All I know… so far

Haven’t always been this way
I wasn’t born a renegade
I felt alone, still feel afraid
I stumble through it anyway

I wish someone would have told me that this life is ours to choose
No one’s handing you the keys or a book with all the rules
The little that I know I’ll tell to you
When they dress you up in lies and you’re left naked with the truth

You throw your head back, and you spit in the wind
Let the walls crack, ’cause it lets the light in
Let ’em drag you through hell
They can’t tell you to change who you are
That’s all I know so far
And when the storm’s out, you run in the rain

These lyrics from P!NK’s song All I Know so Far keep echoing through my head.

I resigned from my current role over a week ago. I wasn’t prepared for the pain and hurt from the last three years to pour over me after my decision.

I was hired Jan of 2020 and boy I had no clue what was in front of me. When COVID hit, I knew it changed everything. I worked tirelessly to find ways to help families with the mental wellbeing of students. Thankful for a partnership with our PTA, we were able to reach more families than I could have imagined. While this felt like the hardest of times, little did I know the real hard times were in front of me.

August 2020 started a journey of being part of starting a school district police department. I was so thankful to be part of the answer of changing the increasing statistics of criminalizing adolescent behavior. Before I knew it, there was funding to add staff to me department (social workers). In a time when it seemed like there were no answers to traditional policing, I was honored to get to be part of the answer to better serving students.

What I was not prepared for was the never ending attacks… maybe I was naive… maybe I am not strong enough… but I struggled to accept people blindly attacking me for no other reason but where I was working. My character has been trashed during public comment in school board meetings and on social media. I was expected to just grow a “thicker skin.” It didn’t matter the truth, because others had ways to trash the work with no evidence.

I thought I could be strong enough to endure the attacks, because I knew what we were doing was best for students. I heard stories each day where students, families were given hope…. and their hope gave me hope…unfortunately this hope was not enough to keep me going.

Put your sword down, dive right into the pain
Stay unfiltered and loud, you’ll be proud of that skin full of scars
That’s all I know so far
That’s all I know so far

So I decided a few weeks ago I had to “put my sword down, dive right into the pain.” And it has been so painful. I thought I would experience relief, which I did for a few days, but the pain has haunted me. I am not sure why… maybe it is because I feel guilty for leaving, when I know there so much more work to. Maybe it is because I feel like leaving will make others capitalize on this opportunity to tear apart what has been created.

What I do know… while I have talked, trained, written on the importance on putting self-care first, finally I had to admit, I am no different than others, and I have to take care of me. The last three years has caused so much pain and trauma. I am sure it will take time to recover… what I do know is my husband and son deserve me to be a better me… I deserve to be a happier me.

So I am leaving… not because the work is done… not because the work is not important. I am leaving because I need to dive into the pain of the last few years. I need to heal. I need to care for me.

5 responses to “All I know… so far”

  1. Amy I’m so sorry to hear this! I’ve always admired your work and everything you’ve done for the kids in our district. Take care of yourself and your family and know that there are many out here who think that you are amazing. People suck.

  2. Amy, I’m glad you’re able to take this opportunity for self-care before the pain inflicted on you tears you down further. Please know how much you’ve impacted me personally through all the videos you did during COVID and even that in-person talks you did for Council beforehand. Your influence ripples on as I try to practice and share so many of the lessons you taught me. I think of you whenever I watch Inside Out. Take care.

  3. You are amazing! I am sad you had to leave to be happy, but I understand needing to be a happier you for your family. Before I worked in RRISD, I was at a district that made me miserable, and it was not cool for my family. I hope you get your “‘happier’ ever after.”

  4. Amy! You are a change agent no matter where you are because you believe in the work….in the field of mental wellness! I believe you are a “difference maker” no matter where you are or where you go! I am better for knowing you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: