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Thinking About Going for a Job in Social Services

Discussion in 'Employment, Education & Disability' started by Marilyn_S, Apr 19, 2007.

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  1. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    Though I have had alot of struggles of lately, I am really missing working in my given profession. I put this post here because I would like to get people's oppinions and thoughts on working in a potentially triggering environment with PTSD. The job I am going to try to acquire is at a local domestic violence shelter as a case manager for victims and their families. I love the work because there are so many people's lives that can be improved with just a little help and counsel. In the past, it has been very difficult for me not to allow the symptoms of my PTSD to interfere with my job performance. I do not want to set myself up for failure but at the same time I want to try to do what is in my heart to do. I know that other opportunities will arise at different times in the future. But if I were to be selected for this position, it would really feel like a major hurdle overcome in my life. So I am Unsure.
     
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  3. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    Marilyn I am also trained in social services.

    One of the first things I ever learned was that if we are not healthy than how can we expect to help someone else. Now I'm not talking a broken leg here. What we have is major. It affects our thinking and reasoning abilities.

    The cold honest truth, is that we are a risk to the very clients we seek to help. It's irresponsible and unprofessional until we are in the same place Anthony is and even then it's iffy.

    Working in social services is not about ourselves or our needs. As such, our responsibility lies in protecting our clients by removing ourselves.

    I don't recommend going back to work, in this field, at this time. In fact, in Canada, it is against the law.

    bec
     
  4. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    Thank You Bec,

    Sometimes it is so hard to know the reality of things. Thank you so much for your honest oppinion. That is what I was needing. It hurts though simply because I worked so hard to get the degree in psychology and want so bad to work. But you are right. I need to work in another field until I am much, much, much, much..... better, may be never. It is very hard to face that but you are right. It would be selfish at this time to go back just because of my own desires. Not only would it be setting myself up for failure but it would be unethical to the clients because I would have difficulty maintaining appropriate boundaries and being objective. I hope that I can acquire healing. Perhaps someday I can help other people with PTSD. One can have dreams I suppose.

    Love & Care
    Marilyn S.
     
  5. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    I so share your grief with this. I just graduated in June of last year. Solid 4.0. I was going places, then my PTSD flattened me. Reality is I may never get to use my own education. It hurts. What keeps me going is that fact that I am honest, ethical and caring enough for my potential clients that I don't attempt to work. I hold myself to the higher standard that everyone within our field is supposed to hold precious. I think that means more than our eduction and all the years of experience you could get combined. My integrity is all I have left.

    *hugs*

    bec
     
  6. Linda

    Linda Well-Known Member

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    Marilyn,
    I would say that this job will require NOT to take your client's problems as your personal ones. You wil have to listen to their stories and giving them advises while understanding that those are their stories, not yours. And getting too emotional from it will be unacceptable.
    Are you sure you will be able to do it?
    Sorry, but I would not take this kind of job if I am not positive about how I will react on it.

    A nice way to help others while not triggering yourself is helping animals.
     
  7. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member

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    (sorry Marilyn, I'm hijacking your thread for a minute here!)

    Linda I have a question for you.

    I love animals, in fact I would prefer to be with animals rather than people. However seeing an animal hurt sends me into major anxiety attacks. Living in a small town there isn't much you can do to work with animals here, but I am moving to a city. What would you recommend for work opportunities if I can't handle wounded animals? Are there options?

    bec
     
  8. Claire

    Claire Well-Known Member

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    Marilyn: I'd suggest you find something that is challenging enough but not too challenging and something you are likely to succeed in. I think working can be very benefical and help you get stronger. Just dont set yourself up to fail with a job that's too emotionally draining. Building on easy successes is what I have found to work better.

    Bec: Sorry if I've stepped in here! In the UK in cities we have travelling farms that go round to school introducing inner city kids to general farm yard animals eg. pigs, lambs, chickens etc. How about trying something like that?! I always think it sounds like a cool job!
     
  9. Linda

    Linda Well-Known Member

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    Bec, absolutely.
    If you are thinking of work with animals to make money, try grooming. Pets brought for grooming and bathing are usually in good condition and happy, although many kitties hate bathing :cool: However, you should remember that many groomers do service shelter pets, who may have problems with their fur and skin. But if a shelter pet brought for grooming, this pet is about to be placed for adoption.
    If you are looking for volunteer oppurtunities, zoo will be a good choice. You will be dealing with variety of exotic animals who are taken a good care of.

    But I should say that any job with animals means that you have chances to see them sick or injured, although in a groomer salon or a zoo that chances are small.

