I love my job.

Okay, yes, discouraged and worn down and tuckered out though I may be, I do have to share a very exciting and inspirational story.

About a week and a half ago, I was invited for the second time to speak to a classroom of high risk teens who are going through the program my agency offers at a local charter high school. I feel totally comfortable there because I went to one of the schools for druggies, dropouts, and pregnant teens (while being none of those things) here in this town and absolutely adored it. So I went and told my story of how I was abused, abandoned and neglected throughout my life, and the dysfunction I endured. I also told the story of how I put one of my abusers behind bars, how I learned to forgive, and about self-hatred, self-love, and boundaries.

I saw a lot of nodding heads amidst the laughter while I was talking, and I know that a lot of what I said resonated very personally with the kids there, who live lives similar to mine. While in the office today, we got a phone call from the teacher of the class, one of our peer support specialists, and she told us that one of her students disclosed to her. The girl shared that one of her family members had been sexually molesting her for a long time, and while he had stopped he was still very involved in her life. She hadn't ever told anyone, but hearing my story prompted her to speak up and get help. Her words were, "if that Cassie girl can make it, then so can I."

Holy crap, y'all.

I mean, just let that sink in. By spending an hour with these kids and just telling the story of what I've gone through and what I've done with my life (counseling; stable emotionally and mentally--mostly, hah!; a stable, healthy, and happy marriage; a job that I love, am good at, and am passionate about; setting and maintaining healthy boundaries in all aspects of my life), I literally changed the course of someone's life. She is gonna do so much better... her self-worth is going to change, the way she interacts with those around her, the way she goes after her dreams and goals... She will be much less likely to continue the cycle of abuse by getting into a bad relationship or becoming an abuser herself. She will advocate (in big or small ways) for those she sees being victimized in her life, because that's just what happens when you learn about this stuff and put it into practice in your life. It's a natural by-product.

This girl is going to start coming to the teen support group, which I just so happen to be getting re-involved in very soon. That means that I'll get to work closely with this girl who saw something in my life that gave her hope that her life could be different and better too. What a privilege.

I love my job.

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