The End of Week 2

So it’s the end of my second week at my new job. You can read about where I work here. I’m the assistant to the Chief of Resident Treatment. Basically, my boss oversees all of the clinicians at the facility. Because she has a big job, I have a big job. I have quite a few different areas I’m responsible for and it’s nothing like I have ever done before. I really like it!

My Criminal Justice degree is finally being used and the extra work I put in to earn my specialization in violent offenders is paying off, as I knew it would. The fact that I can carry on an informed and educated conversation with people who carry a PhD makes me feel really good about myself, but the fact that I have an understanding of the resident population that I work with makes me feel like it was all worth it. When I was in school, there were a lot of late nights and early mornings, many sacrifices, and it was all worth it. It’s exciting to know I still have the opportunity to learn a lot and I’m loving the work, so far.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that they hate the commute. Admittedly, it’s not the most convenient route to work but it’s not as terrible as I feel like it would be to drive to Seattle every day. You have to make sure you’re at the Steilacoom Ferry dock, parked,through the security checkpoint at the dock house, and on the boat by 7:20 AM or else you’re going to wait two more hours for the next boat to come. Our boat only carries McNeil Island employees to/from the island. We don’t pay for parking or the ride over since it’s owned by the facility itself, which is nice because that would add up quickly! Personally, I enjoy the ride over to the island. The water is beautiful and I get to watch the seals, see the porpoises jumping in and out of the water, and if you’re lucky, you get to see the bald eagle. I use the boat ride home as a way to leave all of the “icky” stuff I might hear, see, or read about at work behind. The distance between the island to the mainland is plenty of time to let my day drift off of me so I don’t get burnt out by what could become challenging.

Other than the obvious, one of the unique situations is that you can’t have your phone on you at all. I have to leave mine in my car, so I don’t see or hear from anyone till I get to my car at 4:45 PM. Then I have to drive about 30 minutes home. So I’m seeing 97 Facebook notifications, 29 texts, 3 missed calls, 2 voicemails, 7 Snapchat notifications, and God only knows what else popping up on my phone. I have to admit, it’s kinda like Christmas to see all of that at the end of the day. Even more, I’ve noticed how nice it is to not be distracted by a phone at work all day. And in a place like that, you need to remain alert.

Overall, I think I’m feeling positive about things. I like the people I work with and they seem to like me, I know I can learn and grow professionally there, and I get to be on the water twice a day. For me, that’s a treat, but I’m told will wear off – we’ll see about that. So many of you have been curious to know how things have been going so I thought I’d make it easier to send out a blog post to update everyone. I would love to hear your questions since I didn’t really get into specifics. I’ll answer anything I’m allowed to. Thanks for reading!

xo,

a

 

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Pushing Through 

Violent. Sexual. Predators. 
The interview offer came yesterday and the interview was today. I reluctantly accepted after misinterpreting my own boundaries. I was nervous all day yesterday, had nightmares last night, and was terrified today.

I went anyway.

The interview was out on McNeil Island where there used to be a prison. Technically, the prison is still there but it isn’t being used but if you go on the north side of the island you’ll find their compound that houses violent and non violent sexual offenders that have completed their prison time and are being further screened to be sure they are ready to return to civilized society.

Having been a sexual assault victim, I believe I had every right to feel terror about going. Nobody knows what I live with on a day to day basis and I sure as hell wouldn’t want them to. So why go? Trust me, the idea rolled around in the pit of my stomach since the original interview offer came through. Some said I should strongly consider not going, some couldn’t understand why I was scared to go. And then there was my opinion. The only opinion that mattered.

I went because if I let myself cower down then the men that did (or tried) to take advantage of my body still win. I went because I have a degree in Criminal Justice with a specialized focus in Violent Offenders that I spent years of late nights busting my ass to graduate with honors from. I went because it was my way of winning; my way of saying, “Fuck you for the anguish you have brought upon my body, mind, and spirit.” I went because it was my chance to have a say in things. I went because I owed myself the privilege of getting to tour an intriguing and secluded location that many wonder about but few understand.

I was a bit of a mess as I got to the dock to ride the boat. I fumbled through getting my visitors pass. My mouth was dry and my eyes bulged. I smoothed my hair about 10 trillion times. Finally, we set sail and it was a beautiful ride across the Puget Sound. I think it calmed me as I have always been drawn to the water. The more time I spent on the island, the more at ease I was. I needed to see what it was like in order to make an educated decision as to whether or not this was somewhere I would want to work every day. I needed to go for me.

xo,

a