Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lather, rinse, repeat

In case you didn't know, I work in community mental health. Generally, I love my job, though it's certainly not what I went to school for nor is it what I want to do for the rest of my life. Still, there's never a dull moment & it's wonderful to be able to help make a difference in the quality of peoples' lives. I don't think I've ever blogged about it here before (mainly due to HIPAA) but I could write a novel (or 5) on the adventures I've had in my years doing this type of work. So why start now?

Because I was witness to another shining example of how getting pregnant easily has seemingly little to do with one's ability to care for a child. Let me elaborate:

Client, male in his early 20s, is schizophrenic. Nice kid, but nowhere near self sufficient. On SSI. On Medicare. Living in subsidized housing. Girlfriend is pretty much the same. Said couple comes in with a photo album. Oh how nice, family pictures! But what's that? An x-ray? Nope. A sonogram. She's pregnant. I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or smack them. I did none of the aforementioned, by the way.

Now, I am in no way intimating that we should be sterilizing mentally ill folks & letting only the rich breed. However, I honestly ache for this couple & their unborn baby because I've seen this all before; it's what I term "lather, rinse, repeat", much like the directions on shampoo. Like father, like son & so on. Because statistically, they won't be able to take care of this child. And there's a distinct likelihood said child will have issues of his or her own. While I pray this isn't the case, experience tells me otherwise.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

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