Working My Way Up

As of yesterday, I have officially signed up for my last few classes of my last semester of college and applied to graduate this May! I’m so beyond proud and excited. I can’t believe that around this next May, I will have my Associates degree in Criminal Justice and will be ready to start on my career. I owe all of this to my Littles and my loved ones that have helped encourage and support me in my journey with college  Hopefully after I graduate this May, I can start my career helping children in their time of need at social services or a children’s group home and I can go back to college online for my Bachelor’s in Psychology to get even further in my career. I can’t wait to see where else I will end up on my journey with my education in my career!

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Internship Journal: November 6th, 2015

At my internship today, I learned about respite care. I hadn’t really heard much about what it is or had any experience with it before today. From what I learned tonight about it, respite care is temporary care of dependant elderly, ill, handicapped, or children with challenges. Children can go to a foster home or a group home for respite care when the parents/caregivers need a break from the daily challenges of taking care of a child with challenges and behaviors. They go short term and are taken care of. When the group home I’m doing my internship at has open beds from children going to home visits on the weekends or have been reunited with their families/caregivers, they do respite care for other children. Children come there and stay the weekend until they go back home.

The group home had had a child come for the weekend earlier that day so I was able to learn more about what takes place with respite care and the procedures that go along with it. I was able to read the background on the child and was kind of amazed on the amount of information they had on the child. It was a very small packet, maybe 5 pages, of information on why he was in the state’s care and his medical record. That’s about it, which was shocking due to how much information the group home has on all the other children there.

I could tell right away after arriving that the child was having a very difficult time with the adjustment being there. I seen him throwing things at staff, punching things, and trying to escape out of the front door. He was yelling, screaming, and swearing at everyone. The staff there was very understanding but stayed firm about the boundaries and rules that had to be in place. They tried to calm him down by playing a board game with him, talking about his hobbies, and trying to get to know him. The child was not having it. He had started to warm up just a little bit but then, he started to fly off the wall again. When the other children got there after school, it only got worse and escalated. No matter how crazy things got, the staff remained calm and firm like the children need them to be in that type of environment. It was kind of refreshing in a way when the staff got pumpkins thrown at them, got kicked and punched, and got yelled and screamed at beyond belief, they stood their ground while remaining calm. It really helps the children when they do that because they know someone is there for them that cares but can also keep the structure, respect, and everything in check while they are there.

I had to leave early but I learned a lot of new information that can help me in going into this career field. I’m so happy to have this experience and can’t wait to see what else I will learn.

Reactive Attachment Disorder

Reactive attachment disorder is a rare but serious condition. It is when an infant or young child can’t establish healthy attachments with parents or caregivers. It may develop if the child’s basics needs for comfort, affection and nurturing aren’t being met and loving, caring, stable attachments with others are not established. With treatment, children with reactive attachment disorder may develop more stable and healthy relationships with caregivers and others. Treatments include positive child and caregiver interactions, a stable nurturing environment, psychological counseling, and parent or caregiver education.

Reactive attachment disorder can start in infancy. Some signs and symptoms may include withdrawal, fear, sadness or irritability that is not readily explained; sad and listless appearance; not seeking comfort or showing no response when comfort is given; failure to smile; watching others closely but not engaging in social interaction; failing to ask for support or assistance; failure to reach out when picked up; and no interest in playing peekaboo or other interactive games.

Infants and young children need a stable, caring environment to feel safe and develop trust. All of their basic emotional and physical needs have to be constantly met. A child needs are ignored or met with a lack of emotional response from caregivers does not come to expect care of comfort or form a stable attachment to caregivers. Most children are naturally resilient, and even those who’ve been neglected, lived in orphanages, or had multiple caregivers can develop healthy relationships.

The risk of developing reactive attachment disorder from serious social and emotional neglect or the lack of opportunity to develop stable attachments may increase in children who: live in a children’s home or other institution, frequently change foster homes or caregivers, have inexperienced parents, have prolonged separation from parents or other caregivers, have a mother with postpartum depression, and are parent of an usually large family where such parental time is scarce or available unequally or rarely.

