Well, I’ve officially had what feels like my first huge failure at work.
I went into a meeting knowing exactly what I needed to say, and I went in there knowing that what I had to say was in the best interest of the child. I had my convictions and the knowledge that we were only asking for this kid’s team to put her in a place where she could be successful. But what did I do?
I didn’t say a word. In fact, I stopped the advocate I was there to supervise from speaking on more than one occasion.
This particular advocate is absolutely right in her concerns, but misguided in how she approaches them–I don’t think I was necessarily wrong in wanting to do the speaking for the agency, except I didn’t fucking speak for the agency.
I feel like I have failed this child so utterly that I’m almost reassessing my presence on the case. This is the first time I’ve lost sleep over a case in the year and a half I’ve been working here. I have another opportunity, and things aren’t completely ruined, but I have got to get a stiffer spine. I can’t let my need to be civil and my hopes that people will work towards logical conclusions out on their own prevent me from speaking when I know I need to. I’m sick over how that meeting played out, to the point where I’m dreading going to my book club tonight because I know they’ll ask me how work is going, and I’m afraid I’ll burst into humiliated, angry, and guilty tears.
I’ll admit that part of my issue was not wanting to talk about the kid’s limited capabilities in front of her, but even that is wildly misguided. She knows her functioning is limited, it’s not like this is some big secret to her. My whole job is to help my advocates stand up for what is in the best interests of the child, and I failed at that.
I have to do better.