Monday, June 30, 2008

Picture Time!

Check out this awesome slideshow Jeremy made! It's great! If you like it, you should let him know!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Time Has Arrived . . .

for me to finish preparing for the New Orleans trip. It's 1:15am, and all bags are packed. I am very excited to grow closer to God, and to some of His people!!! Love you, Kimmy! Don't miss me too much!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Iron Man

Yep. It was fantastic. And it's part of the Five Buck Club now. Yay!

" . . . or the devil."

Just a brief summary of a really terrible five minute time frame, epitomizing this whole week. Remember to read this dramatically and with lots of pauses, reminiscent of narratives from old Gumshoe movies:
"Tears rolled from her eyes as she faced the cold, hard facts. Her son has been molesting an eleven year old child. She didn't want to believe it. But she had no choice. I handed her a tissue, and told her the police are on their way. She said she couldn't stand to see her baby boy in handcuffs, so she asked to leave. She told me thanks, said I didn't have to be so kind about it, but I was. She stepped out hurriedly as the officer entered. He questioned me, handed me an affirmation to complete, and a testimony to the truth of the information I reported obtaining from an interview with the suspect. The phone rang. "Hello?" It was a child I hadn't talked to in over a year. He was alone. And scared. He was on the edge and just needed someone one to talk to. He sounded bad. Unsafe. I hung up and notified the authorities. I called him back. Crisis averted. His mother had returned home. He was no longer alone. He was safe. Back to the officer, back to writing my affirmation. The officer needed a report from the victim. I went to retrieve the report, and when I returned, the suspect was being escorted in handcuffs in the police car. He asked to speak to me. He told me he placed a note on my desk earlier that day apologizing for swearing at me. "You're not going to detention for swearing at me. You're going for molesting a child," I say flatly as I shut the car door and entered my office to interview every other child the suspect has been in contact with in the unit."
I felt I was about to crumble all week. But I kept pushing on because I knew when I stopped, I would be done for a while. A co-worker asked me, "What's the purpose of the entire week? What is God trying to do to us?!?!" I responded, " . . . or the devil." "No devil," she says, "only God. There is no devil!" But there really is a devil. I know because he's been lying to me all week, trying to convince me too much is happening at work right now to go on a missions trip. I was requested to testify at two court hearings next week. Two very significant hearings.
"Stay here," I've been thinking, "this is where you're needed."
I expressed this feeling to the same co-worker, who sugguested it was God telling me. My response? " . . . or the devil."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Yabba Dabba Dooh Time

Today was somewhat of a continuation of this weeks madness at work. But my mom called saying she was in Muncie, so she stopped by to visit, along with my nephew.

Kimberly and my nephew played video games while my mom and I took a walk. I relayed my week's events to her, venting. And she, in her motherly wisdom, made me feel much better!!! So yay for moms!!!

We all then went out to eat. It was really great to get to spend time out with my family, something that now seems a bit of the past. I definitely need to do that more often!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ahh! (Sigh of Relief)

I have centered my chi. Focused my third eye. Aligned my chakras . . .

You get the picture. I feel better!

I blogged. Took a walk. Did some random form of humming/singing. Prayed. Prayed more.

And now I'm back in the apartment. The plan is to do something constructive, as in straightening up the living room a little, then showering.

And then to delve into some serious WII TIME!!!

And at some point, perhaps I'll go to sleep ;o)

um . . . ew

My stomach is being quite noncompliant at the moment, doing twists and turns. Actually, my whole body seems to be in complete defiance of any control I might try to exhibit. My muscles are twitching all over, and my head is doing this little spinning thingy.

Yesterday's ordeal was, well, a bit overwhelming. Today was a sequel of that episode, completing the follow-up paperwork and gathering the right documents needed for an emergency change of residential placement.

And then . . .

Oh yes, there is an "and then" !!!

I received a report that a 14 year old forced a 11 year old to manually and orally stimulate him sexually.


This report resulted in a long, drawn-out interview.

We pushed. We coaxed. We encouraged. We scolded. On and on and on until . . .


It really happened. Continuously. For over a month.

I am literally sick. This week has been so taxing, with no sign of getting better. I've almost hesitated to leave work and come home each night this week, for the simple fact of not wanting to bring this sickness into my home with me, to my wife, into MY life.

