Tag Archives: mom

Dude, I’m not that deaf.

I do have some hearing loss in my left ear (driving for years with your window down (no a/c) and going in excess of the 70mph speed limit’ll do that to you), and for whatever reason I struggle to understand people when they are in front of me, and I often read their lips a lot for cues, but shit people say from my side or behind me? I hear and understand every. single. word.

Thanksgiving was rough this year. I made a truly amazing dinner for my clients at work but primarily with no help, and was on my feet for 10+ hours doing it. I am already stressed out due to various work stressors- a toxic environment from my bosses who expect absolute compliance and give no room for error, fire people in a hot second and then call them idiots when they really just didn’t jive for whatever reason, where I am salaried but have been told that it is expected I work more than 40 hours/week and “that’s why you’re salaried, so you can work extra” which, um, no? Pretty sure that’s actually wage theft, or at the very least, rude. Where my going to HR and bringing up that something was particularly triggering to me during a meeting somehow was turned into a performance review where my job was threatened. Where I’m afraid to say or do anything out of line, and I just hide in my building, and run my program… which is being evaluated by CARF to determine if I will be certified next week. No pressure at all.

I was originally planning to go to my parents’ house after work on Wednesday, but I was so emotionally and physically wiped out I couldn’t even. We were going to do a 5K the next morning, and I had to be up by 6:30 to get there in time. Last year my stepdad bet my mom $50 that I wouldn’t do it, and physical fitness is an obsession in my family, and I have never measured up or been found worthy in that domain. I was so anxious and stressed out I didn’t fall asleep until 4 am, so obviously I slept right through my alarm. I then decided not to go to Thanksgiving either. I was so triggered and anxious, I was a mess. I ended up calling off work FMLA on Friday, and still feel guilty about it.

So this brings us to today- Saturday. My mom started the tradition of going and cutting down our own tree after she remarried, for just us- my brother, sister, mom and I, so every year we go out the weekend after Thanksgiving to cut down a tree. I was feeling up to people by then, so I came out to participate.

I know I can be a know-it-all sometimes, really. And I didn’t hear everything that was said, due to multiple tractors, chainsaws, and various other machines being used to trim, shake, and bundle trees being brought in, but after a random comment about how emu tastes like ham and how I know that (my Renaissance Faire in Ohio, sells “turkey legs” but they’re actually emu) and a mild disagreement that this was actually the case, but I am pretty confident in this fact, as turkey generally does not taste like ham, and turkey legs aren’t that HUGE, and it’s something of an open secret among the Faire folk.

As I was climbing down off the wagon, helping my nephew so he didn’t fall, I heard my mom say “..it’s like the Disney-Pixar thing.” Earlier in the day there had been a conversation in the car about Diney and Disney-Pixar being two separate elements, and their movies are totally different, so I had been clarifying who made “Inside Out,” Pixar or Disney. So I guess someone asked mom about me being, well, me, and needing to be right or clarifying things or whatever, and it was just… said like that. It hurt, but I didn’t say anything, partly because I wasn’t sure who had asked the initial question (pretty sure it was my brother-in-law) and I wasn’t sure what the initial question *was* though there aren’t too many possibilities, given the answer.

I avoided people for two days and texted my sister to see if mom was mad at me, after I was only able to give monosyllabic answers when my sister called to see if I was coming to Thanksgiving. (Pretty sure the entire conversation on my side consisted of five words. “Are you coming?” “No.” “Really?” “Yes.” “Are you okay?” “Not really.” “Okay, well, try to come to cut trees on Saturday, okay?” “Sure.”) I have been very anxious about if people are mad at me, if they are disappointed, walking on eggshells to try to survive, and I finally started to let my guard down again and then… that. A reminder that I can be a know-it-all and we’re just going to whisper it behind her back.

Except I’m not deaf back there.

I’m not sure if feelings were trying to be spared or what, but I was so upset. I wandered off for a while and cried, avoiding people and bonding with a very friendly, very patient draft horse in the petting zoo area of the farm. I just shrugged and pretended it didn’t happen when it was time to go, and tried to go back to normal, but I was right back on those damn eggshells.

Thankfully I have one more day to avoid people. Next week is CARF and I imagine I’ll be a disaster next weekend as well, and then I have to make Christmas happen for my residents and I’m sure I’ll end up doing that all on my own, too. :/

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Exercise, or something like it

I had a moment of great stupidity earlier this weekend. I was signed up to run (*cough*walk*cough*) in the Grand Rapids Color Run with my mom and sister. I was positive it was later this month, so I was planning to get all the gear I needed this weekend- I was going to find a suitable sports bra if it killed me (do I seriously need to wear six of the damn things to keep everything under control? Why don’t they make ’em strong enough to withstand the forces of my mighty breasts?) and some shorts of some kind to wear.

Yeah, no, it was the 1st.

