Sunday, June 12, 2016

6-11-2016
The Cost Of Mentoring
I had a friend in here a few years back you attempted suicide. The pain of feeling like I failed him, I didn't do enough fast enough. I had been having dreams about him, the Holy Spirit prompting me to reach out. However, fear and pride within me was a limiting factor. In other words, it was out of my comfort zone. 
After he was found and I had been told what had happened, I knew I had made a mistake. I should have reached out boldly, damned any comfort zones. I knew that something was wrong and I ignored it. So it lit a fire under me. I was going to double down on my efforts to get a peer support group and I was going to be there for the gay community in prison and keep reaching out to outside groups for help. 
As a side note, I have written every organization I have addresses for, no one has responded. If I said it didn't bother me or hurt I'd be lying. The Rainbow Bookstore Coop in Wisconsin sends free books to inmates and they were the only ones who even bothered to reply. Still today...
So, as a mentor I realize that I have faults and shortcomings and my own skeletons to deal with. But I have heart. Recently I lost another one of my many children. I call those that I mentor my children, I don't know why, actually I call them Bebe's kids. He allegedly attacked someone who was allegedly bullying him. I believe this was the case personally. But just because I see it happening doesn't make it so. Regardless, he's in the hole now and those of us that were mentoring him are shocked. In fact, when we seen each other we cried. We had let down another one. He had been dropping really vague hints, but in this really strange way. 
Even though we are hurting as mentors because we feel that we have failed. We are inadequate or not mentor material, the fact that it hurt us at all. That means we were invested, which means that we were doing it for the right reasons. Our motives were good. 
So he may be in the hole, possibly for a long time, but this experience wasn't a bust. As people who care we keep reaching out. Wearing our hearts on our sleeve. We try and read between the lines for those that nobody cares about. I have a personal sense of duty to the gay community here. They deserve someone who cares. Complete and non-judgemental love. 

If someone is reaching out to you, take time to reach back. Please. You aren't to busy and you are good enough. 

With Love
Jeff Utnage 823469

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