Thursday, September 01, 2005

This Is Kind of Disturbing...

[NOTE: if you have already read this post previously to this "note" being here, the author would appreciate you visiting the comments section of the post and seeing the clarifications that the auther has provided there. Thank you!]

Foreshadowing? Let's hope not...

Okay, this morning on my 30 minute drive to Fort Worth at 7 AM I found myself reflecting on a client interaction from the day before that I had done a lot of reflecting on yesterday as well. But it was this morning that the pieces of the puzzle kind of went together. I had known there was SOMETHING about our interaction from the day before that had me trying to figure out what seemed so familiar or something about it. So this morning it hit me! Even with it being so freakin' early...HA!

However, I have to stop at this point and give two "read at your own risks beyond this point" messages. The risks you take by reading beyond this point are:
1) if you haven't seen the movie Patch Adams, and you don't want the movie ruined for you, don't read further, and...
2) if morbidity (sp?) talk disturbs you, you might not want to read on either...


Okay, so the light-bulb above my head came on this morning and I was like, "I GOT IT!" I knew what my interaction with that client on Wed. reminded me of! Okay, you know in the movie Patch Adams the patient that ends up killing Patch's girlfriend? HIM! And in all honesty, it freaked the crap out of me driving to the internship this morning thinking about it. Yes, I know at this point you are thinking, whatever, but honestly, you know the body mannerisms of that man in the movie and his behaviors and totally how he responded to Patch and his woman (who's name has left me...i'm SOOO out of it right now....HA!) whenever the would talk to him and ask him things....that was SOOOO my client! He gave me looks like the way that patient in the movie would look at them, and he would act all nice and like he had it all together, and it seems to really like me (not like in a romantic sense, but in a he thinks we are good buds sense) and after I did a 1.5 hour assessment with him when we were parting he so wanted to hug me. But I was able to get out of that...HA! ;)

A part of me is now worried about my next interactions with him (luckily I wasn't at the shelter today where I see him, nor will i be there tomorrow). I guess if I end up at the shelter some day and he is playing a piano that randomly appears there and he takes my coat and asks me to come in, I'll freak out!

So, this is going to come out really weird sounding, and many of you might be like, she is hoenstly one of the strangest people I know, but I have been wanting to put this in my blog the last few days and have't done it, but here goes...

I have had this weird feeling for probably the past week that I could literally get killed this semester. Like I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I was to get killed this semester while interning at the shelters. HA! Well i suppose it isn't funny, but the thought has run through my mind a lot lately. Not to mention how an article i had to read for my field class I had tonight talked about safety in social work settings and mentioned how working in a homeless shelter is one of the most dangerous settings. No lie, my friends!

And you want to know probably the sickest part of this all...LOL...the fact that I wanted to put this in my blog so if I DID end up dead, y'all could be like, "she was right! Her intuition was right!" I have this thing about loving to be right and I think it would be so cool if I ended up calling it. I suppose you shouldn't say that about death, but you know what i mean! HA!

So on a brighter note, I started out this internship scared to death about this situation and my concerns with my size and my placement population, but after this week I can honestly say I'm feeling a lot better about things, I suppose you could say I'm feeling only scared to retirement now! ;)


julesforstenholm said...

Well, Kim, I don't know exactly how to respond to what you've been experiencing the past few days. It's not something I've been through, but it sounds like it can be a little stressful!(understatement)

Anyway, I just want you to know that I hope you don't get killed doing your job, or at anytime for that matter! You've taken on a great responsibility by choosing to work for people. It takes a huge heart and a lot of strength to deal with the craziness that we sometimes go through as humans! And, I'm glad that you've taken it on!

While the job may be scary, tiresome, and you may even feel at times as though you're not getting through to people, just keep in mind that you are making a difference. One day at a time. One person at a time. Social work is a noble profession that often goes unnoticed, much like teaching.

Just know that there are people out here who appreciate what you are doing and who genuinely hope that nothing bad happens to you as you are serving others! Keep your head up and your smile on!

Holly said...

