Friday, February 18, 2005

I love my job

I'm in a very happy place today, planning for a day of fun with Lily after preschool. I went on a date last night. It involved my fabulous husband, French food, and dear friend Kate watching Lily. Then, when we got home from our date, we got to hang out with Kate for a few hours.

Do you think your job is stressful? I got a reality check last night when hearing this story. Kate is a state-licensed public therapist. Her clients are all convicted sex offenders. She counsels about 120 men weekly, mostly in groups. It's hard for me to imagine her sitting with a group of men in a prison, facilitating therapy among mixed group of offenders. She's almost 6 feet tall, beautiful, kind face, and a gorgeous body. Of course she has a way of conducting herself at work that is not at all provocative. But even that is provocative to some.

I eagerly wait to her stories from her job. It's fascinating. She speaks with affection about many of her clients, and her intuition tells differently about others. The system for dealing with these offenses is, in my opinion, a mess. In one group, there will be men who've committed offenses from statutory rape (he's 18, she's 15), to a pedophile who abused his granddaughter, to a violent rapist, to the guy who's IQ is just a point or two above mental retardation and likes to fondle his cousin's breasts. Each group is a mixed bag.

A letter arrived at her job addressed to Kate. It contained some information on vaginal hygiene. Very detailed. The situation is being investigated, so I'll leave it at that. It's the first time I've seen her creeped out by her job. She describes this as a classic sex offense. A power play. It could be any one of 100+ men. She feels like she has the tools to deal with this, and wants to get to the bottom of it. I am a bit worried.

The last time a client approached her personally, he left her a message on her phone asking her to wear something specific to group. Doesn't sound too threatening, right? She had the parole officer search the offender's car, and they found handcuffs, rope, a pleather dress, and a sign written in marker on cardboard: "Can I see your pussy?" which he would hold up to other cars. He's back in jail.

The point is, if this guy is bold enough to go after his therapist, he's likely quite busy creating other situations.


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