I’ve been working on a new blog in the past week or so, my first foray into fictional writing. I have so many stories stewing away that are painfuly inspired by my experiences working with broken children in the past 18 months. I do have a responsibility to completely remove anything I write about from any real person or situation. What I write about in my new blog, Diary of a Broken Kid, is very much inspired by real people and real experiences, but you won’t find any story that really happened or person who really exists. The stories are totally plausible; the life of the Broken Kid is a life that many kids lead every day. And although I am no expert in these things, the stories are also inspired by my readings and professional development experiences into disordered attachment, trauma, mental illness and poverty.
So many of these kids I have worked with face not only a life of confusion, pain and brokenness, but they are judged and sidelined by a world that doesn’t know how to deal with them. They are difficult kids, that’s for sure, many headed for an intimate relationship with the justice system. Through this new project, I wanted to express a plea from the Broken Kid to please try and understand him a little, please think before you call him a delinquent. I also wanted to celebrate the heart and back breaking work of those who foster, teach, case manage or work with the broken kids in many different ways. Some of these kids get labelled the million dollar kids. That is, the ones who are so complex they require one on one 24 hour supervision in residential homes, they have Child Safety Officers, psychologists, respite carers, foster carers, lawyers, youth workers, school based case managers, senior education representatives and so on. I have been to ‘stakeholder’ meetings where there are as many as 15 people round the table just for one child.
It’s amazing the heart and soul that goes into trying desperately and sometimes in vain to bring these kids back from the brink. The story of the boy with no name is just a little mirror, held up to the face of hope. Yes it’s depressing at times (very) but there’s got to be some hope, otherwise what’s the point?