I found this out sometime around midnight on the 31st. So I was vastly unprepared, and my foot isn’t completely healed (I was diagnosed with acute tendonitis in my right foot like, two months ago, and it still isn’t really working right. My doctor just ordered some x-rays to see if maybe there’s a stress fracture going on or something.) I felt really stupid and struggled with that for a bit, but I finally just shrugged it off and went to bed. My mom and sister both told me later that it was a VERY well attended thing, and they were glad I didn’t come because they did not think I would’ve done well with the crowds. I think I’ll stick with smaller 5ks from here on out, like the Turkey Trot we did last Thanksgiving. I’m ok with coming in dead last, but I don’t want to be suffocated by other people in doing so.

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Spoonless

My client is still hanging on, and I don’t know how to feel. I know he is tired and hurting and more or less ready for this to be over. Watching his friends grieve, and knowing how his family is grieving, is hard. So, so hard.

I have been handling work pretty well so far, but this week has been really trying. I manage to keep going at work, but I’m thoroughly out of spoons by the time I get home. I went to bed at 7:30 on Wednesday, and am up quite a bit later tonight if only because my brain wouldn’t stop spinning, but emotionally I was wiped out again. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Overall I think I’m doing ok at work. My coworkers applaud my documentation (but seriously, my documentation has always been exemplary- I am anal retentive about details, and a storyteller by nature, so my notes are usually 3x longer than everyone else’s) and for the most part, everything seems to be going well. I’m still a bit shaky about the other stuff I’m doing, but I think I’m getting a handle on it. I have another round of Activity Driving on Saturday, so that should be interesting. And my first group is tomorrow! I’ve never led a group before. I had to develop all my own curriculum and figure out what I was going to cover, and I brought all of my 2+ years of being an elementary education major to bear to develop what I’m affectionately calling “Being a Grownup 101.” I don’t think I’m going to actually call it that in front of clients, I think my official name is “Independent Living Skills” or something, but it’s definitely Grownup 101. We’ll see how it goes, as the target audience are ALSO the ones who are the closest to the client in the hospital, soooo… Depending on the news, if any, my first group might not go over so well.

I did hit a rocky patch Wednesday night, as I was talking to mom about how my client was doing, and my stepdad stopped me and said, “I had a bad day. I don’t want to hear about your clients.” I simply went upstairs and stayed there, not sure how to feel about it. Mom later came and thanked me for giving my stepdad some “space.” I don’t even know. I haven’t seen him tonight, so at least we didn’t have any interactions today.

I need to sleep. I’m tired, but I’m not sure my brain will shut up. I guess we’ll see.

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Feeling rather numb

I have a client who is anorexic, and actively dying. He was down to about 83 pounds the last time he was weighed, and he is just so sick. Hospice was scheduled to come in Monday to get him in the system and work with him- and us- about how best to handle his impending death, as he refused all treatment for his anorexia. As I was the second shift monitor of the clients in the independent apartments over the weekend, I spent as much time as I could with him, and was constantly checking to make sure he was still breathing when he went to sleep. He was simply a walking skeleton, and watching him move around made my heart ache in so many ways.

As my weekend is on Mondays and Tuesdays, I was at home on Tuesday when I checked my gmail and saw that something had happened, though I wasn’t positive what. A few frantic texts to coworkers let me know that he was in the hospital, and medical intervention was the only reason he was still alive.

We’re having an all-campus grief counseling session at 11:00 Wednesday.

I feel numb, and very much in need of a crying jag. I was trying to talk to my mom about it, but my stepdad interjected with a “I had a bad day. I don’t want to hear about your clients.” So I shut up and went to my room to cope with my emotions as best I could.

We’ll see how well I manage to hold it together tomorrow. I’m not confident that I’m going to be able to, but I’m going to try.

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Whew.

So, my first week of having two part-time jobs is complete. I ended up with a smidgeon over 27 hours at Wendy’s, and 16 hours at my new agency, so we’ll see if I can keep up with a schedule that has one day off a week. I went seven days without a day off last week, and I did not want to do ANYTHING that day, despite needing to actually do a couple things. It looks like my manager at Wendy’s has settled on just giving me Tuesday every week, as she’s added OFF to that cell of the spreadsheet she uses for scheduling, and I didn’t specifically ask for it off. It’ll be nice to have a day to get myself ready and switch into case manager mode. It’ll also be nice to have a day off on a day of the week I can sleep in without getting ranted at by a parental unit. Of course, my manager and I had discussed me working the weekends, as she felt that it would make my life easier if I wasn’t there when my parents are. Oddly enough, when I sat down and figured out my budget with my mom, she assumed I’d be working the weekends, too. And Fridays, Fridays I definitely need to be there, and all day if possible. It’s our busiest day of the week. I will only be working Friday afternoon this week, though, as I have a staff meeting at my agency that day. I’m completely okay with not working a Friday lunch rush once a month, that’s for sure.

