Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WTF Wednesdays - The drug child

After reading the Ditz's blog outlining the format of her blog for the year, I realized that my blog has very little structure and also that she is very organized. So I decided to introduce WTF Wednesdays. The idea is to present true stories that made me say "WTF" at work.

However, I don't want to limit myself to work-related stories. This is my attempt at structure. I hope it works.

Before I get into the story, let me recap the set of circumstances that bring me to my WTF story. Last Year I was without of work for the great majority of the time. I had a great paying job doing inside sales and then the recession yada yada. You know how that goes.

Recently I got a job working for a well known organization that has a great reputation for helping homeless people. We have homeless shelters open during the cold seasons. We give them shelter, feed them, and give them a place to shower. If a homeless family arrives at the shelter, we provide housing for the family at a motel as we don't want children to be exposed to such a rough environment.

After the families are set up at a motel, I visit with the families with the goal that they transition to an alternative setting. This program is for emergencies and is short term. I find out about their situation and try to provide whatever guidance we can with the limited resources that we have.

Yesterday I went on a visit to see a familiy. It was a mother and her 10 year old daughter. The motel itself is in a rough neighborhood. According to another tenant, a lady was recently stabbed to death across the street and her body placed in a dumpster. "The cops have been coming around here alot," said she.

We knock and this frail woman answers. She looks at us with suspicion. We introduce ourselves. (It's a female co-worker and me). She sighs with relief. "You can come out honey, they are o.k". Apparently, the child was hiding. That was a bit creepy and this prompted the question, why is she hiding?

The frail woman was almost in tears. This was her story. She used to have a great job in the real estate industry but because of the recession yada yada. She used up all of her savings and needed help. This is the first time she has been this finacially strapped. Then she explains that she was an emancipated youth meaning she legally broke ties with her family because her mother was a crack addict and as a result, she has ADD. Her daughter also has ADD and is prone to turrets.

She had the baby from an older man that used to be her therapist when she was 15! He wasn't a therapist he was THE RAPIST. He supposedly had his license suspended and is threatening to take her child from him. Later she reveals that everytime she needed any financial support, he would force her to engage in some sexual act. "Get on your knees and do what you do best." The guy is a creep and he lost his license.

She now was in tears and was explaining how he has messed with her mind for all these years using "reverse psychology". The guy sounds evil. She has to attend an emergency hearing where he will argue that the child should be with him. I called up my family attorney friend who will help her in this matter.

The tragedy got worse as she explained that her father commited suicide. While she is telling us her life story, her daughter kept staring at me with a deep stare that was both cute and eery. She was drawing me. She pretended to hide behind a book;a kind of peek a boo. We explain to the mom what her options are and we guide her in the right direction.

I left the room with my co-worker and we both felt drained and exhausted after hearing and witnessing tragedy. I went home thinking of that lady and her child wondering what the hell is going to happen.

When my co-worker got to the office today, she opened up the cartoon drawing that the little girl had drawn. It had a cartoon-monster looking creature in the middle with a big head and regular sized feet and hands. On the side of the picture it read: "Thank you for helping us"



  1. Wow, Israel, I applaud you for being able to do that kind of work. Bleeding heart that I am I doubt that I would be able to maintain my objectivity when confronted with so many tragic life stories. I hope that little girl gets half a chance to make something of herself.

  2. You are doing a wonderful work, Israel. Such a sad story. I hope this woman and girl will have a better future.

  3. What a wonderful, wonderful thing you do. I truly commend you for the ways in which you're helping people who really need it.

    Maybe the lil girl is just a really bad artist. lol. Or just super imaginative.

  4. Wow what a story! So sad! Yay for you for calling your lawyer friend and asking them to help the poor woman. I hope things get better for her and her daughter. -How does doing that and seeing the conditions and learning about their plights make you feel? I ask because I used to volunteer for Child Advocates but had to stop because I couldn't handle some of the stories about the children, it depressed me.
    Yay for your attempt at "structure" !

  5. Ai, ai, ai! A very disturbing story. Weather or not the lady is telling the truth, I do hope things will go better for her.

  6. The little girl was trying to be nice. I'm sorry that that happened to that lady, but I hope you'll be able to help her. She will be in my prayers.