Sometimes I’m not really sure what the fuck I’m getting out of this.
I spend a lot of time- up in my head- trying to determine the motives why I stay here:
How much I put in vs
How much they take out;
What I’m learning vs
What’s becoming bad habits.
What’s mine to own?
What’s theirs to own up to?
Sigh. I’ve stopped the cycle by putting lipstick on a pig.
Working in hospice is a trip. Some days are really hard and I’m thankful to have coworkers and some friends who get it.
Death is an ever looming presence in this job and sometimes when a patient dies it hits like a gut punch.
Most people don’t get it, the typical response is “well they were on hospice so it wasn’t unexpected so why are you feeling ___________?”
Well yes, they WERE on hospice.
But also, NO….
I’m one of these lucky social workers who have quite a vivid imagination and this works to my advantage and disadvantage. While I can empathize with the patients or their families because I can try to imagine what they’re going thru (to the best of my ability) but unfortunately when they pass, I can also rabbit hole on that experience as well. We don’t always KNOW and when someone is alone at that moment, we never know. Was it quick? Was it painful? Were they scared? Particularly right now when it is hard to see patients in homes and facilities, as a social worker or a chaplain. Sure- there’s some ways around it if things are “imminent” but you don’t always know. Sometimes it’s more rapid than anticipated or a complete surprise. I think about it too much for my own good, probably. It goes downhill from there and snowballs, but I personally take solace in the fact that I still care this much. But not with all patients. Not that I don’t care for them all, but I’m sure there’s some projection, transference, something that makes some harder than others. Maybe it has to do with how long you work with someone. Maybe they remind you of someone: consciously or subconsciously, or they represent something or someone we fear or worry about. Lots of possibilities. Maybe it simply has to do with my control issues. My version of denial of my own mortality. I’m not sure really. But regardless, some days, some patients, some deaths, hit harder and last longer than others.
Keep doing the good work. That’s all we can do.
Surrounded by the ever present Spectre of death…
Mortality itself has haunted since the 11th year-
Family & friends dying like the Hemingways and Fondas having a competition…
Addictions and violence permeate a life… a society… a culture.
Supporting those you love,
Facing my own fears;
Tasked with aiding those in grief…
A lifetime of training?
They don’t tell you the right things to say…
Or even the wrong things to say.
“It will always come in waves… they just get further between…”
Weak tea for the knock kneed.
Birth to death and all between;
Beautiful acceptance to righteous anger-
Fuck this mortal coil.
It’s not crazy-
To question all of your decisions-
While holding your knees and rocking…
At the bottom…
of a dark closet-
and experiencing déjà vu…
realizing the trauma root to your aesthetic preferences…
synthesizing information, emotions, perceptions, programming…
Understanding leads to despair and experience leads to scripted good guesses…
“Fear is the path to the dark side.”
Leaps of faith…
Crisis of confidence?
Hope being what’s left and hoping because there’s nothing left-
Love or fear, only two choices…
At the heart of it…
Bottom of a dark closet.
beneath the typhoon in my bedroom…
I’m always ok.
it’s not crazy- it’s human, right?
Sometimes I feel that I must have some sort of personality or character flaw.
I get so bored with basically everything in my world I become destructive, physically, mentally, emotionally, all of it. It’s gotten easier to ignore, the older I have gotten; but it’s still there, strong as ever. I have been reflecting on this a lot lately, and if I am truly honest with myself, this has been happening as long as I can remember. School, subjects, jobs, friends, places, houses, even drugs/chemicals when I was young, hobbies, etc. I know there is no better here than there, I know that. But what the hell?
How do people have the same houses, jobs, friends, spouses, everything, for their whole lives?! I get anxiety just thinking about it. I got the nickname “Hot Feet” at age16 for reasons besides being a hot Pisces. Really.
Can anyone commiserate or normalize this for me? Anyone? *crickets*
Please visit my gofundme.
