This morning I am trying to make up my mind as to whether or not I am willing to become a CASA volunteer. After 4 hours of training last night, that I was told would be 3, my intuition is leaning toward no. Today there is another 10 hours of training, which I was told was going to be eight. It will be followed by another 8 hours on Sunday.
I have volunteered all of my adult life while my peers had paid jobs with benefits like health insurance. I am asking myself if I am some kind of idiot who doesn't put any value on my time?
Upon graduating from high school the advice I was given by my mother was, "Unless you want a career you don't need to go to college." At that time I didn't so I got married and raised three children with little help from their fathers, who were mostly involved with their personal addictions.
Now at 75 I am divorced, live alone on Social Security, owe no one anything, have little contact with my family, already volunteer at two facilities and am facing the question should I or shouldn't I jump into yet another volunteer job.
I have never been associated with a group that is expecting so much from a volunteer. The amount of information that is expected to be digested is overwhelming. The local program seems to be run by paid people who haven't been trained yet either. Take me to your leader is a joke!
I have a little over an hour before this morning's torture begins. I am giving myself until our lunch break to make a final decision. I know that my life is on the verge of some kind of change. Perhaps it is simply to put me first and learn to flatly say NO this is not for me. I'll let you know later.
I was wrong. My decision didn't take until lunch after all. It only took the time to drive from my house to the CASA office where the training was taking place, about 10 minutes. I had been thinking about the situation as I drove.
I walked into the room placing my manual on the table. I said hello and faced the person who would be my supervisor. The first words out of my mouth were, "This does not feel comfortable." After a brief exchange, I turned to leave the room. The training facilitator commented, "Are you mad and leaving?" My response was, "I'm not mad just leaving." ...and I did.
Remembering how I felt when I left the office last night helped me to make my decision. I felt drained. I realized that this whole program, although aimed at trying to benefit abused children, really involved dealing with negative energy on a regular basis. It was about fighting the system, from the CYFD (Children Youth and Family Division) case worker, family members, lawyers right up to the judge involved in each case.
No way am I going to bring this much negative energy into my current life. Not for any amount of money and certainly not as a volunteer! Perhaps this little experience was all about standing up for what is best for me for a change. What a concept!