Saturday, February 1, 2014

What a difference respect gives us.

In my life, I never imagined that I would be working (well...interning) at a hospital, in a mental-illness, chemical dependency, LOCKED unit. I never thought I'd have a hospital badge clipped onto my shirt that makes the door open on that locked unit. It also let's me out. 

What I have learned since January 13th of this year, has blown my mind. Remember recently I wrote about trying not to be angry at men?  And how angry I sometimes felt about the abusers?  And how I want to teach my boys different?  Well, my perspective still holds to what I will teach my kids. But I'm working with men now, something I didn't think I EVER wanted to do. 

When I started school they would always ask us, "what population do you want to work with?"  My answer was ALWAYS "in a residential woman's treatment facility."  

Well my eyes are opening to a whole new world. And I LOVE it. Not so much the people's situation, but what I have learned about myself in this short time.  I can look at someone who in society's eyes, and my own eyes, have done some pretty violent, scary stuff, and still deal with what is in front of us at the moment.  Not what they did, or where they came from, but what we have now.  And that is addiction.  That is my part.  

Maybe they are court ordered to be there, or nodding off from some kind of drug maintenance or taper, but I see them. And although, I'm not sure it's going to be this time for them, it might be. And I'm able to have compassion and root for people who have not only been abused, but are abusers. 

There are many mental health professionals on this unit to help with this process, and they have their part, and I have mine.  It is like a one great big team where everyone is concerned for the patients. I have only seen respect from staff to patients.  Never shaming or criticizing.  No matter what.  They just don't do that at this facility.  It is absolutely patient centered.  Humans deserve that. 

It isn't just the patients that I'm enjoying working with. The staff at this place rules. My supervising counselor is the BEST.  Look what she did when I had my uterus scalded on the inside.  Which, but the way, STILL HURTS.  

I only knew her THREE DAYS at this point and she had this waiting for me when I came back. Every day when we part, she thanks me for my help. Every single day. I feel so appreciated there. And I am learning so much from her and all of the staff.  

I'm a lot to handle.  I have trouble shutting my mouth and still struggle with professional boundaries.  But it is okay here, because they are forgiving, and they are helping me see where the lines are.  Have I crossed them?  Um…it's me we are talking about here.  But I'm getting it.  And we do have a lot of laughs.  Mostly appropriate. Hospitals are a FUN place to work.

It feels great to be in a place that not only respects me, but shows respect for all people who get walked through those locked doors. Because everyone deserves to feel that way.  It has done a ton for my confidence to be able to work in this field.  Because I was beginning to doubt myself.  I won't do that anymore.   

Also, watch this from Jane Fonda.  I think she says it so well.  

I think I have 150-200 pages or something to write this semester. Don't even get me started on how hard this is going to be for me.  I most certainly can't sit here and blog much. But I will when I can.  

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