I Know It Was Your Job, but you doing your job kept me alive

This letter was received by a MASST team from a former student in the program. She was 14 years old at the time, soon turning 19:

I’m unsure if you still work here, I have no clue if you still use this email. But this is Jamie, a kid you worked with in Calgary.

I moved, about four years ago or so. And I thought I had lost your email. I know we don’t really talk, as our time together has ended. But I just wanted to thank you.

At the time I was seeing you, I still wasn’t ready to see all my own issues, I wasn’t ready to talk about my problems or my trauma properly. I was little, and I wanted so badly for others to hurt just as badly as I was hurting.

But without you, I doubt I would’ve made it where I am, where I can admit I have a large amount of trauma, and where I have learned to ask for help when I need it.

Life is still difficult, and I now know that it will always be difficult, as that

is the way life is. I still struggle so much, but I’m also still learning.

I’m going to be turning 19 soon, and I’m also going to be going back to high school on the 31st, because I’m strong enough to admit I needed more time to fully complete my schooling.

I’ve made more friends, I’ve learned more about myself. I kept many secrets from you even when you were trying to help me, but you still improved my life more than I can fully say. I know that it was your job, but you doing your job kept me alive.

My relationship with my mother has improved, we both learned, and we both grew up.

I have a cat -­‐ she helps me remember that my life affects others. Because when I take care of her, I see her love and growth. And then I can extend

that thought to the people I know, and I realize I am someone stable, who exists.

I’m still doing art, though I haven’t improved as much as I wish I had, because there were times where I still gave up on it.

I’m unsure of what else to say at this point, and this is an essay you probably didn’t expect to see.

But again: thank you, truly, and sincerely. I cannot explain how much you did for me even when I did my best to continue down a dark path.

I hope you’re doing well! Jamie


MASST is the Multi Agency School Support Team funded by the Calgary Police Foundation

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