I wasn't sure I could handle the "morbidity" at first. ;) LOL... sorry but I just had to laugh when you provided us the scenario of you coming in, the client playing the random piano, and takes your coat, etc. (aww... sad day).

FeedingYourMind said...

Okay...I think one shouldn't think about things like I blogged about in this right before going to bed because I sure did dream about interactions with my clients all night...HA! Nothing bad happened, but still, I can remember having more entertaining as well as fun dreams that those...HA!

Plus, I woke up this morning with this weird feeling that I should delete this post because it could be taken wrongly, but I think I'm going to go ahead and leave it up and instead of deleting it just clarify it, and if I still feel like it could be misinterpreted later, I'll maybe remove it (so read it before it goes if you want to get to read it...HA HA! jk, of course!)

I was thinking when I woke up, honestly I think it was while I was in the process of waking up, maybe while coming out of my last stage of sleep (i don't know, HA!), but I was like, "oh gosh, what if someone misinterprets this for me seeming suicidal: talking about not being surprised if i end up dead. Sooo I need to clarify that. I AM NOT SUICIDAL, FOLKS! Seriously.

After reevaluting this topic, in my sleep (don't make fun...HA!) I think what I meant by the "I could see myself ending up being killed" is myself becoming more desensitized and accepting of my internship setting. It's kinda like the idea of a small kid watching gory movies all the time--the child becomes calested (sp?) and desensitized. It is like I've been down there more and more and I'm becoming more and more like the homeless themselves and accepting the reality of that lifestyle. The reality of the fact that it is dangerous. Violence is a presence in this populations daily life on many occasions. It isn't that they are always involved with the violence themselves, but just witnessing it on the streets or in the shelters on a daily basis is of no surprise to them.

So, having said this, I suppose I'm getting more accustom to my population. I suppose it is me relating to my population, instead of going down there and being like, "OH MY GOSH, this is CRAZY! This violence is unbelievable! I can't deal with this...blah blah blah." A clinician can't relate or even help a client in my opinion if they can't feel like they are on their level. If they get too wrapped up in an issue, like violence, and let that distract them from keeping the focus on the client.


When I say I wouldn't be surprised to see myself end up dead (as I think most of the individuals in my population almost HAVE to come to that sense in order to be able to live day to day in their current setting), I want you to see that with the stress being on not being "surprised" versus ending up "dead." See it as opposed to me being like, "OH MY GOSH I MIGHT DIE!"

Does this make ANY sense? HA!

FeedingYourMind said...

I almost forgot to clarify about the interactions with the specific client.

I think in that case I mean for it to be viewed as a warning I'm taking for myself basically in the opposite view of my feelings about the "death" issue.

Instead of becoming more calm with my emotions and more accepting in a sense with the lifestyle there, with this client situation I think I take this new reflection of him as the patient from Patch Adams as a reminder NOT to let down my guard and become to familiar in a sense with this individual. It's almost like since I had been interacting with him probably the most of all my clients, and he seems to be taking a liking to interacting with me, I can't let this get to me in the sense that I allow myself to become to comfortable with our interactions in the sense that I make the mistake of not being aware of potential dangers at all time, even with him. You can NEVER be completely comfortable with a client to the sense that you can't expect the unexpected, ESPECIALLY with a set of clientele that are considered a high risk for dangerous behaviors.

It once again goes back to Patch Adams where the young lady took the patient for granted as a kind individual (which was how he had always appeared to her in the past), and she didn't take into account the dangerous tendencies that that individual could be capable of when she took it upon herself to go "visit with him" at his house.

It's always better to just expect the unexpected and for it not to happen (kinda along the lines of expecting that I could die in this placement, and then ending up getting out of it without a scratch), rather than not acknowleding the unexpected and having it happened (then you'll be less prepared).

Does THIS make sense?

Ellison said...

It makes sense to me. I see where you're coming from. I do want you to be careful and to keep your guard up. I don't want anything to happen to you, pal.

I can't think of anyone better to be working in the shelters with homeless people right now. I know you're doing an amazing job. Keep it up, Kim.

Holly said...

I second the words of Miss Ellison.