The Group

He lived in a group home, one of those places that the rest of us like to think about as often as we think about diarrhea and cancer. Kids whose parents gave up on them, gave their offspring over to the state, and let them be somebody elses problem.

If it were that easy everybody would do it.

Kids are kids, lots of them assimilate into society's rigorous roles, and do their homework, and join the teams and dance companies, have a smoke or two when they hit thirteen, maybe even raid the liquor cabinet, then put their rebelliousness behind them and get on with things.

Then, there are those who do a little more. They smoke, and drink, and sneak out of the house, and stay out all night, and steal cars, and drive those stolen cars fast, and find different and better drugs, and run away. Those are the kids who need parents, not group homes.

Yet that is exactly where we find Paul.

He's a pain, that much has been established by the dozen or so times we have been called to haul his testosterone charged ass to the local ER for psychiatric evaluations. He argues, and fights, and makes a general nuisance of himself, and the police have to be called to restrain him. Most of us know when we are dispatched that a fight waits at our destination.

Not much of a fighter, I have finally figured out how to avoid the confrontation and drama that normally happens.

The cops are already there when we arrive, and they are lecturing him, acting their part, being the tough guys. The people who work at the group home are doing their thing, the understanding yet firm people who need to follow the rules and keep their charge from escaping and acting like an idiot. His so called friends are egging him on, ramping things up until they are told to go away.

It's up to me to get things under control.

How?

By giving up control. By being completely non threatening. By letting Paul know that I have absolutely no idea what he is going through, don't have a clue what its like to be enraged by the unfairness of life, that rage fueled by alcohol and who knows what else, don't understand his plight, never did and never will.

I let him know that I am a dork, a geek from the suburbs who hasn't lived, hasn't felt, hasn't experienced alcohol or marijuana or who knows what else.

As soon as he knew that I was without a clue he decided that I was okay. I was not in a cool competition with him. He was out of my league- a head above me in the street smarts category. I acted fascinated by his story, and how crazy his life was compared to my mundane existence.

He talked all the way to the ER, didn't have time to fight he was so busy talking about himself.

And while he talked, I saw a familiar person in those fifteen year old eyes, a person who had a chance to smarten up and get on with things because he had parents who did their best with a difficult teenager.

Thanks Mom. Thanks Dad.

 

4 Comments

  • Lynda M O says:

    Mom and Dad appreciate that a lot, Mike. As a parent I know what that thank you means.

  • fuzzy says:

    Before you trash the parents:  Some of them have other kids at home that are endangered by this one.  Some of them are single parents who struggle to make ends meet and can't provide the 24/7 supervision these kids need, or two parent working families who can't have one parent quit working. 
    Some of the parents came from their own bad place, find the kid's behaviour triggering, and then place the kid in an effort to get a better place for the kid while they work on themselves.
     
    Blanket condemnation helps no one.

  • Michael Morse says:

    Shouldn't have had children perhaps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

background image Blogger Img

Michael Morse

JEMS Talk: Google Hangout

Recent Posts
ww2-97 Welcome home October 1, 2014
three The Right to Continue to Die September 26, 2014
First Day Back September 17, 2014
Comments
Mr618
Eyes
Once again, Michael, a simple, caring action probably helped more than any medical intervention.
2014-09-26 00:35:16
Pat Blackman
First Day Back
Michael, you have not lost your touch. :-) PS. Last time I rode in one of your "cadillacs", I was a pretty good girl. I only vomited a little bit. The blood stayed in a contained area. Aren't you proud of me? LOL. PS I thanked Stephanie and the other EMT too. Take care Buddy.…
2014-09-23 06:43:08
Mike Chisholm
First Day Back
Another great post Capt. Thanks for the laughs
2014-09-18 10:58:16
Mr618
“Ladder Co. 5 on Scene, expidite EMS”
Maybe, just maybe, Michael, the editors decided to give you the credit you deserve, and were unwilling to give yourself.
2014-09-07 20:31:15
Garry Collins
Survival
Order of priority; Self Fellow firefighter(s) Other disciplines (Cops etc.) Joe public Our gear Public property. That’s how the list is going in. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, and depending on circumstances it may change, but not that often.
2014-08-31 19:03:08

Uniform Stories

Visit Uniform Stories

Responding $3.99

wordpress visitor counter
October 2012
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

FireEMS Blogs eNewsletter

Sign-up to receive our free monthly eNewsletter

LATEST EMS NEWS

HOT FORUM DISCUSSIONS