After a long hiatus due to scheduling conflicts, I met up with my mentee for tea during my lunch break. My work schedule has been pretty chaotic the last two months, so it’s been harder to meet her for a break during the day. She just had an anxiety attack last night, and so she really wanted to see me.
It’s her spring break period, but she hasn’t had any plans to do anything fun and has been wandering around the city on her own. Her foster mom randomly decided to take a two-weeks long trip to the Dominican Republic without telling her. She left her some money and prepared a bunch of food for her in the refrigerator and told her foster dad she would be taking a vacation. She also communicated that she’d be leaving to my mentee’s social worker. But she never told my mentee directly before she left. At the same time, her foster sister, who used to be her friend before she became a part of the foster system, is in Florida for the foreseeable future and is not on speaking terms with her. The only one left at home with her is her foster dad, who works all day long and doesn’t get back until she’s fast asleep at night. So she’s scared to be alone in the house. And she’s upset because she has nothing to do during the day.
I was sitting there listening to the situation, and I wasn’t sure what to say. I’m not even sure she wanted me to say anything because she seemed like she just needed someone to listen to her. I asked a few questions to follow up, asked her how she was feeling, what she thought she could be doing to make her time productive. She seemed much calmer at the end of our time together.
We hugged before we parted ways as I dropped her off at the youth center she goes to for therapy. “You’re so calm,” she said. “I need more people like you who are just chill.”
She thinks I’m calm? Really?