Saturday, October 11, 2008

...reconsidering life....

As a social worker, I respect the confines of confidentiality immensely, but in this instance, i find myself torn.

An old student of mine, has committed murder. A student that I worked with very closely for a year. He was diagnosed with Autism, and was living at the Kolburne School, in MA while I worked there.

A totally quiet 18 year old....and by quiet, i mean not a word above Whisper. When I spoke to him, I had to hold my breath for his answer because if I breathed to sharply, i'd miss it. Ive received this article from my old boss, and friend Jen, who sent it out to me to keep my posted. I remember Ben fondly....I remember sitting at the night shift desk, watching him sway around his room to Michelle Branch. He was never in a restraint, never a problem. He was always happy to do anything that you asked, and never EVER lead me to think that he was capable of such things.

He aged out of the mental health facility that I worked at, and was taking part in another. Im sure if you're curious enough to find the articles online, ive given you enough information to do so. He stabbed a stranger to death, and then called the police on himself saying how angry he was.....

He was diagnosed with autism....Ive just been offered a job working again with autistic children...And with this knowledge, I'm starting to think "whats the fucking point". Im not personalizing this at all, and I know that I did my best with this client, and that his behavior has NOTHING to do with me, or any of the staff that I worked with...but seriously. Wheres the point in my job, when this is what I have to look forward to after working with a client.

I know I know, this isnt the case for everyone...and I cant help but think "is there always a margin of error for these types of things? Is this something that is unavoidable, no matter how much you work with the client? Is there always a 5% margin of error."

I never saw any signs that would ever give way to this..and I payed the closest attention to my 10 boys in that house. Its what they paid me for really. I just cant wrap my head around it. How did the system fail him? What programming DIDNT he get? Was his medication to blame? How did this happen?.....

Questions im sure will keep me up the next few nights. Ive got emails out to everyone I worked with at Kolburne...wondering how the mood is there, and how they're coping with hoping that they can come up with some answers, becuase I cant.

And in reading this article, all I can do is think back to the faint whispered answers of this 18 year old boy....and then I think about his voice when he called the police on himself...whispering what he'd done. He'll be on trial....whispering the details....the whole courtroom will have to wait with baited breath as he recounts the details of that day.

....Im hoping that wont happen. Im hoping that he's found his voice since the last time i'd seen him...but after finding this out today...and seeing the picture of him *the picture was the worst part of it*....i dont know what to think anymore.


Miss Ash said...

It's sad really but you can't lose hope for there will be ones that succeed.

My clients have killed people as well have been murdered themselves and it's really really awful....but it happens.

blepharisma said...

I'm sorry you're being haunted by this. It's all fine & good to rationalize it and say that you can expect a margin of error or whatever... you feel how you feel. If you didn't feel *something* you wouldn't be the amazing person you are.