Today is her 3rd birthday. It’s been a wonderful day, we had so much fun.
However now it’s late at night, The Beast has caught me. I’m back there. Trying desperately to leave. The Beast needs to go. I don’t want him anymore.
I will remember the good things that happened today and I will fight with every cell in my body The Beast who is lurking, nipping at my heels.
I worked today. In Emergency. With real, live patients. Patients who needed medical procedures. One even needed a catheter (no, I didn’t do it because I work with seriously wonderful people). I was fighting from the start of my shift.
it’s been so long since I nursed because I haven’t been well…
My team leader (also a trusted friend) learned for the first time why I stopped nursing. (Stop. Hammertime). She was cool. Didn’t dwell on it, just was like “Shit that’s awful, yeah we’ll do your catheters today”. Sweet.
Patient with chest pain. Patient with an infection. Bam! Catheter time. So while that was happening, I admitted the patient with the allergy. Team nursing worked well. Even the pregnant lady was all good for me.
What wasn’t cool was the colleague who came on shift late in the day (to carry on the next shift) who took it upon herself to tell me that I just needed to “stop thinking about it and be grateful you have a baby who’s healthy”.
Oh my god. I cannot stop recalling what she said next. Because “yeah you had an awful time didn’t you? But…
“You just need to think more positively because your baby is alive and healthy and you’re healthy and you just need to get over it.
Blame the victim. Bravo.
So I immediately reached out to Twitter because ANGRY. Really fucking angry. And my goodness you guys. I love you all, so so much.
Honestly. You all are simply the best. I feel like you all spread your wings to protect me like a mother duck does to shelter her ducklings from the rain.
I’m doing exactly what my Psychologist has advised me. Look for the positive. Which of course we all know is very different to just thinking positively. Remember the burned out forest with the new growth? That’s what I’m channelling this afternoon because it’s a really shitty thing to be blamed when it wasn’t my fault. So I’m cheering that I had a good day. I had not put a cannula in a patient in well over a year. Well, I did it three times today and did not miss once. Which I absolutely thought I would. I also only had to look at MIMS once to remind myself about a medication because I wasn’t certain that I had remembered correctly it’s generic name (turned out I had and I need to trust myself). Even cleaning up the confused old lady who had gotten poo everywhere wasn’t bad. She just needed some compassion because I am pretty sure that if she had been aware of what happened she would have been distraught. As anyone would.
I spent all day literally on edge looking for triggers to avoid and protecting myself. Ultimately it wasn’t my patients who let me down, but I’m totally exhausted from fighting all day against my brain. I’m now having a well deserved glass of wine while I blog about it all. Looking forward to my day off tomorrow. Missy and I will paint our nails and go for a good walk. Maybe to the park. We might go and see if there are any ducks in the pond.
Either way tomorrow is going to be all about just enjoying myself. Then Tuesday I’m back to see my Magic Brain Lady and talk about today. Sort it out in my head, grow stronger. Learn from it.
I can see it coming from the edge of the room
Creeping in the streetlight
Holding my hand in the pale gloom
Can you see it coming now?
Thank you xx just reading this helps
This week has been huge for me mentally. I know I’ve spoken about these lightbulb/switch flicking moments before, but here I am quite literally awakened from the proverbial slumber. It’s like the first time I tried my prescription glasses on at age sixteen and said to the optometrist “Is red really this bright? What a beautiful colour”.
The sunshine seems more vivid and the air seems more oxygenated. I feel like The Beast has finally left me. I still have a hint of fear that he’s there, but now it’s different.
Maybe it’s the CBT, maybe it’s me just naturally progressing out of the PTSD fog, but here I am feeling so much better. I’m still not ready to head down that path again yet. I still see a newborn baby and feel panicked and wonder if the mother is doing ok, but I’m not feeling that terrible deep seeded sadness anymore. I’m working on not projecting my feelings onto her, but that’s quite possibly my Myers-Briggs personality ESFJ score shining through making it an issue.
Christmas is in six days and I’m madly preparing for it. Both families are coming to my house this year, so I have to have the spare bedroom ready for my mother and father in law to stay and also have enough food for everyone and also enough presents. I’ve actually enjoyed shopping for Christmas presents this year. Other years have been fraught with stress over what to buy and how much to spend (because I’m usually always broke and then someone has a birthday party or some other function in December that requires a minimum of $100 of cash I don’t have) but this year has been different. I saved some money from my tax return and that seemed to just remove the stress. Also I think with everything else this year I just decided that I was just not going to get anxious over it. We asked our relatives what they would like and got them accordingly. So simple. Also, a very wise friend of mine said to me about something unrelated “just be selfish about this” so yeah. I’m doing that.
I’ve adopted this attitude to a few things actually, including my work. Last week I did something incredibly cheeky and applied for a job that even a few months ago I would not have considered. Cheeky because it’s quite a senior position at the hospital and here I am slogging away in my current job (which I do enjoy) but am not being paid appropriately and also my conditions are not what they should be. I’ve been at the management of the hospital to sort it out because I actually do have bills to pay and mouths to feed, but some fourteen months later I’m still where I was at with this job. Applying for this new position meant that my application went to the same management who have not fixed what’s happening with my current role, so they now have concrete evidence that I’m not mucking around and I am actively seeking a new role with proper remuneration.
Where did I grow this new attitude? I’ve always been a bit of a doormat. See that Myers-Briggs result. There you have it, making sure I care for others over myself. Keeping others happy, always seeking approval from other people. It’s all a bit shit. Can you believe that part of me not fighting the hospital over my trauma was because I didn’t want to earn myself a bad name in the health system! Health is such a small world, everyone knows someone who knows someone and a bad name means you’re not employable.
Try to understand the rationale here. I was treated negligently, assaulted even. I was totally disempowered and as a result have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, normally reserved for war veterans and victims, victims of sexual assault or other forms of violence, people who witness car accidents or serious injuries of other people. Not women who have elective Caesarean section deliveries of their babies. Yet I worried about what affect it would have on my career. What would people think of me?
Now that I’m finally shaking the devil off my back, I still probably won’t make any formal complaints, but not because of the fear over what someone might think of me. It’s more I do not want to relive this again. Telling my story to the Healthcare Complaints Commission or solicitors. No thank you. I’m ready to say goodbye for good.