Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oh wow! I did it. I actually quit my job and I'm free. Things at DCBS had become so overwhelming and as I told you all in December, I had a goal to be out by August 1st. I quit July 15th. I give my hat to all the workers who stay and retire after 27 years. So impressive.

So now I'm doing Impact Plus Service Coordination.  Also going back to school at the end of August to get my MSW on a part time basis. I hope to be doing therapy in two years. It was a hard decision to go to contract work after being salary for so many years. I gave up my insurance and retirement, but I also gave up the liability, the stress and gained peace of mind and to be honest am still feeling a little guilty for those I left behind.

When I started at DCBS five years ago, I asked myself "what the hell have I done", five years later I was asking myself, "what the hell am I doing". They cut all overtime, gave us furloughs, caseloads were astronomical and finally we went from being specialized to generic... meaning our job duties included doing investigations on top of our bulging caseloads. Life became insane for months,... working off the clock, worrying about our kids and families, neglecting our foster parents. Neglecting our own families.

The final straw came when a family on an in home case started using and I suspected it, but didn't have time to follow up in a timely fashion. When the police called me from the hospital and said get down here, a child on your watch is here bc the parent was using with her present (a very young child), I knew it was time for me to make the change. I'm not beating myself up, but the outcome could have been horrible and it was the final straw. I sat in the hospital the about seven hours with this child and it's parent who was out of their head and thought about how on top of my game (so to speak) I used to be and how things had become increasingly crazier over the last year and a half. I thought about things in true drama queen mode, while I sat quietly and professionally never giving my thoughts away. I tried to remember the last time I saw a movie with my kids, (foster kids, biological kids.... it didn't matter) and couldn't remember. When was the last time I read a book or blogged? When was the last time I cleaned out the hall closet? How would I have lived with myself if the child I was currently sitting in the hospital with had died? How would my family cope if I went to prison because we all know the state wouldn't stand by a worker.

I remembered that the reason I decided to become a social worker was because I knew the system was "faulty" and truly wanted to make a positive and permanent change from the "inside". Little did I know then what a daunting goal that was. I knew nothing of politics and had no idea how little politicians know or even care about "protective services". How can the secretary of state veto new positions that desperately need to be filled? How can the government allow an agency who is working so hard dwindle down to so few workers with "hiring freezes" and cut overtime when overtime is the only saving element for workers to get their work done? Before I left, workers were only doing "triage work" as we call it and connections with their families were left by the wayside. Swimming upstream for an eternity was just something I couldn't do... and honestly that's okay. I learned so much and made so many connections. It's time for a different approach and for now... that approach is a step back. And that's okay too.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What's up?

Hi everyone! I've been home for almost a week sick with bronchitis and laryngitis. Funny how life slows you down sometimes. Maria(Canada), thank you for your comment. I never really "go anywhere". I look at this blog several times a month and think "why can't I blog". Then I give myself permission to ignore it. Ha. I've been giving myself permission to ignore myself all my life. I need the push so thanks!

So let's talk about why I'm not blogging. Um, because I'm scared. There I said it. I went too far into my story too fast and got scared. What exactly am I scared of? The vulnerable feeling I get that I spent forty years building a wall around.  Telling this story is like getting naked in front of people in the mall or something LoL.

I'm not really good at getting "nekkid". I had a good friend tell me once that I come off as a "hard" person, but that anyone who takes a little time to get to know me can see it's a cover. Ah, how many children do we see doing that? But I'm not a child. So when will I allow myself to be comfortable in my own skin. Will I ever trust or is that even necessary for finding "peace".

I have learned/recognized recently that I'm not content with my "all or nothing" approach to life. I am not able to do anything half way. I either give it everything I have or nothing at all. That includes housework, social work, parenting, friendships, relationships and of course, this blogging (obviously). I don't know how. I love my therapist. She promises me she's going to teach me to find some middle ground and how to find some peace of mind. I believe her too.

One decision I've made is to set a goal for myself to be out of CPS work by August 2011. (Every social worker knows that time will fly by). I don't want to jinx myself by telling my hopeful plans just yet, but new and exciting adventures are on my horizon and if they fall through, I'll develop a new plan. I'm resilient like that. It's time for me to be a social worker on my terms and CPS work has been a definite growing experience for me. I know it's time for me to be happy... now... not five years from now. I love my families, but I do not love the "system". I might talk about the "system" later, but not tonight.  I will always serve families and children. I know that is my purpose... I just need to find the right fit and avenue that will allow me to have balance in my life. It's going to be exciting!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I love the weekends. Every Saturday morning I get up and let my dogs out to potty and stand on the back porch that my sweet husband built with his own hands and look at my back yard which extends about an acre or so back. A field lies beyond our yard so I'm not looking at someone else's life. I see birds and bunnies, wasps and bees. Our little pool which has been so much fun this summer. I have never been so grateful to be just able to live my life. Our little dogs (a Cocker Pug, a Cocker Jack Russell who looks like a hot dog, and a Boxer) bounce around to say good morning (one of them is just a sleepy little runt and stretches and yawns and looks like she couldn't care less that I want her to make some business). I feed our two cats, one geriatric and the other most definitely gay. I always laugh when my daughter has put a night shirt on him that has rhinestones on it. He loves to wear night clothes to sleep for some odd reason. I pull his night shirt off and give him a good scratch on his belly as he flops over on his back.

