Friday, October 12, 2012
The Big Barn in the Sky
This was a couple years ago when I was in an intake worker role. A young woman had been referred to us who at the time was staying in temporary crisis housing for people with dual diagnosis (in Canada that refers to mental health and developmental disability). Usually we would do intakes at our office but since she had no transportation, was not familiar with the area where she was housed and was in a pretty dire situation we agreed to meet her at the place she was staying. Since this was an off-site visit with a client we'd never met before, and since we were curious about the program supporting her (hadn't dealt with them before) my intake partner and I decided we would both go to meet her.
This young woman had been through a lot. Most notably, her mother had died recently and that among other things ended her up in the crisis housing. She had no other family, but did have close friends who were now her guardians and she would be moving in with them soon. Despite everything she'd been through and her DD, she was engaging, optimistic and had a sense of humour throughout the interview. We got all the information we needed, told her about our program and let her know we would be in touch.
Once outside, I commented to my partner that I was impressed and pleasantly surprised at how together and well this young woman had seemed. She looked at me with utter confusion and said "What?! She was either psychotic or her cognition is lower than we thought. All that talk about how her mother "bought the farm"? I don't think she understands that her mother DIED, I'm really worried about her! She thinks her mother is on a farm somewhere!"
At which point I burst out laughing and had to explain the euphemism. It was a cute moment.