    I in fact have a friend who is a groomer, and she was volunteering for a local zoo, and once she groomed a baby lion :rolleyes:
     
  10. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    What incredible ideas! Thank you Linda and Claire! I would love work with animals! I think you are all right about the job in social services. Bec, you are so right about integrity. I do not think I could handle trying to help women who have been battered. It would bring me back to my own 9 year experience with being beat up and hurt and put down with my first husband. Wayne is very understanding. Last night we were talking about this and he said, "Honey, please don't go after that job. We can make for now on my wages. Just focus on your healing." It felt so releaving for him to say that. I have been pushing myself not realizing that it is taking away from the quality of my ability to heal. However, if I could find a part time job working with animals, that would be so awesome. Which reminds me, I need to get off here and feed my chickens. I have 10 beautiful chickens. I am hoping they will be laying eggs by the end of spring or at least by mid summer. I raised them from chicks.

    Love All,
    Marilyn S.
     
  11. Linda

    Linda Well-Known Member

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    Marilyn, Wayne is so right! If you can make it without you working, the best choice for you would be, I think, to concentrate on your healing.
    What I would suggest for you is not working with animals to make money, but rather ealing with your own furry and feathery creatures and volunteering in a place like zoo. I would not advise an animal shelter, since you will see many animals suffering there. This is not for everyone: I am a veterinary professional with years of experience, and it is still hard for me to deal with anger any case of animal abuse raises in me.
    There is another option, however: a pet assisted therapy. That means you ar visiting nursing homes or hospitals with therapy animals, so residents and patients there could have benefits from communication with pets. This is something I am probably going to do after finishing the school, since one of my cats is extremely friendly and can be helpful for many people beside me.
     
  12. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    Thank You Linda,

    Those are some wonderful ideas. My Cindy is like a swan with the elderly. She is a white female mixed breed dog with a super personality. Sometimes I swear she is talking to me with her eyes. She is so smart. She would love visiting nursing homes and such. Thanks for the ideas!
     
  13. Marilyn_S

    Marilyn_S Well-Known Member

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    I know I am not currently fit to do social work, but I fear if I give it up forever I will be placing victory in the hands of my abusers and letting go of a part of myself that is so alive, passionate, and part of my heart and soul.

    I am trying to remain positive and focus on the blessings in my life. my precious kids, my sweet husband, my home, my pets... But at the same time I am working on healing. It is so difficult because the flash backs of the abuse I survived are leaving me feeling lost and defeated. My heart is broken because I believe I have failed, relented, given in to the pain. I have messed up so many good jobs by quitting. I am almost 40 and have a poor work record yet it is still very much a part of my heart and strong desire to be a social worker, to be in the trenches fighting the war against child abuse, neglect, and family violence. When I first went to college I just wanted to be something. I thought psychology was a well respected profession and very interesting so I went for it. After graduating I came to realize I am no great intellect but where my strength lies is in my compassion and my empathy for people whose lives are in chaos. (Young mothers struggling to make a living and doing it alone, families who have strengths but are being torn apart by substance abuse or mental illness, Children who have been abused and need help so they do not have to live with chronic PTSD, and elderly people who are alone and venerable) I realized I have the heart of a social worker. God created this heart in me! When I was in graduate school (I dropped out last year) it was so easy for me to do the reading because I was learning things that meant something to me. But I allowed myself to sabatauge my own success. I dropped out mid practicum. It will be just short of a miracle if I am ever able to get back in even though my GPA was 3.97. Even if I do go back, will I ever find employment, I've messed up so much in this small rural community. My husband has a very good job and I am pretty sure moving is out of the question. I know this probably sounds like I'm just a big complainer but it hurts so bad that the goal I worked so hard for seems to be a loss. I grew up holding things together, being that obedient and helpful child despite the abuse that was happening to me. I want to help others have a chance at life and love and peace. Will I ever be suitable??!! Or am I just a shell of what I could have been toward the longing of my heart. It is like life is a fun game for the abusers and they win the prize of ruining my dream. They stole my suitability and now I must live with only being part of what my heart desires to be. I do not know if anything will ever be fullfilling for me if I am never able to do the job that is such a strong desire of my heart. In my soul it has become a central part of my identity. This is making my healing journey so much more arduous. I want to hide, retreat, find a hole to clime in and just exist. I know there are other jobs that I do such as being a mother and a wife. They are rewarding and very important to me. They too are a central part of my identity, but I can not help but feel a part of me is dying if I do not plan as part of my future being a social worker.
     
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