infants waiting in the queue
sucking me dry
I called in sick today, on this 17th day of January 2019. Every joint screamed with pain. As I tried to get back to sleep, I said to myself for the first time in 18 and a half years, “I hate my job!” Just saying it to myself was a shock! You see I am the type of person that talks out loud in my mind. When I read, I talk out loud in my mind. That’s why it takes me forever to read but I read a lot so I guess I have gotten over this attribute about me.
Two weeks ago, I had difficult calls during the week of New Year’s two days in a row. Yep, call after call after call after Live Chat I heard about child physical abuse, child sexual abuse, child neglect and suicide, suicide and more suicide. That last Monday was so heavy that on the following Thursday, I did not feel the energy to go to work without throwing up. Yep, all the shit was stuck in my throat and I was afraid to open my mouth.
This past Sunday and Monday were a bit better since it was not the holiday season anymore but still. Last Monday, I ended my shift with a long 2 hour suicide call which was the third suicide call of the shift. I tried to nonchalantly chat but not requesting to debrief. I had my coat and boots on and just skimmed through parts of that call because I was also pleased that I gave something to this caller…hope. Although chatting about it nonchalantly, as if this was just sharing, I know now, was wrong. I should have debriefed privately to help me process how I felt before leaving home for two days off. Two days of allowing the suffering to fester inside of me.
I wished I had benefits to process this therapeutically with a professional but anyone over 65 is cut off from this support. Another bad employer policy…not supporting the hand that feeds the service.
This morning I woke up several times snoozing my alarm over and over and over until I finally decided that was it today! After I said those words in my head…um, I can’t repeat it here again but you just have to scroll up to the first paragraph…I felt so many emotions. I was sad, angry, frustrated, shocked and really did not want to feel anything. I wanted to roll over and get back to sleep. I got up to let my black cat, Kali, out of her room (my guest room) and made myself a cup of earl grey and came back to bed. I tried to watch a sitcom “Grace Under Fire” but my mind was still spinning. Kali jumped into bed with me and curled up in the curve of my arm and purred so loud, it finally put me to sleep.
When I woke up, Bette, my older friend, a Siberian Mix feline, was sleeping next to me. She never cuddles though. She has issues of space, contact and feeling trapped. I really enjoy her company, nonetheless as she has improved over the years and frankly, if you see her, you would have to admit, she looks like a queen. She is that beautiful!
I felt this way last year too and it was because I was refused time off to rest emotionally from my too demanding job. I had tried to avoid this from happening again this year. I had taken 10 days off in February last year and that helped my mind and soul but my body took months and months to catch up. I planned a summer of lots of time off and saved a week to take during Christmas week.
Unfortunately, the people who count our allowable time off made a huge mistake by 10 days! Yep, so by mid-summer, I was told that I could take 5 of the days I had reserved without pay in August and that was that. I knew December would be a problem. In the past 10 years, I rarely worked during the holidays because I needed to recuperate from demands of my type of work and wanted to see family and friends. In the past three years, however, I no longer even see anyone…I am that drained. I see family Christmas Day and then hibernate in my home, sleeping, writing, reading and vegging on Netflix.
I had reserved 10 days off in February this year, again but without the Christmas break time off, I did not know how much I would be able to endure before cracking. So many of my peers were taking time off, and too many had already quit. That revolving door would NOT stop spinning and as much as I try to give hope and a positive attitude at work, I could feel something I have treasured for decades was sinking into an abyss deep inside the confines of my soul. Nothing shows on the outside. I think that I still look more or less like passionate for the cause, lady, but I am struggling to keep this up.
I have never taken a job JUST for the salary. I know, I know, that may sound unbelievable but for me, it is the position and work environment that has always drawn me. I have left better paying positions to move onto positions where I could grow ; it is sort of like going to school and getting paid. I remember leaving the corporate world to stay home for a few years and type court recordings until my kids went to school.
Going back to college and taking a job as personal support worker; working in the helping field is so fulfilling. Leaving a high paying sales position to finally work full-time as a youth counsellor. Passions filled are bonuses that feed the heart and ensures employee retention. Granted we have gone through many changes and the goals have not changed but the means have. I have always felt when a workplace no longer meets the needs of an employee, it is time to seriously think of moving on. For now the service is still my passion but how long will I be able to swim without a floater?
Today, I admitted something quite frightening and I hope it is JUST the emotional fatigue talking and not a sad reality.
infants waiting in the queue
sucking me dry
© Tournesol ‘19-01-17
Daily Moments – lucid dreams haibun