Recently I mentioned that I have been asked to be a CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Special Advocate for children). I was flattered to be considered for this program. The more I thought about it the more I realized that because of my life experiences it was a really good fit. In the simplest terms the volunteer connects with (appointed by a judge) an abused child and gives that child and his/her welfare a voice in the court system.
Although never physically abused, I have had a lifetime of emotionally abusive relationships. Some of them were and are from family members and friends whom I believed cared about my welfare. I now realize that allowing others to become emotionally abusive is a negative habit left over from my childhood. Unfortunately, as a child, I had no one to stand up for my welfare and speak for me. As a result I faced the big wide world as a high school graduate with very low self-esteem. It led to all kinds of bad decisions that just kept reinforcing self doubt.
It has only been in the last few years that I have found the courage through trial and error to correct this bad habit. I have discarded some really nice people from my life, who because they are extremely controlling individuals, were trying to live my life through their values and ideas.
A couple of days ago I picked up the manual for CASA in preparation for the training that will take place over this coming weekend. As I began reading the material we will be focusing on I was overwhelmed by the amount of information we will be expected to digest. Self doubt began to lift its ugly head. I have a high school education with a bit of college tossed in. I began asking myself if my life experience will be enough. Is caring deeply about others, because of what I have lived through, going to make a difference in an abused child's life.
I still am not sure of the answer but I have decided that since God/Source has placed me in this position it would be rude not to accept the opportunity I have been offered to find out. By the time the extensive training is over on Sunday I will have the answer I am seeking and will either will be or not be a CASA volunteer.