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Saturday, April 18, 2009Bitch Slapped By Life
I’ll admit it I have a bit of Countertransference when it comes to this particular client. It’s not that I see myself in him. Instead I see all of the homeless street kids my parents have taken in over the years and I know that if he’d been one of them his life would have been totally different.
At 21 he’s soft spoken, articulate, and intelligent. Until his home situation forced him out onto the streets he’d been a college student with good grades. But it’s kind of hard to stay in school when you’re scrambling for a place to sleep and food. I see the potential in him, if given the chance he’s going to go far in life. I am not alone in this; his lawyer sees it as well. I’ve worked out a plan that if the prosecutor and judge go for will keep him out of jail and give him the chance to develop his potential. I presented the plan to him and he liked it. I’d already spoken to his lawyer about it and she liked it as well. However I wanted to impress on him the importance of following it through.
“Sometimes life has to bitch slap you in order for you to get your act together. “ I said to him from across the visitor’s table and leaned back in my chair. I looked around the room, at the guards, at his prison uniform, and lastly at his face, “Consider yourself bitch slapped. Now it’s on you to slap it back and get your life together.”
He was momentarily stunned by my words, he hadn’t expected me to talk in the manner I did. He agreed with my sentiment and assured me that this was a wake up call for him and that he was going to rebuild his life.
Later on I bumped into his lawyer in the prison parking lot. “Mia, are you going back to the office or you heading out straight to school from here?” she asked.
I looked at the time, “Office, I’ve got a couple of hours to kill before I have to be in class.” She pointed to her car, “Come on I’ll give you a ride.” As soon as I was buckled in she started to laugh, “I can’t believe you told my client he’d been bitch slapped by life!” “He told you?” I asked. “Yeah he told me, you’ve made quite an impression on the kid.” I shrugged my shoulders, “Hey it’s true isn’t it?” She nodded her head. “You are just what we needed around here, a breath of fresh air. Welcome to legal aid kid.”
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