The best treatment for a child with reactive detachment disorder is a positive, loving, stable, caring environment and caregiver. There’s no standard treatment but it should involve both the child and parents or primary caregivers. Early intervention appears to improve outcomes. Goals of treatment are to help ensure that the child has a safe and stable living situation and develops positive interactions with parents and caregivers. Treatment strategies include: encouraging the child’s development by being nurturing, responsive and caring; providing consistent caregivers to encourage a stable attachment for the child; providing a positive, stimulating, and interactive environment for the child; addressing the child’s medical, safety and house needs as appropriate; individual and family psychological counseling; education of parents and caregivers about the condition; and parenting skills classes. Without treatment, reactive attachment disorder can continue for several years and may have lifelong consequences.

This was one of my assignments to do with my internship so that I could get some background on what some of the children are going through in their lives. Researching reactive detachment disorder has really opened up my eyes and has helped me understand more about some of the children. Very eye opening.

Last Day Of Spring Semester

Today is my last day of this Spring semester for college and I couldn’t be any more excited!! I’m extremely nervous though because I haven’t gotten back two of my grades for my finals but I think I did pretty good. So far, I have two A’s and one B- back from three of my finals. I’m praying I did well on the other two. I seriously just want to jump up and down because of my hard work finally paying off. I only have this Summer semester and this Fall semester left and then I get to graduate with my Associates in Criminal Justice!! Woot woot!! I seriously can’t wait to be completely done and have the career I have been trying so hard to get.

College Jail Tour

Yesterday I went on a jail tour in the city I live for school. There was supposed to be 15 other students that came with but total there were only four of us that showed up. It was definitely an experience.

When we got there, we weren’t sure exactly where to go since there are many doors to come in. The other three students and I sat in the front lobby area trying to calm our nerves about doing the tour. I was nervous because I have anxiety about a lot of things and have seen bad things happen to others when they come into a jail or prison on television, which yes I know is not all real but it is scary. Sitting there on those cold plastic chairs in the jail front lobby with the cold brick tile walls was kind of nerve wrecking for me. Finally after us talking for a while, the Captain came out and was talking with us for a few minutes before he realized that we had our phones on us which he had us go back to our vehicles to put them in. When we came back, he realized we had out purses on us so we had to go back to our vehicles again to put those back. Needless to say, we had to go back to our vehicles four times to put everything back in them since we can’t have anything on us except our ID’s and we didn’t know that. For the tour, we talked for a bit in the briefing room with the Captain as he told us about the jail, his position, other positions in the jail, what the focuses are in the jail, and all the details about the inmates. We got to go in most areas of the jail on the tour and learn new things. It was eye opening for me because I had never been inside of a jail and knew not very much about jails. We all learned about being an correctional officer, life inside of a jail, and the ins and outs of a jail for an officer and an inmate. It was amazing stuff we learned and actually helped me realize that I kind of want to be an correctional officer to help others. The only scary part of being a correctional officer in my opinion would be that you never know what you are going to see that day and encounter. You may see someone murdered, hanging, fighting, or other crazy things that you typically wouldn’t see. It was the most rewarding thing of the Captain to be able to help others get on the right track, to know that you helped someone, and to see that person later on in the future on the right track in life making something of themselves while knowing you helped that happen. Those things inspired me a lot. So you never know, you may see me in the future as a correction officer helping others and making an difference!

Career Field

I’m learning so much in my classes I’m taking this semester that I know I’m exactly where I’m meant to be for a career field that I will be going into. All my teachers are in the fields that they are teaching about or have been in that field in the past. They share a bunch of real life stories, understand what we are going to go through in the career fields, and connect with us on a whole new level. So thankful for this career field and all the amazing teachers.

Laws

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Something that I have been learning a lot about in the classes I am in this semester is about laws such as why we have them, how would it be without them, and the importance of them.

Could you imagine life without laws?

I personally can’t. Laws are around the set the standard for others and keep society in check. Laws tell us what we can do and can’t do. They help make keep our society functioning.

