So to are the woman I work with, complex I mean. Years of marginalization and chaotic lifestyle has lead to layers upon layers of issues that need to be dealt with if they are to move forward and reintegrate into society. Each and every time I think I have helped to better someones life there it is another layer as big and as complex as the last waiting there. The task is enormous and will take years if it can ever happen at all. And I am looking from the outside- what must it feel like to be them? No wonder some choose to give up, remain where they are.
There are days where I feel overwhelmed, feel useless and wonder what the hell I am doing. Last week I had one of those nights where thoughts of "my girls" as I have started to see them kept me up. I felt grief for the woman who lost her fight for her children and was told not to cry by the judge who was taking them away, joy for the couple who's son was being returned but fear that they might slip backwards and loose everything, angst about the need to protect the innocent whilst supporting a womans right to be given an opportunity to get it right this time,the list goes on.....onions
We, and I include myself in this, want a quick fix, a magic wand to wave, a band aid. Through money at it and it will be ok type of thing.
The truth is that that is not the way through. These woman and 1000's like them need people who are willing to walk life with them; To love them, when they cant love themselves, to put up with their anger and hate which will often be metered out to you simply because you are there, to hold up there arms in battle as they try and fight through. They need a community.
This is not up to a government agency or support service it is up to each one of us as human beings. It is up to each and everyone of us whether we work for a not for profit or are the CEO of a bank.
It is the essence of Small things with Great love- I cannot feed all the homeless in Victoria but I can feed and build relationship with the one who lives just down the road; I can not bring home every person who needs a home, but I can write letters to our PM so the homeless have a voice; I can talk to the mother in the playground who non of the other mothers will talk to because she is a single mum who is obviously poor; I can have a cup of tea with the lonely old lady down the road............
Not world changing stuff? No, but if we all did it I wonder how different it would be? If we each helped deal with 1 layer could we together change lives? Hmm I wonder