The problem was that I had to see details of every horrible thing that came along. I was the assistant for 4 wonderful people that facilitated meetings that decided what direction the cases would take. We didn't make the decisions, just acted as mediators for the people involved in the case. Some wonderful things would happen: parents would clean up their act and, with the help of truly amazing community helpers, were reunited with their kids.
But sometimes, really awful things would happen to kids. We would have to hold emergency meetings to find places for kids who had been removed from horrific situations, find resources for these completely innocent kids who had been subjected tot he worst kinds of abuse. And, though we did a lot of good, I had to leave the unit. When a bad case would come through, I would be affected for days, weeks, not able to get them off my mind.
Today, 2 and a half years later, I stumbled across a story of a girl who was horrifically, ridiculously abused. I couldn't breathe. I turned off the computer, and tried to occupy my mind. Violet and CJ are at my mom's for a couple of days, I couldn't hold them and ease my soul, so I tried reading, watching TV, taking a bath with a new magazine. But I couldn't let it go.
So I went back to the story. I read it all the way through; the abuse was bad, some of the worst I have ever seen. But at the end, I read that the 'parents' are in jail, and will stay there. And though it may make me a bad person, I have to admit, I enjoyed reading that they have had to have transfers because they were getting it as bad as they gave.
But the best part, the part that has balmed my soul, was the people commenting. People as outraged as I am. People petitioning for proper burial for this poor baby who was tortured so. People making sure the 'parents' stay in jail for a long time.
I know that there are more good people than bad. I know that this world may have some hideous people in it, but that they are outnumbered by people willing to sacrifice and work to make sure that children don't have to grow up in a place where they cannot find happiness.
Thank you, general public. Thank you, good citizens, for doing what you can. For being outraged at bad behavior. For reminding me that for every bad person out there, there are hundreds of good people to make the world right. For proving that compassion is not dead, and we are not a culture of people immune to the suffering of others.