Trying very hard to decide about this job situation. Right now I'm thinking I may take it if the offer is good enough. There are many huge issues affecting the decision, but one I hadn't thought much about is that I now need to decide if "easy" work is fulfilling enough. When I took this job I needed to get out of a situation that was too difficult for my coping skills. Now I am so much better, the situation would be better, and so the "too difficult" factor is gone. My current job is something I like, but it does not take a lot of my skills that I have just educationally, much less does it use many of the specific things I'm good at.
Last week, before I ever knew this was going to come up, I kept dreaming about this patient I saw last January. He had been placed in a "state school" (often a euphemism for "place to desposit the disabled" at the age of 5; he was now 40. He was congenitally blind, was diagnosed at deaf although he clearly had some hearing, and no communication skills. He was violent and had injured staff severely. I was brought in because of my experience with sensory integration, even though he was in a facility some distance from my own.
The first time I met him he was in his rocking chair. I knelt on the floor beside him and talked to him. He began trying to pace around the room. I paced with him, but eventually brought him back to his seat. Very, very gradually I touched him and started treating him.
The people who cared for him were shocked. One pulled me aside and warned me to not get close to him, he'd hurt me. I told her I'd be careful and went back to my thing. Over the next 5 weeks he never even came close to trying to hurt me. In fact he began to respond when I walked into the room and spoke.
He and I connected like I've connected with only a few people in my life. The exact way to help him came naturally somehow, and whatever happened, it was profound. He went from having daily violent episodes to only one in a month, and that one episode had some reason behind it. He started going on community outings with only 1 aide, as opposed to 3 in the past. His doctors were amazed at his response. He even had dental work without anethesia.
If I work in psych I can help people like this. If I work in a more standard setting I have a bit less stress. Yet eventually what I am doing now will start to feel tremendously boring, I think. Very little of what I do now takes particular skill or talent. My previous job made me feel like I was good at something.
Is it time for health versus happiness? Can I stay happy in a setting that I feel in my heart is boring?
Will the psychologist kill me for considering this?
Time will tell.
How on earth do I know the trade-off?