So how intelligent was I in taking this job? I have been struggling with that since I started here. This is the first job I've had that hasn't really gotten better for me with experience. It's become more scary and difficult as I've become more familiar with the people who I deal with. Maybe I wasn't too smart...
One of the things that makes this job hard for me is that it's set up to be like a family, with the "coach" being in a parental role and there all the time, except 2 days a week. There are 2 other coaches here besides me, and they have more or less made these residents like their own families. Unfortunately, I see this as a job, and I don't love the residents of this place. I do care about them, and I want them to have a good life. I want them to be safe and happy, however I do not love them. They are not a part of my family and I do not want them to be. I have difficulty with a lot of their behaviors. When we do something nice for them, like taking all of them out to eat, instead of appreciating it, they are more likely to throw a tantrum because they had to drink a Pepsi instead of a Coke, or something similar. They are likely to steal things as part of their compulsions and most of them are habitual liars. Some of them are like little spoiled children in adult bodies. Most are nasty and arrogant when they are caught in a lie or theft. Some throw things and others hurt themselves in tantrums.
None of this is their fault and I recognise that. I've had some major problems accepting their behaviors and being understanding with them. Some have mild retardation, others have had traumatic head injuries and most have seizure disorder. Life coaches only last an average of 2 years...I'll probaby be one of them, if another opportunity comes by. Sometimes one of the residents will say something like "You don't make me happy." I'm not here to make them happy. I'm here to help them make the right decision, to keep them safe, and to provide security while trying to help them live as normal a life as possible. I'm here to give them their medications and perform CPR and first aid when necessary. I'm here to wipe their noses and try to teach them skills that will help them interact with the rest of the population.
There is so much about the human brain and intellect that I don't understand. I had a lot of misconceptions about disabilities and retardation that have since been dispelled. I think there is a lot I don't WANT to know. I hope that if something terrible happens to me, if I should have a horrific accident, I hope that no one in my family will revive me and make me live a life like these people have.