Such was my evening. I was doing fine and then my lung dr. appt was very confusing (more later, I just stopped crying because I'm so frustrated) and then counseling was going along on the nice even relaxed keel that I've been maintaining lately because I did not feel like digging around, and then all this stuff popped out and I cried and struggled and and still am upset. In fact I'm upset enough I think I'm going to call to see if Dr. Mind has an opening on Monday evening as this counts as a week is a long time. There's a long backstory that I can't really share most of because of confidentiality, but this week one day my last patient was fine when I saw her, on a vent soon after and dead in 48 hours. I'm nearly undoubtedly the last person she ever saw or spoke to. Which is haunting; what were the last words I (anyone) spoke to her? Did anything that night help her the next day if she was aware of what was going on for part of the time she was dying? I know I made her laugh once. Was that enough? (please don't answer these questions or try to make me feel better. I know it's not my fault, etc., I'm just sad. For whatever reason my way of coping with all the death in my career has been to shove it aside and eventually someone will die and it will hit me hard and I mourn a lot of people. This is that death. )
Then I managed to stumble into something painful with my relationship with my mother when I was trying to handle this and that in turn erupted into gallons of anger coming out. For some reason this time I am just so angry at Children's Services. When I was in high school I got counseling through them. Used to make my geometry teacher so mad when I got pulled weekly and he had to be shown the legal documents that said I was to have this time. But a lot of crap happened. My mother was friends with the person who treated me, putting her in a bad spot. She did a number of not good things, inappropriate things, to avoid hurting my mother. One of them was closing my case and burying it when she left when I was 17. Somewhere is a filed that says my case was resolved. It is probably next to the numerous reports filed about our family when I was growing up, next to the even more numerous ones filed about the safety of my little brother given what our family was like. One of those is from me. Others are from neighbors, teachers, coaches, and many others. They never were even investigated. Another thing the counselor did was to tell me that she had a dilemma because our situation was not appropriate for my sister and I. So she offered me a choice of foster care. What you do think I chose? It was not until years later that I learned that placing us would not have happened because we had a stable parent and the pedophile would have been removed and sent to jail. I lived for years with guilt because I could have done something to protect my sister. But the truth is it should never, ever have been the decision a 14 year old was asked to make, nor should it have been framed dramatically as it was. My beloved grandmother was dying, there was no way I was going to foster care. Period. What struck me hardest today was the reason that so much was covered up: my mother was afraid she would get in trouble for not reporting my father's abuse of the girl he later married because she was a mandated reporter and didn't report abuse in her own home. That reason also justified why I was not assessed by mental health professionals (specifically a psychiatrist) despite my suicidal behaviors and the recommendations of teachers, guidance counselor, and coaches who knew me well. Would anyone have found my bipolar? I truly don't know. It was very hard to find when I was a few years older, but perhaps without years of practice at covering it someone might have seen through it. Or perhaps that sad, suicidal child might have been more honest than the young adult version who survived years of abuse simultaneously developing a sense of self that thought the symptoms were part of my personality. Beats me. I just know that tonight I talked about this, a repeat story for Dr. Mind, but suddenly I was so, so angry at caseworker who chose to sentence me and my sister and my father's girlfriend and my mother and later my baby brother to years of abuse.
I just don't know. Memories can really stink. I know I need to deal with them and with the anger, but ugh. It was one hard afternoon. And now I'm about half asleep, so more tomorrow.