Because I can't just leave it. I can't just drop it. Not things this serious. I need vent-time first! (Thanks for reading, fellow bloggers ;o)

I've been praying for God to guide me in these matters. The mazes of dishonesty, secrets, sickness. To give me discernment. To help me discover the truths. And He has helped. He's guided me and spoke to my heart so often lately.

But I'm not sure how to respond !?!?

"God, thanks! But, um . . . ew."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Awkward Silence . . .

So, just in case you missed out on yesterday's fiasco, I had two clients run away, then get caught after four hours. They never really went very far at all, so I'm wondering, "What happened during those four hours?" We do know through admittance that they failed an attempt to sexually assault a woman walking her dog. Thankfully her dog attacks on command! We also know they spent some time in a nearby trailer park and interacted with some small children. Which worries me. A LOT. So I took one of my runaways and his counselor, grabbed a radio and an extra staff for security, and directed the runaway to take us step by step through their run route. I pushed. And Pushed. Every where we turned I'd ask, "What happened here?" "Is this where he asked you to touch him?" "Who else did you see here? How many times/how did you touch them?" It wasn't fun. But interesting. And affective. We crossed rivers, climbed fences, treaded through mud, climbed over logs. Tracing each step of a possible crime. And I pushed. I felt like someone from a TV show for a few minutes. It wasn't as cool as I thought it would be. We ended up in the trailer court eventually. A flock of children immediately began following us as we weaved in and out of trailers, reliving our runners experience. One girl seemed to stand out of the crowd and I knew they had at least talked to her the day before while running. I KNEW. My runaway admitted she did look familiar and he stated he asked her for a basketball while on the run . . . while she was riding a bike in her bathing suit. And she was 6 to 8 years old. Doesn't really sound like someone who'd have a basketball right off hand, huh!?!? But, as Dr. K says, and oddly enough, lately, -V-; I digress . . . So I pushed him more. Asked if there was anything else. He said no, so I decided to talk to the little girl myself. Which made my runaway flip out!!! I asked her if she recognized anyone in our group. She pointed at my runaway and said he was here yesterday with a friend, describing the other runaway. She said that she doesn't remember why they talked to her, but does remember them being very nice. I asked if they gave her any high-fives or maybe a handshake, touched her in any kind of way, and she said no. I turned away, choked up. I looked at the runaway's counselor and we held an awkward silence. Not the kind where you don't know what to say. But the kind where you know you're both thinking the same thing, but don't want to say it. We were both thinking . . . "This beautiful little girl. So carefree. So unaware how endangered she was just one day ago." So reality set in. This is dangerous. Really dangerous. Our clients hurt people. Beautiful little girls. I don't have any conclusion to end with. Just another awkward silence.

Monday, June 9, 2008

One Hundredth Post !!! Rioters and RunAways!!!

So here I am, at my hundredth post!

I'm feeling a little self-conscience about it actually. You see, I really haven't been blogging for all that long, but I already have a hundred posts! Is that normal? I might be a blogaholic!!!

I have also looked through all my posts and realized that overall, my blog is remenescent of something a clinician might use to diagnose mental illness; thoughts scattered here and there, random songs and poems, weird photos, odd art, no overall themes, no structure . . .

I wonder what kind of results I'd come up with if I completed a content analysis of my blog, like the ones I throw together over writing samples and incident reports by and about my clients. Hmm, that would be interesting. But far too time consuming!

So what better way to celebrate my centennial post than to type out today's happenings??? It was, after all, a very eventful day!

8:30am After getting very little sleep because our cat Tootsie meowed ALL night, I finally forced myself into the shower and off to work. Seriously people, we're talking about 3 or 4 hours of sleep. Facing 15 wily teenagers on this amount of sleep is dangerous!!!

9:00am I share my office with my staff. All FOURTEEN of them. So things get cluttered. I have my own desk and computer and everyone else shares one computer and one desk amongst them all, so random things end up on my desk all the time. Today I went psycho. Just a little. The office was not looking great, so I spent 30 minutes cleaning it, and instructing staff to do so as well.

9:30am I responded to a few e-mails and voice messages.

