My Social Work Life: Sick On The Job

My co-worker asked if I was going to blog about this story I am about to tell you and I said, “Yeah probably.” Now looking back on it, the story is funny but in the moment it was the worst day of my life. You must know, I am dramatic and I often tell my family “I just had the worst day of my life” to which my brother usually responds “Oh really? I am pretty sure you have said that before.”  If you don’t have thick skin you will never survive being around my family.

Okay the story—-

One Sunday evening, I went to eat at a restaurant in Buda, TX. I was leery about it but nonetheless I went. I ordered fried catfish, rice and beans, and dirty rice. I was hopeful that this meal would bless my stomach. Unfortunately, the meal did not taste that great. I left vowing never to return and moved on with my life.

The next day, I was in the car at 9pm heading to a placement for a 5 week old baby girl. I was so happy to see her and meet the new foster family I would be working with. They had a beautiful home and vibrant little girl who was laughing and playing as we talked. I held the baby for a little while and then handed her over to her new foster mom. She was a doll. The CPS worker was talking and the world begins to slow down for me. All the sudden its like she is talking is slow motion. I wanted her to shut up because my stomach started to hurt and then I started getting that feeling like I was going to throw up. I was in escape mode in my head, how could I get the CPS worker to talk faster so we could leave? I knew I was sick and this was not going to be pretty. All the sudden, my body revolts against me and I jump up ask for the restroom, cover my mouth and run. I made it to the toilet and threw up. I am mortified. How am I supposed to walk back in there like nothing happened? How? I open the door slowly and start the walk of shame. Everyone looks up at me wide-eyed with concern and a mixture of “We all need to GET AWAY FROM HER”. The foster dad was gracious and offered me some water. I drank it all. BAD IDEA. I repeat. BAD IDEA. Literally, 5 min later I was running to the bathroom almost unable to contain the throw up from coming out of my mouth, I had a choice to make, the toilet was 3 steps to far, I wasn’t going to make it, I had to throw up in the sink. At the time that seemed like the best idea because I would have thrown up on the floor, however, the sink would not drain. Yep. The sink was clogged with my puke and their plunger was useless.

I looked at myself in the bathroom. I had two spots on my shirt where I had to wipe off the throw up. And now I clogged the sink of perfect strangers. THIS IS MY LIFE. I finally had to humble myself and tell the foster dad that I clogged the sink and I am sorry and the plunger didn’t work. He peaked in the sink and looked as if he may throw up too. The foster mom was gracious and told me not to worry and she understands that I got sick and couldn’t help it. She said she wanted to hug me but she knew it wasn’t the best idea. I walked out of the house with the barf bag she made me and watched as the foster dad sped out of the driveway to get stuff to unclog the sink. I called my mom and cried because well….I DID NOT KNOW THESE PEOPLE!!!! And I said my famous line, “THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE!.” Somehow I managed to cry and drive and talk on the phone. Multitasking is my thing, so at least I could still manage that.

I got home without throwing up and I thought the worst was over. I called my cousin back and I was listening to him talk until I started throwing up again and told him I had to go.

The worst was far from over….I threw up until 2am.

I was confident that I got food poisoning from that restaurant.

Thanks to my boss and friend who brought me stuff to help settle my stomach. I got through the next few days.

Moral of the story….I don’t know but I hope to never be sick at work ever again. Especially when my work consists of going to people’s home each month.

This is my social work life.

Has this every happened to anyone else?

Being Black in America: Yes, Another Blog About Race

With all the events going on in our nation, surrounding police officers and the black community, I’m even more aware of my hair and my skin color-my brown skinimage1 (4)

As a kid I was too busy trying to fit in. Trying to be white. Trying to reject my culture. I got my relaxers in hopes that my hair would move and shake like my white friends. I was called a “black white girl” and for years I was proud of that. I fit in. I was the exception to the their perception of black people. I was black but not one of “them” (the black people everyone is “scared” of). I made it a point to say that I was embarrassed when a black person was being “too loud” or “doing the most”. I wanted so desperately to be accepted that as a kid I tried to reject my culture. I was “In” and “they” (the ghetto black people) were out. Somehow, white people loved me and I celebrated that. When I got to college, I was rudely awakened to the fact that white people thought I was some anomaly. I realized, being told I was a “black white girl” was an insult. A way to say I am just good enough to fit in and be accepted by white people. I’m sure they didn’t mean it that way, or at least I hope they didn’t, but it hurt. I could count the number of black girls on our campus with my two hands. Over time we got more black girls but truth be told, I found my people in college. I realized we needed to stick together. I made white friends too but my friendship with black people became life giving. We had common ground and didn’t need to search for it. Today, I celebrate my blackness, my culture, my hair, my people.

