Monday, April 23, 2007

The heart of the matter

OK, so I am going about my day on Tuesday and then I get a call from my dad saying that my mother was going to have open heart surgery the next day. They'd attempted to do an angioplasty and that did not work. Needless to say I freaked out and then immediately left to go home and get ready to pack to go up there.

See, here's this thing, I have a VERY tumultuous relationship with my mother. She was terribly abusive both physically and emotionally, and I could never do anything right in her eyes. I spent a lot of time in my life wondering what life would be like if she were dead and how much I would never miss her if she died. Well, I did not expect the reaction I had when I got this call.

DP and I managed to get to the hospital that night and my brother and his wife were there. Prior to leaving I had phoned my therapist and she called me back. We had a long conversation about how I was feeling and what I might need to say in preparation . . .the time never seemed right to tell mom what I thought and felt that night, but before I left I made her look me in the eyes and hear me say I loved her--despite how much she always said I hated her.

Dad and I were to be there in the morning before she went in, and right as we were to leave for the hospital, we received a call from mom saying they were taking her in early. We said "WAIT" we are coming. I drove about 70 the whole way there, and my dad didn't say a word. Normally he is the king of backseat driving/commenting.

We got there and she looked scared. They had already started hooking her up to all sorts of tubes and things, and shortly after we got there they asked us to leave so they could put a central line in her neck. By this time my brother came and we all sat with mom. She asked us to hold her hands and she began to softly cry. We said our goodbyes and went to the waiting area they directed us to. They said it would be about a 3 hour surgery from start to finish.

We went to grab a bite to eat, but the three of us really just pushed the food around. We went back up to the waiting area and waited. There was a loud woman in the waiting area who felt the need to scream her life to everyone who would listen. She had one of those voices that just grates on your nerves. The silent looks between my brother, father, and I were priceless. After 4.5 hours, we still hadn't heard anything and I was recalling every scene from Grey's Anatomy and ER where they come to tell you the bad news. Surely this was not good if 5 hours later they still were not done.

Finally we receive a call in the waiting area that they had been looking for us for a long time in another waiting area. The doctor had come out at 11 to see us, but we weren't there so he left. So while we were waiting in the wrong area, mom was waking up in the intensive care unit. When we got up there, she had a nurse all to herself for the first 24 hours, and she was amazing. She answered the billion questions that I had, and was really good with my dad who was having a hard time with all of this.

She did great the doctor said, and she was a model patient. Though we were worried about how she would fare, as she is only starting out at about 60% as she has diabetes and is in poor physical condition. We stayed there Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. Thursday was a very rough day, but I suspect it was also the worst day she had in the hospital as well, so I am trying not to personalize the words she said. I told her I was just worried, and she told me I was upsetting her. We went back to work Friday just to get what we could done, and then headed back up on Saturday.

Dad called Saturday and said she was coming home. I was very excited for her, but also very worried about how she would do, and how my father would deal with having her home. He is not in the best shape either, and my brother just had surgery the week before.

We got her home and set up and I don't know what kicked in, but I began to care for my mother. I got her the things she needed, I changed her dressings, and I showered her--all with next to no complaining or whining. I never thought these would be things I would do for my mother-you know, the one I hated. I don't really know what to think or feel about that, or if there even IS anything to think or feel. She said to me that she needed to rethink her idea that I would ever take good care of her if she needed, and she was very grateful for my help.

I still have a million thoughts swimming around in my head, and I haven't really spent time trying to sort them out. I am thankful that she is still alive--I was not ready to be a motherless daughter, even if the mother was like mine.

I am exhausted, and feel as if I need a weekend now. DP asked me what we were doing this weekend, and I said "Nothing". I really hope this is the case, since it has been a month or so since we have had time to just be.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Swimming to the interview

How about this weather? We woke up this morning and there was snow on the ground and the rain and wind were ferocious. Imagine that it is April 16 and it is freezing and stuff outside. I heard on the news that there is a ton of snow in other parts, so I will take the rain and wind.

What DID suck was knowing I had to go for my interview today and I don't have any nice rain gear, and there's no place near the buidling to park. I was worried I would look like a drowned rat.

I got there in plenty of time, and turns out there was a parking lot right next door that I found.

The interview went well--I think. I met with the site director and the current social worker. They gave me a tour, and I met with some of the children. The majority of the children were African American, and the staff was as well. It was GREAT to see some diversity . . .I forget how much I mind being surrounded by only white people until I am around more diverse folks.

