Friday, May 29, 2015

an incident

i originally wrote this on 5/27, two days ago. i've added the resolution at the end...

i'm writing this without knowing whether or not i will post it. i had an incident at work today that is still unfurling and i am trying not to stress eat. but have already polished off half a bag of sweet & salty popcorn... at least it's not the worst thing to overeat, but that's not the point.

i have a client who has a DWI arrest. he came to his intake and tested positive for alcohol. when i tried to engage him in treatment, he did not recall the conversation we had about when to start treatment, likely because he was drunk. so it was three weeks before he started treatment; he had a very high positive for alcohol at his first appointment, indicating he either drank that day or drank a lot the night before.

he came in today thinking he had an appointment but he didn't. i saw him and he asked if he could have his schedule in writing, so i took him in my office and we wrote out his schedule. i told him about my concerns that he hasn't stopped drinking and that we'd need to send him to detox, whatever whatever. he said he understood that he cannot drink while in treatment. it was not an emotional meeting; it was about 10 minutes of hammering out his schedule and his verbal agreement that he would go to detox if he couldn't stop drinking - he said he would be able to stop drinking without issue (i am fairly certain he won't be able to).

so i stand up to walk him out and he stands up. i mention something about knowing he can do this and he reaches out to hug me. i do not touch clients without their permission or without them reaching out to me first, but i believe touch is a powerful thing. so i allow him to hug me and he kisses my neck. i do not know what to do or say and i realize he smells like alcohol. i sort of go on autopilot and show him out of my office and immediately engage another client who is waiting for a scheduled individual session with me. i ignore the incident.

six hours later i am getting ready to leave work for the night. i have felt sort of dirty and find myself repeatedly touching my neck and thinking about using hand sanitizer on it. but i do not say anything. i do not go to my supervisor immediately, i did not confront the client. i did nothing. every time the incident pops into my head, i immediately dismiss it, telling myself it was nothing and to just keep doing what i'm doing. it's not like i complete dissociated; i met with four clients individually and led a group. i engaged my clients. it was when i got in my car and started driving home that the incident popped in my head again. my instinct was to dismiss it and i forced myself not to. my rational self knew - knows - there is an issue here. this incident was not appropriate. this client had no right to do that even though i accepted his hug. the incident was completely inappropriate and i have every right to tell my supervisor and i do not deserve to be treated like that.

and it's while i'm driving home that i suddenly make the connection - to my stepfather. my stepfather died in 2003.  my stepfather was an alcoholic who drank beer like water. my stepfather was abusive to me, physically, verbally, and emotionally. and on more than one occasion my stepfather was inappropriate with me in sexualized ways, from telling me details about his sex life with my mother when i was a teenager to an incident when i was about 21 or 22 when i was at my mother's house. i think she had gone out; i was doing laundry and using the computer. my stepfather came up behind me and put his hands on my shoulders and kissed my neck, beer on his breath, and said something completely inappropriate about us being alone. i ignored the incident, brushing it off and going about my business. i did not even respond to him.

somehow, on the ride home, my brain - something - finally let me examine the incident today instead of just ignoring it. without much thought, once my subconscious allowed the incident to be examined instead of instantly dismissed, my brain immediately made the connection between today's incident and the incident with my stepfather. i don't know how my mind made that connection so quickly, without me thinking about it. was it the smell? was it the act itself, which i keep calling 'the incident' and i don't want to type out? did i detach after the incident today because that's how i survived back when i was being abused by my stepfather? what am i supposed to do now, now that today's incident seems to have stirred up a lot of my crap and i want nothing more than to eat everything i can get my hands on right now? how am i supposed to be an effective counselor if i can't deal with my own crap?

what am i supposed to do now? i know i have to go to my supervisor. i don't want to. i don't want to talk about it. i don't want to admit it because it's my fault. i let him hug me; i encouraged him; i was nice to him; i'm a woman; i have low self esteem; he's older than me. i can go on and on and on. i know this isn't my fault. i know it's not appropriate. but i'm terrified to talk to my supervisor and that makes no fucking sense at all. i don't want to go to work tomorrow. i graduated college and walked yesterday, i wore my cap and gown and got a fancy bachelor's degree. i registered for my graduate program. i'm making decisions in my life that will lead to me being a counselor as a career.