Wether you choose to acknowledge it or not, people of color know that society believes white is better. Just look at this video. 


My dearest and best friends are white and we have had some hard conversations about the things going on in our nation. Let me tell you, it’s not easy for me to truly share how it feels to be a black face in a white place. We adapt to white culture daily.  I cannot tell you how hurtful it is to see hateful comments about black people and how “unruly” we are. Seeing comments that justify Dajerria Becton being slammed on the ground by a cop because she “mouthed off”, yet a 21-year-old white male gets a pass and sympathy after he brutally murders 9 people. I am baffled by this.
I am convinced the only way true change will happen is when people allow the love of God to fill their hearts and minds, as well as, open dialogue and education about racial disparities. If you don’t believe in God, I still believe that everyone has a conscience and can support and advocate for humanity. Simply because it’s awful to let hate fill your heart. We can lobby for a change in legislation but that will not change the hearts of men. The hearts of men like Dylan who wanted to start a race war. Only God can change hearts. I’ve been doing a lot of self-examination because this stuff is hard to digest and process. I think if more people tried to self evaluate and open up their perspective to see where people of color are coming from, then maybe more hearts would join in unity. That may be a long shot but I am hoping it can happen.

We just want to have equal rights. Dylan gets a trial but what about Eric Garner? What about Michael Brown? John Crawford III? Ezell Ford? Dante Parker? Tanisha Anderson?Akai Gurley? Jerame Reid? Walter Scott? Freddie Gray? Their fate was decided by a police officer not a judge or jury. None of them got a chance to set foot in court. They just got killed. Dylan kills 9 people and they escort him to the car with a bullet proof vest on. If you don’t understand why black people are crying out for justice then you are choosing not to see. It’s plain and clear. America needs to change.

I will speak out and call out injustice because we aren’t yelling loud enough yet. Some people stopped using blatant racist rhetoric because it became unacceptable but the same language strategically morphed into political rhetoric. The media has made it seem like people of color are lazy and stealing all of the government assistance money and don’t work but guess what? U.S. Department of Agriculture data from 2013, which administers welfare, 40.2 percent of SNAP recipients are white, 25.7 percent are Black, 10.3 percent are Hispanic, 2.1 percent are Asian and 1.2 percent are Native American. If you don’t believe me watch this documentary by Tim Wise, it’s free, you have no excuses, watch it.

We will not be silent. #BlackLivesMatter

Lessons learned: The ugly truth about breaking up…

How do you start over?

I don’t see many articles or books talking about starting over after you have spent any significant about of time or energy into a relationship. Or maybe you had a short-lived physical relationship that has left you empty. Either way, if you have experienced any loss in a relationship, no one seems to talk about it that often. Its something you press through and get over it or “sweep under the rug”. Truth be told, we all know that moving on from someone you gave your heart or body to is not easy. It takes time, energy, healing, and renewing of your mind.

Songs, places, things people may do, can easily trigger a memory or thought about that person who was once special to you. You may spend months venting, laying in your bed, eating ice cream, drinking wine, crying, stalking their social media accounts, and replaying your last conversation; all in an attempt to forget or justify why things did not work out. You may think: Was I not pretty enough? Bold enough? Was I too emotional? Was I not skinny enough? Did I have too much baggage? Was my personality too overwhelming? Maybe, I shouldn’t have said that? Have we really grown apart? Are we truly going separate ways? Was this a mistake? I still love them but we are better off separated rather than together. I miss him but they are not good for me. I am lonely without them but I cannot tell anyone that because they will think I am crazy. I miss his smile and laugh, I miss their adventurous spirit. Is it really over? Are we really done? We have done this before, maybe we will get back together?

No. It’s really over.