The place itself is an old building, and due to space concerns they will probably be moving before next school year. I put together a portfolio of some of the projects I have done and some of the PowerPoint presentations I have done for various groups. The supervisor said she very much liked them.

I guess they will be interviewing a few more people, and they mentioned that they would like to have the decision made by the beginning of May.

When they asked how much time I needed to give, I said 2 weeks, No more, no less. I feel bad about that in regards to a few of my co-workers, but I am secretly kind of hoping the agency gets screwed a bit. I know that is mean, and I am generally not mean . . .but oh well. I don't feel the need to be excessive in my kindness . . it has not gotten me anything but more work thus far.

I will keep you posted. Oh, and the stern talking to went fine, uncomfortable to say the least, but fine none the less.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Guess what??

I called the place that contacted me about a position and it sounds AWESOME!! I set up an interview for Monday, so I will be *cough cough* sick!!

The position is for a social worker for an early intervention autism program that has 4 autistic support classrooms, and basically I would be the social worker for those classrooms. I would get to work closely with the kids, teacher, and families. It sounds ideal. The day is 8-3:15, with a once or possibly twice a month evening meeting with families.

The only drawback are that I would have to travel further than I would like--though I could take public trans, and that was sorta fun when I did it last year--nice to veg out while listening to music or reading the paper.

There is also a city wage tax, which is somewhat steep. And the salary that the current social worker has is much less than what I could accept, and I am also licensed--so hopefully the pay would be adjusted accordingly.

The woman who passed along my information is meeting with the head honcho lady on Monday right before I do, so she is going to take my resume and tell her how wonderful I am **big cheesy grin**.

I am excited. Talking to my therapist today, she said my current work situations sounds much like a very dysfunctional family, and while I have much experience with that, I choose not to live like that anymore. Even if this job doesn't pan out, I think I will continue to look.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Surely there's a life lesson here . . .

OK, so I got written up today at work. I have never really been in trouble at work, and I have dealt many-a-disciplinary action on the staff I used to supervise. But when it is you, and you are fairly perfectionistic, getting written up is a huge deal.

I guess the gist of it is that sometimes I say things that I think-- before I think about the fact that I should not really be saying them--does anyone else have this problem??? For instance, we are in a terrible staffing crunch right now, and when my supervisor asked me the other day to find staff for new cases, I said as a matter of factly, "Am I supposed to poop out staff-we have no staff?" OK, so I KNEW as soon as it was exiting my mouth that it was not ok for me to say it. Then, I also have this thing about the secretary nazi we have and how she can get away with being a pure bitch to everyone-even though we are supposed to worry about our image and customer service-well, she is the boss's partner, so when I said to someone "I guess it helps when you are sleeping with the boss" I meant it literally and figuratively-I mean, she IS sleeping with the boss, but I digress.

Last week at the urging of my oh so patient DP, I went in to speak with my supervisor about my frustrations and how I felt like I had been negative lately. We had a nice chat and I gave her ample time to let me know how she felt about my attitude-she said nothing about my attitude, she thanked me and told me in several emails afterwards how wonderful I was. OHHH, and I forgot, this all started because in a staff meeting last week I saw in her To Do list (which was wide open in front of everyone to see) that she needed to write me up for the pooping comment . . .we thought we would head it off . . .

I get the write up and basically I got reamed on my attitude, the things that come out of my mouth, and the fact that I made one auditing mistake. Far be it from me to make one mistake-oh well.

I am trying to find the life lesson in here. Interestingly enough, I cried afterwards and I vowed not to ever talk to anyone at the office again, and I used two hours of my flex time and left early. I was angry, but I was fairly calm. I went to the gym, skipped my bible study, and watched a documentary on the crap ass war going on in Iraq.

This is disturbing on a few levels-1-where was the typically freak out that I am used to having when something goes wrong? The brooding about how awful the world is and how much I suck. 2-I feel suspiciously calm about the whole thing now that it is over.

I guess I am seeing the results of stopping and acknowledging that I have done something that needed to be reprimanded. I think it could have been gone about a different way, but I owned it, and in some respect that has helped to see it for what it is worth. A life lesson. It doesn't need to be a crisis, it doesn't need to catapult me into some crazy depression and pity party. While it doesn't feel good, and I wished it didn't happen, I am grateful for the opportunity to see how much I have grown.

The kicker- I get home and there is a message for me from an agency that is asking me to come interview for a position-my name had been given to them by someone I worked with last year. I called her back for more info. Then, I talk with someone else today about a possible idea.

I am not stuck unless I choose to be, and right now I choose not to be. I will take all that I can from this job and I will move on when the time is right--and it will be ok.