There was something special about Jessica, it’s hard to describe and may have been wrapped up in pity for this small little girl so alone and so hurt – and so very difficult. Jessica became the child that almost everybody learned to dislike, both adults and other children. She was having major behavioral problems in the group home, school and community. Within the first year of her placement, the social worker wanted to move her as little progress had been made. Our response was simple: what would another agency do different than we were?
Long story short, Jessica stayed with the agency for six years and is now a mother and productive member of society. In fact, she still stays in touch with us twenty-seven years later. Jessica taught me a very important lesson that I use daily. Sometimes, when children are acting out, it is merely a reflection of the pain they are feeling. It’s not mischievous or malice but a lack of communication skills. As Jessica told me once, “I wanted people to hurt as much as I hurt inside.”