I was warned.
Before my 4-day intensive residency program for my MSW program, my friend and co-worker, Emily, told me that it would get me all fired up and excited about social work. I rolled my eyes and assured her that it would be painful and the longest 4 days of my life. Emily is just good people. One of those positive, ‘rah-rah- GO TEAM!!’ people that we all wish we could be instead of the snarky, eye-rolling bitches that we mostly are. And by we, I obviously mean me 😉 So Emily telling me that I was going to love it, really didn’t hold a lot of water. Sorry, Emily. lol
Well damnit, she was right.
Every class for those 4 days left me feeling like I need to DO SOMETHING!! MAKE A CHANGE!! Opening day we had speakers talking about the importance of social work on the macro-level. BIG CHANGES…. LAW changes…. POLICY changes… FIGHTING FOR CIVIL RIGHTS CHANGES! I barely waited until the break before texting Jessi to tell her that I believe she is a social worker at heart. She LIVES to argue for change and, while right now it’s just limited to social media and in-person stuff, I KNOW she has it in her to change the world.
By the end of the 4 days, I had decided that in the interest of personal growth, I needed to do some work, and perhaps my field experience, working with those victims of domestic violence. The reason? Well… there was a long pause just now before I could bring myself to type the word “victims,” because, I don’t see women as victims. I see destructive choices that hurt children, and themselves. I have done a lot of soul-searching since I made that
decision, and while this is something I need to continue thinking about, I don’t think I can do my field experience in that type of situation at this time in my life. I do work with people from time-to-time as a crisis worker who are in domestic violence situations, and I honestly have no trouble with it. I have empathy for them, and am fully there with them in that moment. But when I don’t have a person in front of me living that life, I have a pretty strong bias.
Our final small-group project was to pick an issue and do a 15 minute PowerPoint presentation. We chose to present on veteran suicide because of all the recent press with the 22 pushups a day challenges to represent the 22 veterans a day who commit suicide. We slayed our presentation, and I learned a lot from a veteran in our group about military culture and the struggles they face when they come home, and it has me sooooooooo pissed off. One odd fact that I didn’t know is that the suicide rate is higher for veteran’s who DON’T get sent to fight! And there doesn’t seem to be an explanation for this anywhere?
OK… I will stop rambling now, because I could easily continue, and talk about rape culture…. elder abuse…. sex trafficking…. racism…. SO MANY THINGS BOUNCING AROUND IN MY HEAD!!
Good thing I am back to exercising to burn off some of this angergy. <—– HAHA New word!!