Wednesday, June 28, 2006

David's Story Part 25: David's New Counselor


I took David to see his new counselor yesterday. His name is “Tom”.

He works a lot with teens in the foster care system and has a style. I am not certain that it is the best with David though I can see how it might be effective with other kids. He was so very...straight. At one point he told David that he was from southern California and found The City to be very conservative, very redneck.

He asked how difficult it was for him to be gay here. Other than that moment it seemed to me that his style was calculated to make redneck kids feel comfortable.

David seems willing to give him a chance, so I will too.

He was very different from the other counselor I told you about in every way. When David would tell him about some horrible part of his childhood the other guy (who I really like) did not give any emotional response.

We were talking with him about how anxious David gets when I would be even a little bit displeased with him. The other counselor asked David to tell him about the first person who made him feel unsafe. David told him about his father … The counselor just nodded and calmly said, "So it is understandable that you don't feel safe when Beth is angry. Intellectually you know that you are safe though, don't you?"

Tom asked David to tell him about his parents and David did not have much to say. I asked David what was the longest his mother had left him alone to take of his brothers. David said maybe four days. "So you took care of everyone?" "Yes." "Made sure they got fed?" "Yes." "I like you. Good for you. But God! Don't you just miss the time when we could deal with people like that? Now we give them a welfare check and let them hurt their kids more. You can just hear the sucking sound."

I found that offensive, though I guess he was trying to give David permission to express his anger. So I will keep my mouth shut.

I always had mixed feelings about Tom's work with David. David had stereotypical ideas about what it meant to be gay, and Tom just fed right into it. It bothered me a great deal. On the other hand, Tom has a history of doing really good work with kids in foster care. Hubby and I agreed though. When the social worker to give us an assessment we said that we thought he was a good counselor for street-wise straight kids.

David's Story Part 1: The Beginning
David's Story Part 26: The Prom

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