Saturday, September 06, 2014

strange events occurred in my workplace, and as usual i was left to deal with them. my career in social work is defined as advocating for peoples basic rights to good quality service, let's face it my clients don't have a voice, they have no one they can complain to, no channel to pursue, no ombudsman, no family, no friends. they don't choose whom gets to work with them, they don't get the chance to chose how people work with them, and it's not uncommon to see the wrong people slip through and work in a situation where they exercise all power and all control over these people. it's the way it has always been, abusive people are attracted to working with the vulnerable. 
now often the abuser has no idea they are even being abusive, they just have far to much influence and power over people without the ability to recognise how that influence effects and damages individuals who are disempowered. 
mental illness is a strange area, intentions can become easily mangled by a paranoid schizophrenic so in order to work with one you do require a certain ability to understand how you are perceived. i've always made sure i'm perceived as safe. 
that is, i want my clients to understand i am not a threat, i respect their choices although sometimes can't carry them out, i listen. i don't intimidate or present myself as an authority, i often reflect everything back at the individual so they can determine the answer themselves. 
unfortunately there's always been a glitch in the system, whereby managers are given their jibs by other managers whom all share the wrong qualities. they are bullies, and eventually their base personality is exposed. when it does i usually give people a chance to redeem themselves, but over the course of a year my manager displayed these tendencies and reverted to acts of violence to assert herself. no one ever challenges this, except me. i have supreme confidence in myself when it comes to dealing with bullies and abusive people, no matter whom they are.
my recent dramas at my workplace exposed my manager, and the result is she has been replaced. the clients were all so relieved, their behaviours changed overnight, they stopped living in fear and have bloomed. they are now living quality lives, having control over their enviroment. it left me very damaged as it's not easy fighting these battles with your own hierarchy but i always know exactly what i am doing and do it with such conviction every action executed with client needs at the forefront, even before my own. the result is always the same, i am feared, despised and at the same time distantly respected although very rarely acknowledged. 
but it's always worth it, the people i support always find a way to thank me, it may be in some form of affection or gratitude that is indirect but this is the rewards of my job, improving peoples lives by degrees. giving them control, reclaiming their power, it's not something that's quantifiable, it can't be drawn on a graph of outcomes by a bureaucracy obsessed with paper work, cover ups, damage control but it's why i do what i do. the smile on a persons face, the happiness in the home, the way people come out from hiding in rooms, the pure joy, this is what makes my job worthwhile.

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