Sometimes people leave comments or use the contact page and don’t leave their email address. I wish you would, I often would like to personally respond.
Lindsay left the following comment on this post (probably referring to item 11, a particularly rude comment I made about social workers and school nurses) :
I really enjoy reading your blog, however, what do you have against social workers? I know several people, including myself, that are going to school to become a social worker. I realize that you have had a few bad experiences with social workers, but please don’t lump us all into the same bad category.
I will agree that, in general, stereotyping is not a good thing. To “lump” all of any group into a single category is generally, but not always, a bad thing. For instance, I do lump all white-supremacist-skinhead-nazi-sympathizers into one group as I do hot-goddess-like-blond-women-who-think-Single-Dad-is-cool.
I will admit that there have to be some good social workers. But, that being said, if I were standing before the holy one, blessed be He, and had to argue to save the world for want of 50 righteous social workers, or 45, or even 10, I am not sure that Pearlsky would not end up a pillar of salt.
You see, Lindsay, in my direct personal experience, I have only had awful interactions with social workers. From the first one asking me “How do you feel about having a severely disabled daughter?” to the last one offering no help what so ever for a struggling goddess. Let me give you an example, a true example that I witnessed first hand.
There was a woman I knew from the early intervention program that Pearlsky and I went to weekly many years ago. The woman was a fantastic mother, but struggling. She was an immigrant, had four children, one of them rather severely disabled. Her and her husband struggled to find the American dream, really good people. We all kept telling her she needed a weekend away, even offering to watch the kids, do whatever it took. Finally, after a long time, she was able to get it together that her and her husband would go for four days somewhere, the first trip ever. Her mother would be with the kids. Her mom recently had immigrated and did not speak English. (Jumping ahead of me at this point?) Of course there is a crisis with one of the kids. One of the “typical’ kids, and she takes all four to the emergency room. A social worker gets involved and of course does not speak the language. It took three days, and a judge castigating the social worker, to get the kids back. Yes, social services just took them. I was in the court room. This happened. Because of a social worker. Because a young boy broke his ankle.
In my humble opinion, here is the problem. I have never met a social worker who has a disabled child, let alone one like ours. There is no way to conceive of what we do, what our lives are like. How can one offer help, offer an opinion, make a decision, on a situation that one cannot possibly comprehend? Yet, for reasons I do not know, they always think they do “get it.” My mother does not get it. The woman next door with the two typical kids does not get it. Some of the nanny’s don’t get it. I do not get how a social worker can do her job for me without getting it. Without understanding 24 hours of Single Dad and Pearlsky’s life.
Lindsay, if you want, we can have a serious talk about “perspective.” Being told that the thing you have always wanted, and loved most, would never leave the neonatal ICU alive … holding a one year old through the night as she seizes for hours on end … sitting in a gliding chair with her racked with fever and seizures looking at a loaded pistol on the table. Yeah, perspective. Do you get it? Have you been there? And you are going to ask me, in public yet, “So, Single Dad, how do you feel about having a severely disabled daughter?”
I wash my naked curvaceous 18 year-old daughter. Head to toe, all over. I dress her. I get her menses all over me sometimes as well as her poop and urine. I sleep next to her when she is ill, or racked with seizures. I put on her bra. Daily. And take it off. You have a problem with that? Many people do. And many of them are social workers. Social workers without a clue. Social workers with the power of a pen stroke to take Pearlsky away from me due to either their own ignorance, prejudice or lack of understanding.
I blog for many reasons. I have found that many people seem to learn stuff from this blog, or tell me that I am helping them in some way. I honestly hope, and pray, that I can enlighten some social workers, or future social workers such as you, as to what this population is about and make you that much better for it.
There is one social worker I would love to hear from. I know that she has several social work degrees and now she has a child like ours. I will send her the link to this post and hope she comments or will even write a response post.
Thanks for the comment, Lindsay. Now, take me to task, seriously.