Now it’s time for you to move on. How do you move on? Where do you even start? Good question, after a break-up, I have asked myself that often. Where do I even begin? This question is especially hard for me when I have scarified who I am to fit in, to be the person he wanted me to be. Oftentimes, I have felt like guys aren’t too attracted to a driven, focused, and confident woman; they are intimidated by me. This has caused me to shrink back and trade my confidence for fear and insecurities and when he is gone, I am left with fear and insecurities. Now, I must choose to climb out of this hole and start again or wallow in fear and insecurities. It’s a simple choice but a painful one too. I must deal with the deeper issue. What makes me compromise myself for someone who cannot understand or accept me for who I am? Why did I let them in? I should have said hit the door in the first place but I didn’t and now I am left picking up the pieces, again. When will I get it? When will I be okay with being who I am and who I am called to be unapologetically? I think we must all ask ourselves those questions. Ask yourself why you keep dating the same type of guy and end up hurt all over again? Why do you settle? And no I’m not talking about waiting for elusive perfect man, I’m talking about in your gut, you know if you should be with a person or not, when you ignore that feeling and stay with the person anyway, usually it ends eventually. What hole do you need someone to fill so much that you ignore the signs telling you to stop, turn around, don’t go any further. Do you think you are not worth love and belonging? Do you think you will never meet a man who loves you and loves Jesus (Not the type of church guy who is trying to “stay pure” but has no boundaries and is interested solely in your body. That’s a whole different topic). Have you messed up so much that you think you are not worthy? Not “pure” enough? Your tainted now, huh?

I have spent a lot of time worrying about the wrong things and looking for the wrong things. When will I [you] be okay with saying, “It was nice to meet you, I think you are a great guy, but not the guy for me.” Instead of worrying about hurting someone’s feelings, be honest and let it burn. This will save everyone involved the time, energy, emotional headache and heartache. Ladies, let’s remember, guys have feelings too, don’t lead them on. 

We pick ourselves up and move on when we refuse to stay stuck. Sometimes, you should not turn back to that relationship and need to move forward. Sometimes, the timing is wrong and maybe things will work out in the future. Whatever the case, fight for yourself and refuse to allow pain to consume your heart and mind. If you feel you cannot fight, call a friend who will hold your arms up and fight with you. Find someone who will pray with you and seek God on your behalf. Find a friend who refuses to watch you sink and believes the best about you. Encourage yourself until that sense of loss and hopelessness is gone. 

Joyce Meyer said it best in her book The Confident Woman:
You make a decision to let go and go on. You learn form your mistakes. You gather up the fragments and give them to Jesus, and he will make sure that nothing is wasted (John 6:12). You refuse to think about what you have lost, but instead you inventory what you have left and begin using it. Not only can you recover, but you can also be used to help other people recover. Be a living example of a confident woman who always recovers from set backs no matter how difficult or frequent they are. Don’t ever say, “I just cannot go on.” Instead say, “I can do whatever I need to do through Christ who strengthens me. I will never quit, because God is on my side.
Do not give up and loose heart. You are not alone. Pain will not last a lifetime. You can move on one step at a time. Start reminding yourself of who you are in Christ and how much he loves you. Regain your love for yourself. Do things to bless others in your community; I always feel better giving to others rather than being focused on myself. Learn from your mistakes and learn who you are so that you don’t fall into the same situation as you did last time. Learn to love yourself and know who you are for YOU (and no one else). Do not make the choice to discover who you are so you can “feel” whole and enter a relationship. When you know who you are, you are not easily shaken or coerced. The real man for you will not try to quench who you are to boost his own self-esteem.

Tweet by @ChristineCaine: The more secure you are in Christ the more secure people around you become. Insecurity breeds insecurity, comparison & competition. Be secure! If the man pursing you is competing with you, let him go. A confident man will not compete with the woman he is in a relationship with. This goes for women too. If you are competing with your man, ask yourself why.

I am learning that true joy is not in being pursued or having a boyfriend, true joy comes when you live your life devoted to Christ. Being devoted to Christ does not mean you will not make mistakes, it simply means, you want to live your life for him. Living for Christ does not make you exempt from hurt and pain, life happens. Take heart and know He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). Trusting that God’s love really does cover a multitude of sin. Trusting that your sin is as far as the east is from the west. Believe that you can help other people who feel: lost, lonely, afraid, unseen, and unheard. You matter and your story matters.
Spread the love people. Our life is far from over. It is just beginning.
xoxo

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P.S.

Let me just say, there are some outstanding men out there and mommas/fathers who are raising their sons right. So just because you had a bad break up doesn’t mean all guys are bad or that all guys are the same. Let’s face it, we all have to grow up and sometimes guys make stupid mistakes. If you break up with “so-and-so” let him go and start the process of forgiving him. Your bitterness is not hindering him from moving on. Hopefully, he too, will learn from his mistakes and decide to make a change.