I haven’t blogged in a while. It’s been a combination of not having time and not having really anything nice or uplifting to say about anything. Yesterday was probably the lowest day energy and attitude-wise I have had in a couple years. I don’t think that it was necessarily anything in particular, just a lame culmination of the last few months and the proverbial straw on the camel’s back. So as things just seemed to domino in my world, professionally and of course personally because I am not one of those cool people that can leave my job at the office…. I just kind of gave up yesterday.
But as I always do, I woke up this morning and decided to try again cause really that’s all you can do.
I went to work, decided no matter what I was going to have a good GD day.
And I did.
I helped a family get housed that has been in shelter since January and it was a win. I really left work yesterday sure that it would not happen for them and rehearsing that conversation of sadness.
When I went to the shelter today to meet them and have them sign some final paperwork, I was showered in the grace of the experience. Everyone there is like a family. The family I work with has been there longer than anyone else in the shelter and literally had a couple days left on their 3rd extension. Everyone was happy and congratulating them, high fives, hugs, tears, etc. Their kids? One of them was so happy he was about to burst. He couldn’t even imagine having a room of his own again. The mom who has not let herself have any hope the last few months was over the moon. I honestly had never seen her smile a real smile. She had not even allowed herself the anticipation of this house.
It was the best experience I can remember having in a long time.
And it reminded me of this song:
So I ask you….
What is YOUR fire?
Is it waiting for fuel?
Are you the fuel for someone else’s?
Whatever lights that passion in you, however briefly….
The fuel is out there.
Let the spin stop.
Ignore the distractions and feel the burn.
Bootstraps. Pull yourself up by them!
Unless you are barefoot and pregnant….and that was YOUR decision. Fu*king breeders!
Just kidding. I get tired of feeling like I have to explain my clients or enlighten people on oppression and poverty and every other ism that exists in my world (your world too, just FYI). I digress.
When I started out down the social work path, I was very vigilant and ready to educate the masses; I was excited to understand the criminal justice population I had previously been working with in another light. I wanted to fix the world, change society.
Now I just want to help individuals. I am sure that is why nothing changes and if it does it is a very slow painful process….because all our passion gets sucked out and replaced by not apathy but sheer exhaustion. Or we feel liuke we did something by liking something on Facebook or blogging about it or signing a dumb ass petition on change dot org….
You can’t fix ______________ so you just try to negate the damage.
It’s sad, but it is what it is.
I read this today and thought it was a nice look into the lives of the people some of you are blaming and bitching about.
And just for fun, here is my favorite explanation of white privilege for you white boys who don’t believe in it.
I hope Daniel reads this.
123 Main St.
Somewhere, WA 12345
September 18, 2013
It has come to my attention that while I have jumped through all of your stupid damn hoops from birth through today, apparently I am still missing something… I understand adversity develops character; yet it also breeds contempt. I’ve done all the things I am “supposed” to do (married baby daddy, divorced baby daddy when he done me wrong, went to school, went back to school, got a stupid masters degree, I don’t beat my children, I’m kind and generous, stay conscientious of being positive and helping others, and so on and so on) and I still find I am constantly freaking struggling. Could you maybe back the f**k off for a second?
Now don’t get me wrong, while I am incredibly grateful for the things I have going RIGHT in my world, ie: my love, my kids, my health, my friends, my first world problems, etc.; I do not find it incredibly selfish of me to simply want enough money to make it less hard. I do not like worrying about whether I can pay for my child’s instrument rental or their school supplies or whether I will be able to wash my clothes without having to go to a laundry mat in the event that my W/D break because my landlord is raising my rent yet not continuing to provide maintenance on the appliances. I do not want to worry about if I am going to get child support to pay my car payment so I can go to said laundry mat or my invisible job or my child’s cross country meets.
Can’t I just have a break? One whole annual quarter where EVERYTHING goes RIGHT? Some breathing room would be nice.
Or maybe just a heads up or a clue to what it is I am supposed to be learning that I apparently keep missing?
Grateful, yet over it.