9:40am Staff informed me that over half of my clients had a psuedo riot last night!!! I pulled in the ring leader of it all, and he talked to me about how his father had died recently. I asked him if leading a riot brought his father back, or made him miss his father any less. He said no, so we discussed better, less harmful ways to mourn. There was some crying involved. Some condolences. Some plan making.

10:20am I informed all the clients who attempted to riot last night that they will be sitting at desks. ALL DAY. Period. I may have yelled some. I may have used the crazy voice even.

10:45am I gathered all the paper work I'd need to take with me to a family team meeting, then grabbed a company vehicle and headed out to the meeting.

11:00am I attended the meeting, which was pretty productive.

12:30pm I returned to my office to begin preparing for a meeting scheduled for 1:00pm regarding the quality assurance procedures I've created to put in place for our new live-feed cameras in the clients' bedrooms, which staff will view via a monitor.

12:50pm Two of my clients ran away. I chased them. A little. But it was hot outside and it's way more satisfactory to call the police ;o)

1:00pm I attended the meeting which basically consisted of watching one of the attendee's squirm because just the thought of juvenile sex offenders makes him sick. So yeah, not a very productive meeting. I like to give this guy a hard time and go into detail about exactly why these cameras are needed in our clients bedrooms. He did not appreciate me stressing the reasons that make this so important ;o)

2:00pm My little runaways have not been found yet! I contacted their placing agents and their parents. There were a mother's tears involved. HEART BREAKING!!! I completed neccesary reports and made arrangements for their possible return.

2:30pm My rioters were beginning to grow tired of just sitting at tables working on treatment related materials. So I took a little time out to re-motivate them ;o)

2:45pm I completed all neccesary reports and contacts for last night's rioting incident. Because seven clients were involved, this resulted in LOTS of reports and LOTS of e-mails!!!

3:00pm I met with my second shift staff and informed them of the days happenings. One staff needed to to prompted several times to stop playing games with the kids. "They're in trouble! They are NOT allowed to have fun today!!!"

3:25pm I wanted to do something nice for the NON-rioters, so I ordered them a food voucher so the could eat McDonald's for dinner.

3:45pm I met with a new resident. Well, he's not really new. He's been with us before. But now he's back . . .

4:00pm I noticed the Bala shark in my tank was missing. It was dead under a rock ;o(

4:10pm I completed filing and replied to LOTS of e-mails.

4:30pm I helped staff come up with a plan to take the NON-rioters out before I leave, so I can be around until they return just in case the rioters decided to . . . riot with a couple of the staff out supervising kids at McDonalds.

4:45pm My run aways were picked up by the police and brought back. I spoke with one of them, who reported that other kid attempted to rape a woman while they were gone. YEP! And I believe it, unfortunately. I then asked him if the other kid tried to touch him too. He said no, but then went CRAZY afterwards, which translates to "YES!!! LOTS!!!"

5:25pm I completed the paperwork involved with returned run aways, and notified all placing agents and parents of their safe return. One the the kids, the one who tried to rape a woman, was sent to a detention alternative, which was a good thing, but resulted in even more paperwork.

6:00pm I helped de-escalate the run way we still had. He was unstable and endangering himself and others. I was prepared for physical interventions, but God blessed us and it didn't have to go that route.

6:15pm One the rioters got it in his head he would just do whatever he wanted, basically rioting again. He wouldn't listen to staff. But I can be pretty scary at times. So I busted out the crazy voice again.

6:30pm I checked on my run away one last time before leaving.

6:45pm I stopped by Pet Smart to exchange the dead shark for three small fish.

7:20pm I arrived at home and ate spaghetti that Kimberly made me!!! We watched some of a movie.

9:30pm I took the new fish to the office at work to place in the tank and to check up on things.

10:10pm We finished the movie and cleaned up the dinner mess.

11:15pm I hopped into bed, checked blogs after Kimberly fell asleep, and here I am now at 12:12am finishing up my hundredth post !!!

Told you I had busy day!!! Only two things on this list were things I was actually supposed to do today. My to-do-list was totally thrown off!!! Dumb rioters and run-aways ;o)

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Thousand Words . . . Like "Really"

A Picture says a thousands words . . .

like "really?!?!"

