Category Archives: Job Stress

Making Myself Crazy

 
It’s not yet eight a.m. and I am already feeling totally ovewhelmed. 
 
Last night I was downloading pictures from my camera onto my laptop and thinking about all of the great outings and adventures that we experienced this summer.  and because I can’t ever clear my brain completely from work, I began to think about the kids that have never, and likely will ever, have the kind of experiences that we often times take for granted.   Museums, Hiking, River Running, Picnics, Street Fairs, Amusement Parks, Barbeques and Weekend Road Trips … Fabulous adventures we shared together as a family.  Sometimes with friends, sometimes just us, but always family.  and then I think … of all the kids that have no families at all. 
 
Think about it.  Children with nowhere to go.  Children that come to us with a bag of clothes, perhaps a few toys and that’s it!  How often have you said, "I can’t wait to get home and climb into bed."? What if you had no bed waiting for you?  If I was a kid in treatment what would be my motivation to change knowing that I would be going to live in a group home or foster care where nothing around me is my own.  I have to believe that we are providing these kids hope for the future.  Hope for change and tools to get there.  I hope that for every child there is someone out there that will embrace and love them no matter what the baggage.  I have to remember that one small kindness; a smile, a gesture, a touch, just might brighten someone else’s day.  I need to know that what I do makes a difference even when I sit in an office all day.  Aarrgghh!  I am making myself totally crazy! 
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Gut Feelings

Last night my mind was on overdrive.  I tossed and turned and probably annoyed the stuffing out of Mr. Farish as I tried to rid my brain of the days happenings.
 
In a nutshell (yeah, like I can condense anything!):
 
7:20 ish, Girls Campus Dining Room:  A student talks to me about her suicide attempt of two days ago.  She asks me whether or not I would be her foster mother because, "You are always so nice and you listen to me."  If I could I would but I can’t therefore don’t … it’s tough folks, mighty tough … I want to embrace these young ladies with hugs, tell them how important they are, that they are worthy of a better life, that all the misfortune/abuse/neglect/drugs/trials and tribulations that they are dealing with are things of the past, but alas, they are not.  These girls get up every day and battle their demons.  Some succeed, some do not.  It tears at me everyday…EVERY DAY!
 
Mid-Morning chat with a therapist reveals that a student on the boys campus is not welcome back at home.  As if children are disposable.  Now some of these kids I can understand the reservation.  Violence, drugs, alcohol, predation … I wouldn’t be too pleased to open my doors either.  But come on, this kid has anxiety and depression, both of which can be managed with a combo of medication and therapy.  "I can’t deal with him."  "His problems take too much time and I have other kids."  Well, isn’t that a lucky mom!  Throw away the defective one and really teach him his lack of value.  Great example for the kids still at home … Can you imagine how scary it would be to make a mistake in that home and wonder if you were the next to be tossed out? 
 
The next few hours go pretty good … probably because we were treated to a 2 hour lunch … I got to tag along with the admissions team who were being rewarded for their hard work for the month of March … they do work hard and they deserve to be rewarded … I felt like an imposer … but Hey, i paid later with the stomach from hell problem, so you know, it worked out.
 
3:00 I get a call from an irate case manager wanting to know why PCS is blaming insurance for "kicking out this kid".  Um, well, PCS (and more specifically me), has never "kicked anyone out" nor have we said this boy needs to leave the program.  We talk, (ok, I talk, she yells), I tell her I need to speak with the therapist in this case and find out what in the world happened in family therapy that prompted mom to call the case manager in the first place.  Mom by the way is now speaking to said case mangers supervisor at the same time… messy stuff that doesn’t need to be messy.   I spend over 30 minutes on this call trying to explain that I need to gather information rather than react to what has or has not been said.  We come to a civil agreement that I will follow up with her after consulting all parties … Now, let’s hope that we can all communicate together and get this worked out … deep down I know I can, but again, stressful.
 
By the time I step into the house my nerves are shot and my gut is reacting.  I spend the evening physically sick while trying to work out the days events.  I go to bed, I do not sleep.  I worry about these kids.  My purpose in being here is to help these kids.  I am feeling very ineffective.  I cry (because physical and emotional pain go hand in hand these days).  I think about my doctor saying to me: "You are loaded with bleeding ulcers.  Do you have stress?"  I allow myself a self-pitying giggle … Stress?  Um, maybe just a little.  and guess what?  This is my life EVERYDAY AT WORK … and I like what I do … go figure!