Some days you can surprise yourself.
You think after 5 years of working, you have mastered the art of building a wall so as to not let clients’ stories affect you. A wall that enables you to be empathic and caring while at the same time, unemotional. And it is this wall that enables you to continue living your life despite the cynicism your work has opened you up to.
Until one day, you realise you are human.
Just like everyone else.
The day you see a young person for the first time and their lack of functioning hits you hard. The vacant stare in their eyes sends shivers down your spine. The lack of memory of what they have been doing makes you nervous. The absolute lack of engagement from others only heightens your anxiety. And your heart goes out to the young person who seemingly wants to say they need help but at the same time, whose mind is so confused they cannot make a decision. And finally, the tears well up in your eyes as you listen to the developmental history of the young person sitting with their tearful and distraught parents.
The wall has crumbled.
And all you can do is hope the tears don’t run down your cheeks.
Especially as you know the prognosis for this young person is not good.
Some days I get angry with mental illness. At the unfairness of it all. At why it chooses some individuals over others. It hit me really hard today. And I haven’t stopped thinking about this young person.
But soon, I will have to get back into the swing of things. Back to being the supportive therapist for this young person and their family.
Back to rebuilding that wall.
Until next time,