I’m still plotting ways to make myself so useful at my agency that they will want to make me a full-time employee. I’m also having to remind myself almost constantly while I’m there, that they don’t know me, and I need to not say or do anything stupid that might lead them to believe I’m not the best person for the job, or that I am a bit overzealous. I want to be the very image of professionalism and competency. I think I need a sign or motivational poster that reminds me to keep my big yap shut…

I still am having trouble believing I got a job. Being there for two days didn’t really cement it, either; I then turned around and went to Wendy’s after two days, and it felt like a dream all over again. Hopefully with repetition will come the belief that yes, I am actually employed there. I just have to not blow it, and things will be good.

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What a difference a week makes

This time last week, I was falling apart. I was at my wit’s end, and desperate for a job, anything, even part-time, that paid better so I can finally begin the process of escape. Last Monday I saw an email from one of my many, many job recommendation programs, for a case management position nearby at a substance abuse residential program, and they did not require a license or master’s degree. I applied for it, hopeful.

Tuesday, I got a call inviting me in for an interview on Thursday. I didn’t work until 3:20 so we scheduled an interview at 11:30. I met with the woman who’d called me, the other case manager, and another woman whose job eludes me. We had an amazing conversation and it was the best interview I’ve ever had.

Friday morning, my phone rang at 9:30. I was getting ready for work, so I wasn’t able to answer it, but I called right back as soon as I was on my way to work. It was the woman who’d scheduled the interview with me, wanting to discuss the job. I had to leave a message and said I’d call back on my break, which is usually around 2:00. I called as soon as I got on break, and was offered the job. She told me that she was sad that it was only part time, but given my extensive experience with all kinds of things, especially the CARF certification process and chart auditing, she was definitely looking for some help in that department, and they’d been discussing other things I could do to make it full-time for me. It might not all be at the amazeballs $15.68 pay rate, but it’d be full time and I could escape Wendy’s. She said she’d called my manager from my first case management job, and the former coworker I’d trained there, who then got me the job at the second agency, and she said both had given me glowing reviews. But she’d called them AFTER she called me initially to offer me the job, so she had already made her decision before the good reviews cemented it.

I was very nearly in tears, and jumping around for joy. I called both of my references and thanked them for giving me good recommendations, as well as my mom, who was with my sister. Both were at the hotel they were staying at (they were on the other side of the state, as my sister is looking to move there, and so they were checking out apartments, after she had an interview on Friday for a job there.) Both were evidently jumping on the bed, and I was on speaker phone, so I have no idea how much any of us understood of the conversation, other than being giddy with joy.

To think, a week ago I wanted to give up, and now I got my birthday wish in the eleventh hour- a professional job.

Best. Birthday present. EVER.

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When running jokes become reality

So this coming Saturday is my birthday. Most of the managers will get cupcakes or cake for people on their birthday, so I was joking with the general manager about whether or not I was more likely to get cake at home or at work on Saturday. The manager who never does stuff like that was running the shift on my birthday, so I asked for it off, figuring maybe my family will do something for my birthday.

So then I had a conversation with mom, and she told me that she’s going to my nephew’s eye appointment Friday morning, and then meeting my sister across the state as my sister has a job interview over there, and they were going to check out some places that my sister and her husband might rent, etc, in the event that she moves there. Mom said she’ll be staying there overnight and she should be home Saturday night.

I started crying. I’d already made the request and the schedule had been done, and I work all day on Friday and Sunday, so trading someone would be very difficult. I couldn’t even believe it. The joke about me not getting anything at home either was coming true.

The conversation led to my job search and frustration with that, and frustration with how my stepdad is treating me. We had this conversation two days in a row, actually, as I was so depressed after the first rendition that I spent the day hiding in my room. The second version of the conversation was really, really bad.

Basically, my parents are tired of constantly having to help someone out. Mom’s taking care of her parents, and my brother and I, and my nephew, and things are stressful with my stepdad. My brother and I don’t pay rent or buy food, and we don’t do enough around the house, and what we do isn’t good enough most of the time, and my parents see me as fat, lazy, and selfish. Mom brought up how she doesn’t feel I’m healthy and she doesn’t agree with my health beliefs (health at every size) because clearly being fat isn’t fixing anything for me (?) and I need to try something different. I need to find a job, and I’m never doing enough to get it, there is always something to criticize, and when I pointed that out I was told that I need to stop with the “poor me bullshit” and get out there and find something. It was suggested that I sell my car (I have five months left) so I can get an apartment and move out. I just wish I understood why my stepdad hates me so much.

I’m genuinely afraid I’m going to be kicked out. I have no idea what to do. I’ll be calling on a job lead Monday morning, as well as calling about the job interview, as I haven’t heard anything yet and I really, really want to do SOMETHING. I’m looking in Cincinnati again, and Columbus, and contemplating just responding to the next ad for a trucker that offers CDL training. That seems to be the only thing available up here, and I’m quickly running out of time. I have been here nine months and I feel like I wore out my welcome about nine months ago.

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