My husband is always up before me and waits for me to get up each weekend morning to make breakfast. He's been making weekend breakfast for 21 years for us (when he's in town) Sometimes pancakes or French toast. Today, bacon, sausage links, eggs, biscuits and gravy. He always pours milk in glasses and sets them in the freezer so they are extra cold for our meal. He's a morning person and usually only gets a sleepy smile from me until I've been up about an hour. We don't usually talk in the mornings. We just "be".

Our son comes in from his morning walk and declares he's not eating this crap  as he makes his way to the shower.  After awhile he is in the kitchen making a plate of biscuits and gravy while his dad teases that he'll have to walk ten miles to get that off.

I comment that it's awfully quiet without our daughter here who is pulling a shift at her job. She'll excitedly come in around noon with some treasure she found on clearance while she was working and proudly show everyone in the house what kind of steal she got.

Soon we all start talking about our week and what we want to do for the weekend... Chores get divided and  done so we can get on with the business of doing something fun. Next weekend we're planning to go to the International festival so we'll probably skip breakfast and just get ready to go to town.I've been taking my favorite former foster child there every year for the past five years. We'll sample lots of cuisine from other countries and talk about getting a Henna tattoo which none of ever end up getting. I love the predictability of my life. So sweet and so simple.

Hope all of you are enjoying your weekend traditions.

Friday, September 10, 2010

An appearance

Hi everyone, I'm wide open tonight. Drinking tomato juice and watching Big Brother After Dark. I'll probably have dark circles for the judge tomorrow, but that's okay cause it's Friday!!!

Anyway, I've gotten a second job. I'll be moonlighting as a hotel desk clerk. Sounds really fun to me. Not that I have a lot of extra time, but I do have a lot of extra bills. Having a lot of kidney stones can get expensive even with insurance!! But I'm soooooooooo thankful for Lithotripsy (or however it's spelled). I could have gotten a side job doing some social workey stuff, but I'm saturated with that so I thought NAH.

The weather has been beautiful here. We've been getting furloughed at work as a "budget balancing measure" so I had a four day weekend last week. Honey took off work too and we did a lot of yard work and house work and watched a whole season of Weeds. SO irreverent and so funny. I didn't even feel a minute of guilt LoL. I was proud of that.

Therapy is going amazingly well. I know that the reason I've stopped writing is because I'm a place in my writing were I had very difficult suicide attempt. I realize I'm not ready to talk about it and that's really okay. I was just 13, but what a powerful time in my life. I can't decide whether I should skip that part and pick up after that so I can keep writing or wait until I can write about it. I'm definitely open to votes. Skip and write or wait. (I reserve the right to make the final vote LoL).

So what else is going on? My son is in love. Love definitely looks good on him. He's cute. The sad thing is that I'm concerned about his girlfriend and her family. I don't think he chose to fall in love with her. I don't really know them, ... only by reputation and the jail website. Not good news. We've talked about the issues and tried to set some boundaries, but he will be 18 next May and I really don't want to force him to become "private" about his relationship with her. (I call it secretive, he prefers the word private Hahahaha).

I hope everyone is well and thank all of you who are following this blog. I see there are some new comers and hope this blog helps someone in some small way. You all are the best and have been SO good for me.
I'm gonna go see what some of you have been writing about and hope to hear from a bunch of you soon!!

Sleep tight Blogger Friends!!! Babs. 


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I wonder why it is that when I feel like I could post and talk about the past when I only have about fifteen minutes before I need to leave or be somewhere? Then, when I have an hour or four... I'm sort of like... stuck. Like I don't know myself. But I do know myself.  Moments of clarity... a lifetime habit of ignoring.

Anyway, I have a flat tire and my honey is out of town. Thankfully, I have sweet co-workers willing to give me a lift into town. It's too hot to teach myself how to change a tire for real.

My mom's birthday is coming up on the 18th. Those are the times I wish I believed or believed more... or knew what I believed. It's so much less painful to just say I don't.  Playing with those ideas is like sticking my hand in scalding water.

It's days that I have flat tires, no money, and a whiny attitude that I want her. But not her... the her I wanted her to be. That I want her to be.

I want to whine and laugh and cry with her and see a smile or hear an exaggerated "I'm on my way".

I hope my kids feel like they have that.