My students are always challenging me. Teenagers always challenge me. They scare me too! But the lessons I learn from them are so valuable and challenge me daily. Part of my job is to to conduct support groups weekly with a small number of students. The topics vary but ultimately end up talking about similar things such as dating, self-esteem, difficult choices they are faced with, and just life. I currently have 9 support groups, mostly girls, and they are my favorite part of my job. I absolutely love walking through life with these adolescents.
I have or I should say had a group of 6 girls that are very dear to my heart. Funny thing about them is that they were all close friends when we started group over a year ago. I thought to myself, "Oh, this group will be easy." What does easy mean? Not emotionally draining, the group will run itself, it will be fun! Plus, they all have a heart for the Lord, sure their lives don't always show that, but out of all my groups they make the healthiest decisions. I relate to these girls the most, they reminded me of "me" in high school. I went above and beyond with them always! I guess I felt like I put a lot into their group so when the group failed I took it pretty hard.
So what happened? I really don't know! What I do know is that they just couldn't get along. But there was no specific incident, you know like a "She stole my boyfriend!" Or anything like that. It was all, "she said" and "she did", but they were mean to each other. Texting and facebooking terrible things. So I did what any counselor tried to do. Fix it! I brought them all into my office and gave them each a turn to share their side of the story, blah blah blah. I spoke from my heart. I told them the importance of friendship, how my friendships have held me together and when they stuck by me in my bad times and vise versa. I mean, I really told some meaningful stuff here! It worked for a while but after Christmas break I was flooded with tears, anger, and even parents wanting to remove their daughters from school! The situation had taken a turn for the worst and I'm afraid an unsurvivable situation for a human being.
So why the blog entry? I'm upset! It has been a thorn in my side. Did I do the right thing? Did I say the right words? It's so hard not to get caught up in the "well, she said/did" drama. But ultimately, it makes me so sad because out of all my students these girls should have been the ones to "get it". That life is more than this. More than this petty drama. They have every resource under the sun. But why are all my other groups going strong and this one not only failing but non existent? We live in a world of hurt people. They are afraid to trust and they are afraid to look at their own issues and take responsibility. And what makes me really sad is that these girls just moved on. There was no lesson learned, it was not their fault but everyone else's fault. So now, I barely see these girls. This has hurt me. After everything I have done for them, it comes down to this? They know I love them, they know I support them, and they know I would never judge them. So why, why is it so hard for them to ask for help and to be honest?!
And again, I'm struck by lightening. Why is it so hard for us to ask for help from God and those that love us? We know God will never leave us in fact He will love us more and yet, I still run away, get defensive, and push with all my strength. I don't want to be that way anymore. God can't use me when I do that. And something else that caught me off guard with not just with my ya ya sisters but with all my students. Why is that they are always talking crap about people and getting caught up in the "Did you hear what happened?" "Can you believe...?!" And I am struck down a second time. How is that any different than me getting caught up in the tabloids, the stupid dram from the Bachelor/church/work, or watching the Golden Globes and saying, "Oh my gosh, I can't believe she is wearing that!" Unfortunately, it seems much easier to be preoccupied with people's drama than our own. I don't think this is human nature. I disagree with the statement, "Everyone gossips or they deserve it for the choices they make", but I do agree that this is a learned behavior. And it's a terrible cycle because once you throw in people's past, their own selfish characteristics, hurts, and emotions you have a tornado that has been produced and you better leave it alone until the storm has calmed!
Lastly, God puts so much into us. He must want to punch us when we refuse to work on our stuff, choose to take the easier path, and stop seeing him because much like the ya ya sisters who are either too ashamed, embarrassed, or refuse to own any part of something they want to forget. For the life of me I look at the ya ya sisters and think, "What the heck happened?" There are many situations that start out as a snowflake and roll into an avalanche and we think, "Okay, how did that happen?" One thing I do know, I don't want to contribute to avalanches anymore. Since I do believe this is a learned behavior, I'm going to UN-learn it. And what is sad is that I think it's more socially acceptable and much easier to go with the flow than to interrupt the current.