Saving the world.
Over twenty-five years ago I went into Social Work believing I would change the world. Somehow I’d convinced myself that if I could change just one person’s life, they would in turn change the lives around them causing a domino effect… and thus I’d make an impact on the entire world.
I started working with adolescents in a residential facility. These were kids that were involved in criminal activity, drugs, and/or had emotional disturbances. Our team worked with them 24 hours a day. Some days we would have to go so far as to physically hold them down to help them through their issues. When they finally worked out all of their anger and were regulated on their medications, etc. we would release them to their homes… to the same home that screwed them up in the first place. And soon, they would be back in the system. I quickly realized this wasn’t the way I’d change the world.
So I moved on to working with abused and battered women. I ran two shelters for women (and their children) who were trying to escape abusive relationships. We’d take them in, get them medical and emotional help. Sign them up for food stamps, get them into housing, and help them find a job. And 99% of them would go back to their abuser. I learned that an abused person will go back to their abuser an average of 7 times before they finally leave… or are murdered. This wasn’t the way I’d change the world either.
So, maybe I should work with the abuser directly. I then began working in Corrections. I was a prison guard (yes, me). But after a while, I realized that our prison system maintains a prisoner for 24 of their 25 year term and in the very last year they decide to “rehabilitate” them. One year to unlearn all the crap they learned over 24 years of prison life? NO WAY was this how I’d change the world.
And then I discovered Education.
I found a way to reach the child that was hurting, the abused person that felt powerless, and the abuser that needed to change. I could get kids back into school and help parents understand their rights and responsibilities. I could teach a class full of people things they were never taught before, and expand their horizons.
I could finally change the world.
And I was. Every day. Helping people meet their goals. Understand their own abilities. Helping them to see themselves through someone else’s eyes. And it was beautiful.
But then, someone put me back in my place.
How can I change the world if I can’t save my own son?
Today I was told that Corey’s case will probably be going to Cold Case status. That means they will no longer be actively investigating it.
I think I heard my heart rip as the detective spoke the words.
So, now I’m at square one. How do I save my son (find his killer)?
If I spent over 25 years trying to figure out how change the world, you can be DAMN SURE I’ll spend at least that long trying to figure this out.