Oftentimes at Sunrise, we are given the opportunity to have people tour our facility whether it be parents, families, education consultants, therapists, and other organizations. After talking about the program, and showing the around the building, I am sometimes met with the questions of how do you do this every day? How do you work with this challenging population every day?
One evening I was having a particularly rough shift. It seemed that everywhere I turned there was one problem or another. My phone rang and I let it go to voicemail. At the end of my shift, I looked at my phone and saw the call was from a previous resident – a student with whom I was close with. She left me a voicemail and as I listened to it, tears sprang into my eyes. “Hey Amanda, I just wanted to call you and let you know I was thinking about you tonight and I just appreciate everything you have done for me and just your caring for me and just everything you’ve done for me over the time that I have known you. I’m just really grateful for you, and all the time you put into me even after I left Sunrise. I’m really grateful for that, and just wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you and hope you’re doing well. Love you, bye.”
Even now as I write this, I feel those same tears fall! I see these girls day in and day out that have to deal with a variety of challenges. I see their tears, the fear in their eyes, the hopelessness. On the same day, I also get to be a part of and see their invaluable growth, I get to see them acknowledge their worth, I get to see their pride in themselves for the challenging work they are doing. Even after a challenging situation with a student, I get to help her navigate how to make amends, how to repair her relationships, and how to forgive herself. There is so much beauty in the process, and that is how I do this every day.
By Amanda McNatt, Residential Director at Sunrise Residential Treatment Center