This man appears elated, just to be sitting here with his newborn baby and the mother of his child. But is he really?

This man was becoming a very good friend of mine around the time this picture was taken. We were really getting to know one another. But Really?

The last conversation I had with him was at the jail house, while he awaited his sentencing for strangling the marvelous woman in this picture. Really.

My last words to him ever were, "I love you. I'll be praying for you." But really?

I wish I never saw this picture, and the others that came along with it.


I didn't see them until after the murder. They complicate everything. It's easier to think of this man as a monster. It just makes more sense that way. In some of the pictures, he's actually crying while holding his son. Looking so human. Not exactly how I'd like to think of him.

But I have no choice. Really.

This picture comes to mind often. Almost everyday. Really.

I'm wondering if I'm supposed to reach out to this man again.

But I don't want to. Really.

But I didn't want to last time either. But I had no choice.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Looking . . .

I'm looking for something to say . . .

It's right there!!!

I just can't quite grasp it . . .

I hate this feeling!!!

There is so much going on, so much that has happened or happening now, and all the pieces fit together somehow.

The big picture.

Or A big picture, anyhow.

And I can't quite put it together.

But it's right there!!!

And it's driving me crazy!

Looking . . .

Seedling & Sun, All Swirly

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


to Kimmy!!! She just unlocked the ability to race with her Mii on Mario Kart!!! YAY!!! Go Kimberly!!!

Randomness of The Day

Today was a great day!!! A lot of good things happened at work: My office was rearranged, I got a new staff whom I worked directly with before my promotion (he is great and I can't wait for him to be in my program!), and several things needing attention were addressed.

At home, Kimberly made tacos (mmm!) and we spent the evening together watching Tin Man. Kimberly gets a text message each week from which contains a code for a free redbox movie on Mondays. We rented Tin Man yesterday, watched 2/3 of it, and finished it today, and returned it with 10 minutes to spare before getting a late fee ;o) Tin Man, by the way, was awesome. You should check it out!

It was a really great time and Kimberly commented on how it felt like being "newly weds," which was an interesting comment. But I kinda felt the same way. We started dating just before our 16th birthdays, and moved in with one another when we where 20. With the exception of a few months between giving our lives to Christ until being married, we've always lived together.

After being married and moving back in with one another, Kimberly and I spent about a month and a half in newly wed bliss, before our lives went topsy turvy. As a natural consequence of not obeying God's order of things, and as a result of a seemingly endless string on poor circumstances, Kimberly and I have missed out on whatever it means to be "newly weds."

But God is good, and lately, we've really been able to focus on having the kind of relationship with one another we really want to have.

And it feels kinda like . . .

Newly weds.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Can You Get a What ?!?!

Entitlement. I'm sick of it!

Today I had a nice little chat with 15 boys who think they should have exactly what they want, exactly when they want it.

When they're asked to do something, they say no. Sometimes they say hell no, or some more vulgar variation of hell no. You can imagine, I'm sure.

This attitude sounds pretty stereotypical for a teenager, right? But I think it's more than just a teenager's hormone-driven way of thought.

It's a ridiculous sense of entitlement.

Generation Me.

They don't seem to understand.

"Yes, we're going to ask you to do things you don't want to do. Sorry guys! You're not in you're home! You're gonna have to conform to other people's demands until you get yourselves outta here! Period! Get over it! That's life!"

And it's so frustrating for me, because I see an issue that's so much deeper than resistance.

Entitlement. Expecting something they haven't earned.

Lack of compliance. Some people take pride in being free-thinkers. And great for them! If they can find that balance. Because everyone needs accountability and everyone owe's someone else respect. If they can't manage this, they'll be burning bridge after bridge until they've isolated themselves from anyone who would ever want to help them.

Narscasism. Feeling they need no one else. Feeling they don't need to change. Feeling they shouldn't inconvience themselves by demonstrating respect to others, or swaying to the directives of their providers. Biting the hand that feeds them. Sometimes literally ;o)

Generation Me.

So, yeah. I let them have it. I was angry to say the least. But you know what? Two kids seemed to get. Two. Which made it all worth while.

So that's my random rant of the day.

Grr. Arg.

Deep breath.

Ah! All better ;o)