Domestic Violence Advocate

There is an opening at the local DV advocacy. Two of the staff told me to apply.

My heart sang all afternoon, thinking I could do this for a living instead of as a hobby. Then I started to cry, torn between what I want to do and what I already do. I wish I could do both. But both are full time.

I love my job. The work is not challenging or fun, but I do it really well and I love the people I work for and work with. I don’t want to leave them looking for someone who can handle my workload. I don’t want to miss the company Christmas party. My job is no stress. I stress out, anyway, but imagine how much worse my stress would be working with traumatized people day in and day out who are hanging onto every word I say. The burnout is super high. Only one woman there has managed to stay longer than a year. There has been a new advocate every year since I got here.

I don’t know what the pay would be. Probably comparable or more than what I make. Which is well below the poverty level. It would not bother me to lose a little income, I know how to make do.

What if the stress made me less available to my children? What if I am once again robbing myself of a fantastic opportunity because I am comfortable where I am and too afraid to move?

I wanted to do this after I got my degree. Years from now.

I am so paralyzed by hope and fear that I can hardly breathe. I know this feeling. Ultimately I will do nothing.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Domestic Violence Advocate

  1. I’m navigating similar waters. I’m reminding myself from looking back how many options remain when I swim one way and realize the water’s not as warm as I thought it would be. I find another way to swim, and another, until I find a direction that feels right. And sometimes that “right” is so, so very much righter than the easy place I’d been treading water to start.

  2. Does the volunteer work take too much out of you? Think hard before you pass up this opportunity. I was a nurse for thirty years. I was totally involved at work but turned it off for home. You can compartmentalize.

  3. I’d have trouble compartmentalizing this, myself — at least right now.

    I am glad you are looking into it. Something that makes you feel this much excitement (even if also fear) is something you should get to feel open to. By which I mean: whether you decide now is or is not the right time for moving in this direction, there are other “nows” waiting for you. Trust yourself, and remember that your future will belong to you too, when it arrives.

    • I had an opportunity to speak to the same doctor who referred me the last case I worked on, which was startlingly successful. The doctor thought it would be too much work, too intense, with less flexibility. Ironic, since she gave me a case! But I think she is right, she was thinking of my kids. I think it might be a bit triggering. I need my PTSD to affect me less before I step into a court room with an abuser again.
      I would rather help with the aftermath than the initial escape, and I would rather do it with a formal education behind me to shape my approach.

  4. Don’t jump into anything before you have done some research! Is what I’m doing now πŸ™‚ Sometimes we give up the good and gain the better πŸ˜‰

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