Not every day is easy working with Mentally Handicapped adults, but this does not stop me from doing what I love to do.
Do the residents get violent? Hell yes they do! Do they argue and pick fights? Absolutely! Are they kind and the sweetest people ever? You bet your ass they are!
I can't imagine never working in this field. It's what I was born to do!
I've dealt with more violence than I have ever wanted to deal with in my life, but that doesn't stop me from coming into work each day with a smile on my face and greeting them like nothing ever happened. The previous home I worked at had way more violence than the one I'm running. The last place I worked at had someone "acting" out almost every day. They had residents hitting, kicking, etc., a lot! The home that I run, does not have much violence and we can go months without someone having physical aggression, but that doesn't mean they won't act out. Adults with mentally disabilities are unpredictable. One minute you could be having an awesome conversation with them and be laughing and the next minute they could be hitting you. It's not their fault. Most of them don't understand what they are doing and they feel remorse and are so upset after they realize what they have done. Some of them do it because they want attention and even attention from their negative behavior is better than no attention at all. I've dealt with my fair share of going to the walk in clinic because I've have hot coffee thrown on me, I was pushed up against a wall, I was hit, etc. But that doesn't stop me from being there for them when they need it the most.
I love seeing their faces light up when they color you a picture and give it to you, I love
watching someone that has a disability learn something new; it's one of the most amazing things in the world! Watching how excited they get for the smallest things, makes me appreciate everything I have and all the small things in the world. These guys don't want much, they hardly ever ask for something and when they get something, it's seriously like they have just won the lottery! I have had residents ask for underwear for Christmas or hygiene products, and it kind of makes you realize how much we take for granted and always want, want, want and all they want is to get a new toothbrush for a Christmas present. Hearing them tell me that they love me 40 thousand times a day is the BEST thing ever! Having them come up to you and asking for a small hug is literally the sweetest thing ever! The majority of mentally handicapped adults have no family or their family wants nothing to do with them. You become their family and they depend on you for everything. You are the person they come to when they need to talk, when they have problems, and when they just want someone to be there for them.
The main reason I keep coming back is because they make me a better person! They have shown me how to love unconditionally, how to love people no matter who they are, they have taught me how to not judge someone. Does this mean that I am perfect? No, this means I'm learning everyday how to continue to be a better person. I will never be perfect and don't ever want to be perfect. I just want to be the best that I can be and working with Mentally Handicapped adults helps me do this! Working in this field in NOT for everyone. I've seen my fair share of people that should never work in this field. You need to have patience, you need to have an open mind, you need to be forgiving, and most of all, you need to understand that their disabilities are NOT their fault.