I do know that I am a social worker to my toes, so I just need to find a way to help and serve. Please feel free to drop by anytime...

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  9. I'm glad that he let you make the decision in your own time. How exciting to plan what's next! ;)

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    1. It is exciting!!! When I'm not terrified that is...

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  10. It probably never feel completely right. When you work at a job that is already working short of staff for the number of clients, you learn to put your needs last. You could be 80 years old, and still feel guilty for leaving. You will know when you can't do it anymore, but it won't be a happy decision. I worked as an RN, my husband as a policeman, my brothers both in jobs that had the same stress and same hold. No one can decide for you, or you won't get through the grieving process as fast. I cried all day when I turned in my resignation. I told myself that I would return, but part of me knew it might not happen. It's sad that these professions require so much energy, emotion, and wear and tear. I will pray that God will give you wisdom and peace with leaving, and help you decide when it's time. There will be just as many children who need help, no matter how long you stay. Just like in my case, just as many sick and need care, or my husband's case, just as much crime. The people, like yourself, make and made such a difference, but in many cases, not as much as we would have liked. Make sure you save some energy for yourself, and your relationships. When you leave, you will go through a little process, but finally you will see that it was a wise choice. You'll start to take better care of yourself. Your cup won't get so empty, before it is filled again. God Bless you for all that you did for others, for all the sacrifices that you've made, and for just being you. - Belle L.

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    1. Belle,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your heart. I said to The Man, that I had thought that when I could just... but you are exactly right, there will always be more children. I don't know where this is going to lead me and that is pretty scarey. I do however know that this is the right decision. It's not the end of the world or even my career. It just feels like it at small moments.

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  11. Wow Dana. You must be so scared. I admire your inner wisdom that tells you it's time to move on, and more importantly your courage to act on it. You are so caring, I know you will find another way to help people. I hope the future brings you happiness and fulfillment.

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