Sunday, February 15, 2009

The latest in tangential venting

I’m no apprentice of Jungian Dream Analysis, but I like to think as a social worker and reasonably insightful human being that I can interpret the basic gist of my dreams. Lately they have been more frequent, vivid, and disturbing. Perhaps that’s why I am feeling so tired lately. Or perhaps it’s the combination of those dreams with what’s been happening in my waking life.

Things have been stressful in my occupational life and the world of finances. The two things that we have to deal with most often and the two things that most often suck. Fortunately, I have a wonderful home life with a great partner a dog and now cat (who in his first 24 hours in his new home, refuses to come out from hiding). I have a wonderful close network of family and friends to help me feel supported and needed. That’s what I have to keep leaning on lately, to survive those other two whoppers- dealing with the kiddos and dealing with the bills. The bills are what they are. We’ll get through that and we do. I just can’t go out three to four times a week like I used to. Which is for the best, because my brain and liver can’t handle that very well any more either. Plus, being a newly non smoker, I am coming to despise the smell of smoke amidst a crowded bar mostly filled with people searching for what I’ve already got waiting for me at home.

Work, however, is becoming quite the drain. Back to the dreams- last night I had a dream about a little girl I have been working with all school year. She is a fairly disturbed little girl, for lack of a more supportive term. She is perhaps, I think definitely, the most complicated and difficult individual I have ever worked with or encountered. She is 7. This little girl will send chills to your core with her screams when she has been pushed to that point (which takes very litte). Last night I dreamt I was trying to get her to a safe place, but she kept eluding me. I was struggling to find her in a crowded school. Then she was on a street and I couldn’t get her into the car I was in; then the car drove away from her.

I dream about my work multiple times a week. Does it mean I am commited to the job I am doing, or am I on a path to being committed (in an institution)? I work in a public school, but over the past year it has begun to feel more like an intensive residential psychiatric unit. I have a hard time actually seeing kids for therapy, what I am meant to do, because I am constantly putting out fires or babysitting kids that have been kicked out of their class. There are other components to the consistent crises in the environment. We are approaching spring. . . Spring Break, then summer. This is the time when teachers start to stress. To add to their stress, many of them are wondering if they will have a stable job next year. Our school is closing at the end of this year due to ever increasing community changes and budget cuts.

I keep telling myself that I will just make it through the end of the year. That next year will be better. I will be at a new school with air conditioning and no mice crawling on my desk! I already work at that school one day a week and know there are some good teachers there. But, there are the what if changes. What if there is a new principal and I have some of the issues I have had this year or worse? What if the Medicaid changes looming restrict me to just doing therapy and not being able to be in the class with kids, engage and work with teachers, etc. I am not an outpatient therapist. Never have been, never will be. I have learned some skills and lessons in the last two years of my current job and for many reasons I am not ready to leave it any time soon. But perhaps I should consider it for my sanity. Perhaps I should get back to studying the LCSW exam so I can pass and move on to a higher level and/or better job (with better pay) . . . .

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