Imagine going to Mexico or Iraq or somewhere similar. They don’t have laws like us. It is chaos all the time there. Even if someone robs you in Mexico and you call the police, maybe one police officer would show up many hours later or the next day and not even care. They don’t care over there. There is so much crime that they can’t simply keep a handle on all of it. There are robbing, murdering, shooting, etc. going on constantly and no one is doing anything about it. It’s you for yourself. You have to stand up for yourself and can’t call on the police to come help or anything.

I honestly couldn’t imagine living any where else than the United States. Yes, there a bunch of laws that every one has to follow that can be a pain sometimes and some people don’t care about the laws at all, but without the laws here, society would be complete chaos. There would be robbing, shooting, hurting others, sexual assault, murders, etc. constantly all over. We wouldn’t be able to let our little’s out of our sight at all.

The laws are set in place to protect others, set a standard for society to follow, and help keep society in check.

Second Day

It’s my second day of school for this spring semester and I’m so nervous. The class is completely full. Every table is full of two people. Including mine. With someone I don’t know. I get very nervous around people I don’t know and when there are too many people around me. And I’m getting like thst now. There are about over 10 different conversations happening between people I don’t know in the class and I can’t even hear myself think. Right now writing is the only thing that is calming me down. Too bad the teacher just came in or this would be way longer. Bye for now.

Spring Semester

Today is my first day back to college for my spring semester. I couldn’t be more excited! I got all my books this morning right before class started, went to class, and then afterwards did some looking on the Internet. My teacher from a few classes I had last semester, who is favorite teacher, seen me and let me know that I signed up for two classes this semester that I had already took and passed! I was sure I failed them but nope, I passed them! Whoop whoop! So I had to drop those classes and pick up two more which happened to be online ones so I’m nervous about taking those. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I love school! I love learning new things and being here!

Four Years Ago

As I lay here listening to my littles sleep while I look on my Timehop app for the day, I can’t help but think about everything we have went through, where we have been, where we are now, and everything we have accomplished.

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Little #2 almost 2

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Little #1 around 3

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These are the pictures I see on my Timehop app today from four years ago. Such adorable pictures of my littles. Brings back so much.

Little #1 was around 3 and Little #2 was almost 2.

At the time, we were living at one of my older sister’s homes with her and her family as they let us live with them for a while out of the goodness of their heart. We were and still are very thankful for that and everything they did, as long with everything everyone has done for us.

We were living there staying in my niece’s room and mostly staying in there. Most of our things were in there on a couch packed away in tubs and boxes. My littles and I slept on two thick blankets for padding. That was our home at the time. We did most things in the room and stayed in there most of the time. We didn’t have a Christmas tree or a Christmas really that year or the year before. I was in between jobs and couldn’t keep a job if my life depended on it. Where we lived it was kind of crowded in a way but we loved it because we were with our loved ones that we were starting to get to know. I was just getting out of the postpartum depression funk I was in which was major. My little’s father and I were in a very bad place as parents and couldn’t go without arguing and fighting no matter what. My older sisters, one of their fiancé’s, and my niece helped us out a lot about parenting, disciplining, transportation, babysitting, daycare, job hunting, encouraging, motivating, grocery shopping, cooking, etc. They did so much. I’m so thankful for all that they have done.

Now, four years from then, a lot has changed.

My littles and I live in a three bedroom townhome. It’s beautiful. We have our own rooms, have a main floor with a upstairs and a basement, have two bathrooms, and can afford it no matter what. We have our dog Molly who is a big part of our lives and family. We have more love than before. We have a lot on track and going for us. All of us are getting the help we need with counseling which has greatly helped. We have good friends. My littles go to an amazing school that has helped so much. We live in an amazing community that really helps others. We live within walking distance from a grocery store and the public bus stops. I’m going to college and am doing so good. We actually have a direction in which our lives are going. We are learning more about appreciation, respect, giving, and helping others.

Not everything is perfect right now and nothing will be. That’s just fine with us. We have accepted that. We are making due with how our lives are and going to always continue to push forward.

So thankful for everyone and everything that has helped us in the past, present, and future.

A lot has changed over the years. Can’t wait to see how else things change years from now!