Staff Viewpoint: How my clients inspire me

 

My clients inspire me every single day, and each one of them in their own, unique way. My initial contact with most of my clients is very shortly after something traumatic happened to them. Trust was lost or broken between them and someone they cared for. Someone physically or emotionally hurt them and they are left to pick up the pieces. Surviving any traumatic experience demonstrates the strength in us that we might not ever have known existed. My clients inspire me by how they bounce back. They inspire me by not even knowing they are bouncing back. I was once told that personal growth is like hair growth: you might not notice it, but it’s happening. Every day, we are growing, we are strengthening and we are healing.

My clients inspire me, because even within a crisis, they can always find at least one positive thing. And usually, it’s more than one positive thing. A lot of the “positives” in their lives are their children. Whatever they are going through, they continue to put their children before them and protect them no matter what.

My clients inspire me with their survivor stories. Some of the pain my clients have endured brings me to tears. I try to put myself in their shoes, and try to think of what I would do if I were in their situation. Most of the time, I have no idea what I would do and how I would get through it. But they did. They overcame every obstacle to survive, and eventually, to thrive.

My clients inspire me, because they asked for help. They were surviving, they were getting by, but they needed a little extra help. They had a question they needed an answer for. They needed some support. We are not all lucky enough to have positive supportive people in our lives, and that is why the Domestic Violence Unit is here. My clients will sometimes apologize for calling, or they will say “you must have clients worse off than me” or “you must be busy with other stuff”, and I always tell them I have time for them. And it is always sincere. Every question, every call to “vent”, every tear is worth the same. I am here to be whatever type of support my clients need.

My clients inspire me with their resourcefulness. They know how to keep themselves safe. They know who to call when they need help. They know where to go for shelter. And if they don’t? That’s why we’re here. We are here to help clients find shelter, to help them be heard in the justice system, to connect them with counselling.

My clients inspire me because every day they give me hope. I came into this job thinking I was there to fix problems. But I am not. I am here to support and help when I can. My clients are strong, independent people that are more than capable of making a better life for themselves and their children.

My clients inspire me because they make me think about ways that I can be a better person; better for them and better for myself. We are all fighting battles, of course some far greater than others. My clients inspire me to be grateful for what’s good in my own life and to know that I can overcome what’s not.

I appreciate my clients for allowing me to be a part of their journey; even for a brief moment.

-Laura McCusker