i know, the rational part of me knows, that i can't not go to work tomorrow. i can't quit my job - my career - because of this. but my instinct tells me to run. forget it, let it go, move on somewhere else. the rational part of me knows that i did nothing wrong, that i did not invite this, that i did not encourage him, that my identified gender has nothing to do with it. it is not my fault. the rational part of me knows all of this. but emotionally, i feel like a victim again.

that's kind of grandiose, isn't it? that i feel victimized because of what happened, the incident i don't want to spell out again? it's not like he beat me up or punched me or groped me. he kissed my neck. i feel victimized. and i feel like i'm overreacting by feeling victimized.

what the fuck is wrong with me?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

what a difference four and a half years makes.

today is day four of my four day weekend.

four day weekend, you ask?

yes. i had the typical saturday/sunday weekend, monday for memorial day, and awesome husband @_antgas and i took off today for a very good reason.

i graduate today!

that's right, the strange journey that started back in august of 2010 with a mini nervous breakdown and a fateful trip to a psychiatrist is ending. i originally started my undergrad to get an associates just so i could put it on my resume. now i'm graduating with a bachelors in community health and human services.... and planning to go onto graduate school.

a lot of ridiculous, awesome, and horrifying things have happened since i decided to return to school. my mother was suddenly taken ill and died peacefully.

we rescued another hysterical kitten (who has turned into a maniac). we moved back to new york. i became a body piercer for a while. i decided to continue my education and realized a lot about life in the process.

taylor crossed the rainbow bridge. i fought with my gallbladder and lost and later willingly barbecued my uterus. we moved even further out in the 'burbs.

i was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and failed every medication i tried. i landed an internship. piglet was diagnosed with kidney failure and then had to have her canines removed. i also was hired as a paid counselor at my internship. and soon thereafter, i sat for my CASAC exam and was hired on as a full time counselor. i stopped taking any medications for RA and am surviving as best i can.

my little brother got married. and then we got a puppy and i started a new medication for my mental health issues.

and today, i graduate. and i've been accepted to three graduate programs and have pretty much decided on one. i will be going for my MSW and hope to complete in about three, three and a half years. it's been a ridiculous journey; sometimes it feels like yesterday and sometimes i can't remember what it was like before i was a counselor.

thankfully, my therapist is working today since the office was closed yesterday. i am a jumbled mass of conflicting emotions and ideas. but i am really excited to be graduating and opening a new chapter in my life. well, at the end of august when grad school starts.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

frustration is not motivating PLUS we got a puppy!

i've been really frustrated with life.  but life is really good.

that seems kind of stupid.  but that's how it's been.

i've started a new medication in addition to my life-saving pristiq: vyvanse.  it's an amphetamine.  i was really nervous about taking it but so far i'm not having any weird side effects - i don't even feel like i'm hopped up on amphetamines.  i'm not sure how much 'better' i feel, but i don't feel worse so that's great.

we got a puppy. she's very small and very rambunctious and very annoying.  her name is alice (allie) and they told us she's a chihuahua-mini pinscher mix.  we think they're wrong.

yes, we got her a wicket doll to gnaw on.  may the fourth be with you!

she's teething.  i have a feeling this has something to do with that fact.

alice on one of her many walks

on another.... walk.  taking a roll around in the grass break.
allie is ridiculous.  she wants to 'play' with the cats, and the cats want NOTHING to do with her.  it's not always pretty.  but we're working on it.

i'm very frustrated with work.  i'm so over my schedule - i hate the 12-8:30pm on monday through wednesday.  i want to work days like a typical person.  i want to be able to cook after work; stop at the supermarket and pick up the night's ingredients; meet friends for dinner or coffee.  hell, i want to eat three 'normal' meals a day.  my eating schedule is all fucked up.  and i'm usually tired - i can't get my body used to this schedule.

i mentioned to my boss that i want to switch back to days and she said that something should change within the next couple of months.  that was about a month ago.  i love my job - just not my hours.  my family is a priority to me - and i can't take care of my family the way i'm used to with this schedule.

i did a bit of looking online to see what's out there with my credentials.  and found a posting for a job that is $12K a more than i'm making.  it's with a private company - not a non-profit - but that's a huge pay jump.  HUGE.  it makes me think, and i don't like thinking ;)