Today is the day that marks one year of working in child protection.
One year ago today I took a leap of faith into the work of child protection to learn if I would sink or swim.
For a long time, I was sinking. Drowning. But now, maybe, I am swimming.
There was this moment last week where I gave yet another parent bad news, and they reacted in the worst way possible, and I had a moment of realization about how far I had come in this career.
A year ago me would not have been able to deliver bad news. A year ago me would have not known how to react when someone is screaming at me and swearing at me and wishing horrible things on me. A year ago me would have been red faced and struggled to stay calm. A year ago me would have taken the screaming and yelling home and been unable to let it go.
But there I sat, calm in the face of yelling. Calm while some screamed obscenities at me. Calm as police attended to keep the peace.
And I debriefed with coworkers. Returned home. And let it go.
A year ago I didn’t even think that was possible. And yet here I am.
In that meeting also sat a brand new coworker, who reminds me of me. Quiet. Unsure. Untested. And she sat calmly, it was my meeting after all, but it effected her. And as I looked at her and talked with her about it, I was reminded of how far I have come in this position.
A year ago I started this adventure. A year ago I mentally committed to being in this job for a year, uncertain if I could ever make it longer than that.
And now, I don’t know. I’ve passed a year. I’ve grown. I’ve cried. I’ve loved it. I’ve hated it. I’ve wanted to quit. I’ve wanted to stay.
I don’t know what the future holds. Probably more yelling and screaming. Probably more days where I hate my life. Probably more days where I can’t cope anymore.
But for now, I have survived a year. And here’s to who knows how much longer.