Monday, April 27, 2009
The CP Chronicles: Prologue
Inspired by a Twitter conversation, I decided to share some stories about the best job I ever had! When I was 19, I got hired as a residential aide at our county's mental health institution. It was divided up where the mentally ill residents were on the right, the mentally retarded residents were on the left, and upstairs were the higher functioning folks that needed the stability and structure of the institution. People were either court committed or voluntary residents.
I remember the very first shift flew by and I couldn't believe that I got paid to be there! It was the best job ever! I love psychology, so the atmosphere made my mind melt with eager learning experience anticipation.
My goal is to share some stories from the time I spent there and a little about some of the people I worked with, both the residents and my co-workers. I by no means intend to mock people with mental illnesses or mental retardation and I will not give real names in order to protect identities.
Each story will be designated as a Chapter and will focus on one incident or person in particular.
It was a sad day when the facility closed down. It was around the time that people were pushing for deinstitutionalization and trying to promote more normal living experiences. I thought this was ridiculous because some of the residents welcomed the structure and would have been too afraid to venture out on their own. But, as things in life go, it was not in my hands.
Chapter one will be coming soon! I hope you enjoy and get a little psychology enthusiasm in your blood from reading!