The backstory Chapter 1
When we are young we give no thought to who we are, or want to be. Most of what we think about is a fairy tale, some want to be rock stars, movie stars, or a cartoon figure we see as perfect, such as the little mermaid. There are some who look for a place to hide within themselves their reality is too frightening to think about, making their reality out of a fantasy they feel comfortable walking in, not something they save for bedtime so as to conjure it up and have pleasant dreams, this fantasy is made to keep them safe, their mind from slipping away into the darkness which they live in.
One particular sunny day I was sitting on a step watching a game of stick ball in the street, all the other kids were playing and laughing, I was told to sit and watch because I was a bad little girl. What I did wrong was so horrendous I could not believe it happened, as I was walking with my milk I spilled it, I need to try and pay attention, I need to learn to see what is in front of me not what is in my head. In my head I am this strong agile perfect girl who never does anything wrong, I sing on key, my room is perfect, my hair and clothes are perfect. Sometimes my mind collides with my reality and I spill things, or miss a wrinkle on my bed.
Even today I find my mind wandering to another place that is safe, a place where everything is perfect. Stress is something I deal with daily now that I am a social worker specializing in children’s trauma. I know it because I have lived it, the brutality of adults doesn’t just come from a slap or a beating; sometimes it is the subtle things they do to a child leaving marks on their souls.
I am working with three sisters Kay Lee, Chantal, Morgan, Kay Lee is the eldest, 10 years old she has trouble sleeping, waking up making sure everything is in its place she says she picks up her sisters toys and makes sure everything is in order just in case there is a fire, she wants to be able to get out without running into anything.
Chantal is the middle sister 8 years old, angry and bossy continually berating her sisters. It seems in Chantal’s eyes her sisters do not have a clue how to do things, this attitude leads her into fights at school because it spills over into all her relationships.
Morgan is 5 years old the sweetest little girl yet I can see a pattern with her she creates drama; I am beginning to think for the attention and for the fun of it watching everyone run in circles like a dog chasing its tail.
What I want to glean from these three what is actually going on at home. There was an anonymous call for neglect and abuse nothing more specific but we try and check out all reports. Our staff is over worked some actually burned out; I only have a short amount of time to get to the bottom of this situation before I need to move on and put out another fire.
Kay Lee seems to be the most open which does not mean most forth coming. Her life is that of an adult in a child’s body; she is the caretaker her need for order comes from the disorder in her surroundings. I asked her what she dreams about she says she doesn’t dream and if she did she doesn’t remember. So I asked her what she thinks about during the day. She says she has a list of things she checks and rechecks always wanting order. I tried a different approach and asked her what is the one thing she thinks about that makes her the happiest; she said being alone and not having to take care of anyone, actually having one day she does not have to do anything.
Working with Kay Lee will be difficult, she is centered on being the caregiver that is her main job her objective is what is concerning me; keeping her sisters safe, safe from what? She says in case of fire, I believe it goes deeper than that.