Sep 26, 2010

more on life (moron life?)

So how intelligent was I in taking this job? I have been struggling with that since I started here. This is the first job I've had that hasn't really gotten better for me with experience. It's become more scary and difficult as I've become more familiar with the people who I deal with. Maybe I wasn't too smart...

One of the things that makes this job hard for me is that it's set up to be like a family, with the "coach" being in a parental role and there all the time, except 2 days a week. There are 2 other coaches here besides me, and they have more or less made these residents like their own families. Unfortunately, I see this as a job, and I don't love the residents of this place. I do care about them, and I want them to have a good life. I want them to be safe and happy, however I do not love them. They are not a part of my family and I do not want them to be. I have difficulty with a lot of their behaviors. When we do something nice for them, like taking all of them out to eat, instead of appreciating it, they are more likely to throw a tantrum because they had to drink a Pepsi instead of a Coke, or something similar. They are likely to steal things as part of their compulsions and most of them are habitual liars. Some of them are like little spoiled children in adult bodies. Most are nasty and arrogant when they are caught in a lie or theft. Some throw things and others hurt themselves in tantrums.

None of this is their fault and I recognise that. I've had some major problems accepting their behaviors and being understanding with them. Some have mild retardation, others have had traumatic head injuries and most have seizure disorder. Life coaches only last an average of 2 years...I'll probaby be one of them, if another opportunity comes by. Sometimes one of the residents will say something like "You don't make me happy." I'm not here to make them happy. I'm here to help them make the right decision, to keep them safe, and to provide security while trying to help them live as normal a life as possible. I'm here to give them their medications and perform CPR and first aid when necessary. I'm here to wipe their noses and try to teach them skills that will help them interact with the rest of the population.

There is so much about the human brain and intellect that I don't understand. I had a lot of misconceptions about disabilities and retardation that have since been dispelled. I think there is a lot I don't WANT to know. I hope that if something terrible happens to me, if I should have a horrific accident, I hope that no one in my family will revive me and make me live a life like these people have.

Sep 25, 2010

Well yes, I have been overcome by my life recently. Could you tell?

This job I have as a relief Life Coach for cognitively challenged adults is a challenge for me. I look at it as a ministry. I have to. The pay is small, the hours long, and the residents are a total challenge every day. They can be charms individually, but collectively they are sometimes a nightmare for me. Each has his or her strengths, weaknesses, and totally "out there" moments...and sometimes hours. Still, I am learning skills that will benefit me in the future. Aside from being a Qualified Medicine Administration Person (QMAP), I am being re-certified in CPR. My pay will increase when all my training is done, which is a plus, but so will my hours, which is not such a plus in my estimation. Five 24-hour shifts pulled consecutively is a LOT. I'm completely wiped out when I get home.

The greatest benefit I have is that I can take Porter to work with me. He is sometimes the single sane mind that I can turn to when things get to be too much for me. But even he gets to the point when he's had enough. Last week, Porter went to the car 3 times before Friday, and our shift work didn't end until Sunday afternoon. He was ready to go home. This week is better. Things are on a more even keel, but next week I look for some insanity on a larger scale. Some of the residents will be moving and I will be taking over a house and going full time. GAH. I'm so not sure I can or want to handle that.

I have applied for a job with the sheriff's department in Cheyenne. Emergency communications dispatcher is the position. I so want it. It has regular hours, competetive pay, and vacation time. I so need this job.

Pray for me.

On a happier note, I love being back in my house. The one thing that would make it perfect would be for O and Celeste to be here. He says he'll be here (legally, yes, legally) in May. Then we have to work on getting his green card. And I have a sock done!