Thursday, September 24, 2015

Boundaries and Balance

Artist Unknown but boy does it capture the feeling of a balanced heart...

So you know, in the last few months, I have had all kinds of challenge to my intention to do good and stay sane and unfatigued, compassion-wise.

There was the foster parent who told me that she was disappointed that I didn't get the foster youth placed with her and didn't try hard enough, when the youth and her placement agency wanted to place her elsewhere, and oh, by the way, I was trying to stay in touch while my terminally ill mother was getting her PET scan only she didn't because she didn't adhere to the instructions and I was trying to reschedule it. My bad for not picking up the phone. Yeah, that one really sticks in my craw. Personality disordered much?

There are the group or EFC (Extended Foster Care) home providers who seem to think I am a taxi service and that I'm failing in my transportation duties. (Let's just forget all commitments to other youth and to my own family, because, hey, let's just.)

There's the group home provider that won't even give you the courtesy of a hello or eye contact, because your GAL youth is a difficult youth. Hey, you're right. It's all my fault. I just love it when you won't reply to a text message or only call me to rant.

There is the judiciary, kind of forgetting they're talking in front of a person's 12, 15 and 16 year olds about how terrible their parent (who still has custody for 2 of 3) is and how long their criminal history (back before 1990) is. Kids just love to hear their parents called bad apples. Love. It.

There are all the bashing emails. The ones where you reply trying to point out all the good things the case manager did. The ones where the one thing that went wrong today is all everyone's fault, evidently. Every. One's.

There are the aged out teenage kids, who sometimes resemble leeches until you realize that you are the only one that picks up the phone call. That helps them move from one placement to another. The only one that will give them the money for the spontaneous GED test or the daycare they need for their child if they have any hope of getting that GED. And maybe they aren't leeches as much as desperate, because for sure they are not getting that from anyone else in the system.

There's the fact that I haven't had time to see my mom this week. Not since Sunday. Wow is that messed up.

How do we maintain the boundaries that keep people from draining us dry, and still have heart enough to truly care?

A tough one, this question.

© Bright Nepenthe, 2015

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