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There’s something about Sunday night
that really makes you want to kill yourself
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Friday, January 07, 2005

Massive guilt

I found myself with the pedal to the floor on the drive home, I was so stressed out. A truck with no muffler, loudly gunning it, dodged and swerved past me. His license plate? "BUBBA 4." And I had to remind myself to breathe deeply and try to relax, otherwise I wouldn't make it home alive.

I found out someone went back to her husband today, instead of going through with the divorce meeting I had set up for her at Legal Services; I told someone she needed to step up her personal hygiene and take a shower every day; I talked to a woman whose husband tackled her to the ground and tried to suffocate her after she had him served with divorce papers, saying, "Why are you doing this? I love you!"; and when I was packing up my stuff to leave for the day, I got a call straight to my phone instead of the crisis line from a woman whispering, "He's right outside. I'm scared for my life." And I had to advise her that I could do nothing--she had to call the crisis line, not me.

So when the crisis line staff tried to put her through to me a few seconds later, I said, "I'm not doing crisis calls right now. I'm leaving for the weekend." (Technically I wasn't. I had put in my shift earlier.) "Patch it through to [whoever]." It turned out whoever wasn't available--though I knew at least three other people were still there who should have been able to take the call.

(Sometimes I wonder if intake just automatically calls me if they can't reach the person who should be doing crisis calls. I think I'm the only one who ever lets them know about shift changes, and if I pick up someone else's shift. So maybe now I've painted myself into a "responsible" corner and they lean on me extra because they know they can count on me to pick up others' slack.)

But by that point, I slipped out. I was due leaving early today because of extra work the day before. But still. In my haste--and stress--I forgot to get some antibacterial soap for the woman who needs to shower more often. And after stressing quite a bit the importance of showering every day, I feel like that was a big fuck-up on my part.

So despite a gin and tonic and mediocre sushi with Tim and two of his favorite cast mates, I still feel kind of sick that I left things that way. That I ran out and dumped things on co-workers. That I forgot to give something important to someone in need. That I was irresponsible, and worked by the clock instead of by the need. I know it's going to eat away at me all weekend so I can't relax or stop thinking about it, until Monday, when I come back to yet another crisis.


Blogger Lauren said...

Don't beat yourself up over it though. At the moment, you needed to be out. You do amazing things for people everyday and sometimes you need to do something for you even if it is leaving on time.

7:06 PM  
Blogger cilee said...

Lauren is wise. There are times, when you know there are others capable, that you need to just step down and make them step up.

11:07 PM  
Blogger Leanne said...

I've tried posting a comment three times now, and can't find the words to express how much I admire what you do, and the passionate manner in which you do it.

5:34 AM  

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