Rush

I’m feeling the rush of the season, but I haven’t bothered to set up my tiny fake tree or the Nativity scene yet. There’s a push to meet productivity numbers, always, but more so during the holidays. Every week I aim to bill the state 26 hours regardless of my case load which can be as light as 10 or as high as 21. As an employee, I rely on my supervisor to keep my case load up; she’s to “court” the referral sources. This year with Christmas and New Year’s being on Thursfay, I’m working most of next week. It’ll be the first time in 4 years that I haven’t taken a day off for the winter holidays.

Yet I’m dragging. I’m chilling (literally) on a client’s front stoop, waiting for him/her to arrive. The appointment was at 4pm, it’s now 4:13pm. I need to get this case cleared up, too many loose ends, too many missed appointments. I’m the one waiting on them; I thought they needed therapy. I know one of the reasons our low SES clients are our clients is because they have difficulty functioning in society; their dis-ease impairs their ability to take perspective, to empathize, to realize others effort and know the way to respond to it.  Everyone else has made them wait hours for medical visits, weeks for funds/checks, and years for the American dream.

That said, it’s hard to wake up in the mornings because it’s a damp cold, and the last 4.5 months on a starvation budget have hit their mark. Thankfully, I received a 10% raise, considering the fact I was already functioning 6% below COLA, it’s the extra 4% which makes the difference. I continue to look for work at other agencies though.

I need to hit the hay. I have a client at school at 8am, another at 11am, 1pm and ~4pm. I suppose it sounds nice, but each client is accompanied with at least 30 minutes of street traffic, dealing with school personnel, looking for kids who are tardy/truant/absent. At least tomorrow is Friday. My plans for Saturday: sleep. Because I’m dragging. I want to put things on pause, slow things down a bit.

<rant>I saw a meme on Fb this morning that showed some people guffawing at the idea of single people being tired, compared to people with kids. You could say I don’t have kids. But I work with your kids when your family system has messed them up, when society has messed them up. You might deal with the bedwetting, but I’m the one who listens to the incest, rape, abuse, bullying, loneliness, panic attacks, flashbacks, the bingeing and purging. </rant>

Flickering shadows

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Some weeks I drag my feet toward my late afternoon/early evening clients for several reasons (i.e. diagnosis, family negating course of treatment, complexity), and yesterday I was actually looking forward to my afternoon cases for these same reasons. I can understand trauma, depression and anxiety. I’ve got cool things to do with kids in session to help them express fears and emotions; provide information that they aren’t alone. Something sticks with each session and they slowly grow, slowly improve.

I entered a school campus today, signed in at the front desk, and the principal addressed me about “our little friend” who has gotten into trouble yet again (at least 3x/week) for disrupting other classes by playing “ding-dong ditch”. If this little guy isn’t pranking, he’s tripping, pushing, or shoving others; he’s got some fire-setting incidents under his belt, too; violating physical boundaries (examples omitted) of classmates, legal guardians, and family members. This morning was the whipped cream and cherry. It was only 10:20am.

Let’s back up to yesterday (Monday) afternoon I listen as the child’s legal guardians recount how the kid grabbed one of them by their wrists and shoved into him/her; tore at his/her clothes. All because they were out in the community and the child would have to wait until they returned home to have access to a new toy. He would have to wait at least 30 minutes, and that is what makes him angry, and dangerous.

Thank goodness we have upcoming auxiliary services being implemented because impulsivity on this level makes for more shadows and worry than I’d like. And the sprinkles on top of it all was a comment from a higher-up in management told me to consider why the child does this, when I need to address the emergent issues of caregiver safety.