After months of being out of work for my mental health, I’m going back to work. Back to a position that I have strong feelings for, both positive and negative.
I’ve been a CNA since 2012. It’s something that I actually enjoy. It’s hard work, but it has its perks. You get to know people, really know people. The elderly have stories from eras that we only read about in books now, but they lived it. The veterans have their war stories, the little ladies still have their secrets. And they all still have their routines.
Ladies still go to the beauty shop to get their hair done in tight perms, men still drink their coffee while talking to other men about the weather or sports. They still sit down and eat dinner together. They play dominoes and bingo.
Being a CNA is hard, because it’s manual labor. It’s long hours on your feet. It’s showers and baths, dressing and grooming, feeding too. There’s therapy and rounds. But it’s the emotional part that will kill you.
You get attached to people. Most of the people I was friends with are passed on now, Marti and Dot, to name a couple. We became friends. We shared stories. We held each other’s hands. I was there for them when they were scared, when they cried, when they were angry, when they were sick. I saw their pain. I was there when family didn’t show up. I was there. And now, they’re gone. And you try to reason, “they’re in a better place, they’re in no more pain, it’s better this way,” But it still hurts.
Being a CNA is awesome. And I am truly grateful that I get to be one. I am nervous that I am going back. But it’s nice to be back in the saddle.
I seriously need a career change. Like badly.
I’ve been noticing that the more I’m at work, the more agitated I become with simple tasks, there is a lot of aggression behind my behaviors or movements, and in my job, you just can’t do that. Is that a run on? Oh, well….
I don’t know what I would do. Because I need the money that this job pays. I have no experience in anything else.
If I could get paid for listening to music, or reading, that would be a dream. But, I can’t. Obviously. And obviously, this CNA thing isn’t working. I don’t want to get in trouble, but I can’t deal with people at my job, whether it be something simple or something more involved. It’s just not working for me.
Sometimes, I have visions in my head that include bashing people’s head against the wall. I catch myself grabbing people who grab me. I want to yell at people.
Um…Yea… I can’t have the job anymore.
If I haven’t told you before, I work in a nursing home. I deal with death, dying people, sick people, the crazies, and much more. I also deal with the aggressive, the ones that are very hard to deal with.
Recently, it’s getting harder and harder to deal with the aggressive ones. There is one, in particular, that I can think of right now, that it is becoming progressively harder to deal with.
I don’t deal with aggression well. I didn’t tolerate it at Rock House, and I’ve dealt with it, passively, all my life. I’ve noticed that, in the years passing, I, myself, have become more and more aggressive. Whether it’s defending a passion, or facing adversity and aggressively physical people, I have become more aggressive. My anger blossoms in my chest and the thoughts that pop in my head are sometimes uncontrollable. No amount of breathing and walking away fixes it. And most of the time, my anger is when I’m at work. Understandable, an aggressively stressful environment, it’s understandable that I would be angry. But, when I get angry at home, for no reason, it’s a problem. I digress.
The elderly, there are few types. There are the ones that are sweet, little old men and women. The ones who have basically reverted back into a childlike state, they have some tantrums, but are mostly agreeable and wouldn’t hurt a fly.
There are the ones who think that you are there only to serve them. You are their personal servant or slave. You are only there to serve them and them alone, forget about the other people that are on your hall needing your care. They are better than you. They will tell you exactly how they want things to be done, and don’t you even think about not doing it “correctly”, even if you’ve done it a million times. You are to be there when they get on the light. You are to wait on them as long as it takes and do not rush.
There are racist ones. One that think that people of different colors should NOT be allowed in their room and wonder how they ever even got into the building. Which, honestly, doesn’t make sense. I thought that it did, because that was their era. To be racist. But, really, back in the day, their slaves were colored and took care of everything. What would be the difference? Does that make sense? Like without being racist, because I’m definitely NOT trying to be racist. Honestly, I don’t know what the proper etiquette is for not being racist or saying something inappropriate. And if it helps, I got that from an agency aide, who happens to be black. She didn’t understand why they wouldn’t let her in their room just because of her skin color. I didn’t either. But she brought up the point of slavery and how the “help” raised white folks kids and did laundry and etc. You know? So why wouldn’t they allow her in there to take care of them. It made me really mad, because I don’t believe that you should be racist, period. Secondly, if you can’t take care of yourself, and you have to have someone take care of you, you should probably be thankful that someone is willing to help you. It shouldn’t matter what color their skin is.
Then, there are the stupid ones. The ones who act like they don’t have a lick of sense in their head. You have to do everything for them, even though they are perfectly capable. They are not stupid, they just really act like it.
Finally, there are the really aggressive ones. The ones that I can’t handle. And I applaud anyone who can deal with them with patience and compassion. But when you sit there and take a swing at me, try to kick me, pinch me, slap me, spit at me, or try to bite me when I am trying to help you? HELL NO! I can’t handle it. It happens all the time. I have one resident that is just aggressive and he aims to hurt you. I can’t take it. I am there to help, not to be your punching bag. And with my anxiety, it makes it worse. I start feeling the panic set in. I start trembling and tears well in my eyes. But I have to help them. I can’t just not help. I’m not that kind of person. But when they try to hurt me, I want to bad to hurt them back.
Yes, that is against state law, pretty much everywhere. And it’s against all kinds of ethics, but I’m sure you could understand the impulse to hurt someone who is hurting you. And you can understand the fight or flight system firing when you’re being swung at.
Now, explain this: what if the behavior is not provoked? Like, I have a resident who gets on my nerves, they act stupid and they aren’t. But when they act that way, I want nothing more than to smash their head into the wall. And I feel no guilt about feeling like that. I don’t act on it. But I feel the pull, the rush, the need to do it. But I resist. I’m not about to land my ass in jail. But I want to. And when I feel like that, it takes over an hour to calm down, if I do calm down. I don’t think it’s healthy.
But I need a job, and this one is good. I just need to get my thoughts under control, at least I’m controlling most of my actions.
So, earlier I posted that I would have more information later.
Before I go to work, I get nervous, which usually results in tears and hyperventilation. I have no reason to be upset. Normal people go to work with very little issues before leaving the house. Not me. Oh no. I have to act like its a death sentence. Hell, maybe it is. But it really upsets me that I get this upset. It shouldn’t be this way. I feel…stupid. Hubby goes to work with no problems getting out of bed, getting dressed, and heading out the door. Me? Oh, I drag myself out of bed, drudge through getting dressed, kick and scream and cry heading out the door, cry on the trip to work, and try to hide the tears when I get inside. Now, most of the time, I’m ok when I actually start working. Sometimes, I’m not. Sometimes I cry while I’m working, hiding it from residents and nurses.
I want to be normal. I want to half way like my job so that I don’t cry or have to take a freaking pill just to calm down. I just don’t feel like its fair. And then I feel bad because hubby gets frustrated. He doesn’t understand why I can’t just go to work. Well, I don’t either.
So, while I’m working, I realize that State is conducting their survey. Yay… Just another thing to add to my stress, oh, and they might pop in on our shift! Lovely!!! Work continues and I’m realizing that there are holes in my pants. Really??? Ugh! It’s just not my night.
I’m feeling sad, because its graduation season, and I should be graduating. But I left school to join the workforce and support my family. It’s just a never ending battle with me.
I just want to be happy! Damn it! Why is that so fucking hard to accomplish?
I’m just… I don’t know what to do.