How many trials?!

How many trials will it take for me to know asking off work is an awful idea?! My employer’s paid time off policy is that any PTO you don’t use in a calendar year rolls over to an emergency bank. You can only use emergency bank hours for big events like hospitalization or surgery, not simple sick days. The days are not paid out if you leave the company. Therefore, you will likely lose them. When I first arrived, they paid you the unused PTO at the end of the year. That was wonderful! I know it cost them money though.

Anyway, as a result, of this policy, I took a week off. We were supposed to take a trip to see my brother, which would’ve taken my mind off myself. However, that didn’t end up happening. So, I’m just hanging out at home, wondering how my kids at work are fairing, and obsessing over eating disordered thoughts.

Bored Now_Willow_ Buffy

On the bright side, one usual reaction to boredom is self-injury or binging. I haven’t done either; I’m sleeping a lot.

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At least we’re half done

Today is difficult to categorize as either good or bad. On one hand, I did most of the “right” things. On the other hand, I feel like crap.

I almost called in to work to take the day off because I felt so despondent. I decided not to because I hate being absent without notice.

I brought the razor blade with me to work. However, I left it in the car, which is the ethical thing to do. Otherwise, a student might find it. If we room clear because a student has behaviors and they deicide to go behind the teacher’s desk and happen to go through my purse, it is possible they’d find it. That would be extremely dangerous.

I wasn’t congenial before the kids arrived, but I was polite. Once the students arrived, I was in the zone, for the most part. At one point, my student said he felt sick and slept on the bean bag. My mind wandered during that time. Of course, once it was time for lunch, he was recovered. Therefore, I think he was pretending to be ill. However, he genuinely looked ill.

I ended up joining the group for lunch. At first I was dead set against it. My boss brought it up and I said I didn’t want Chinese food as an excuse. She said she wasn’t looking forward to it either and left to go talk to the person who compromised last week with the understanding that we’d get Chinese food this week. She returned and said the girl insisted on Chinese food because she compromised last week and we all agreed to Chinese food last week. That was true. Then I felt guilty because I didn’t want her to think I was being a bad sport and refusing to go because I didn’t get my way or I reneged on my promise to go get Chinese food this week. At that point, I still planned to refuse. I truly didn’t feel good and didn’t want to eat. However, Ginny and my boss walked in during the kids’ recess and tried convincing me to grab Chinese food with them. Of course, I could care less about where we went to eat, but they didn’t know that. So, it was clear they wanted me to join them. Since they made it obvious they wanted to me go with them to lunch, I felt guilty saying no. I also felt liked. 🙂 I didn’t want to squander that good will.

Once the kids left, my mind was free to wander again. For the first few minutes, I decided it didn’t matter whether they liked me or not, I don’t deserve friends because all I do is stress people out. So, whether they wanted me to accompany them was irrelevant. I was doing them a favor. I filed behavior data and Heather saw me as she walked to the front of the building. She asked what I was doing for lunch because she heard I didn’t want Chinese food, but they were going there anyway. I said I wasn’t sure. She walked away. I wanted my blade, but it was in the car. Consequently, I needed to leave the building, but everyone was waiting at the front door, by the time everyone started leaving, the group was in the hallway. At first, I ignored them, even though they were a few feet from me. But then someone said something like, which car are you riding in? At that point, I felt it was too awkward to say I wasn’t going when I was standing next to Heather waiting for people to leave.

I think I seemed okay during lunch. I didn’t really want to eat and picked at my food, but I ate an entire Crab Rangoon. As a result, I don’t think anyone noticed. I talked some, but it was an awkward conversation and the group was larger than I like. There were funny moments. The O.T. therapist makes me laugh. That was nice.

On the way back to work, Heather started talking about some survey of high school students’ reactions to whether different scenarios of rape are ever okay. That was triggering and I started scratching. Then they started talking about dating in late elementary school and middle school. That was triggering as well because everyone’s stories were tame like they called someone their boyfriend if they acknowledged them at school, instead of ignoring them or they held hands. I was not like that. I went much further than that as a 12 year old. Oddly, I still feel guilty about my actions back then. Their conversation made me feel like a whore, which is what my dad called me a year later…

Then we had our weekly meeting. I was alright at first. I don’t even remember what bothered me, but I started scratching again. I didn’t bother to leave. I should have. I promised not to do behaviors in front of Ginny, but I felt like I couldn’t just leave the meeting. I didn’t want to miss any important updates.

I am unhappy the 2 BCBAs and the BCaBA are splitting the kids up in a new way. It means I have to ask the new BCBA questions about certain kids. It also means I can’t just give Ginny my opinion on any student in our program. I don’t know what I think of her yet and I don’t trust her yet. I’ll do whatever she says because that is my job, but I’m not comfortable with her.

My boss and the behaviorists left the meeting with about 45 minutes left of the day. People just sat around and talked. It was okay at first, but then I got bored. Boredom and I don’t get along. My thoughts started turning dark. The classroom supervisors were all doing their own work, but staying in the room where people were talking. Finally Barb and Ashley left the room and went into their own classrooms. I tried to stay in the conversation with my co-workers to bond, but I couldn’t handle it. I decided I’d ask Ashley if she needed any help. But when I looked across to her room, she was gone. I wanted to wait for her to return because I want to continue making sure she knows I am not mad at her for “taking” the promotion. However, minutes went by and she still wasn’t back. So, I walked into Barb’s room. I must’ve looked pissed because she asked if I was looking for something to do. I said yes and she gave me some work. Then she said, “I love how I can read your body language. You’re bored.”

The work helped. I took my anger out on the hole puncher. I worked in her room until it was time to leave. On the car ride home, I perpetually felt like I was about to cry. I left the blade in my car and started writing this as soon as I walked inside.

My mom is out tonight. We’ll see how this goes. I won’t kill myself because she flat out asked if I was suicidal this morning. I admitted I was and now I don’t want to make her feel guilty by killing myself while she is gone, on the same day I admitted I was suicidal.

In sum, I feel awful. I don’t even know the word for my feeling. I only know it sucks. I am proud of the good things I did like going to lunch, eating something, and not cutting, but disappointed in myself for self-injuring in front of people, especially Ginny.

Got to Work

Yay! I finally got back to work!!

The Good: I was giddy driving in to work today! 🙂 I really missed everyone. I was bored at home. That feeling confirmed that I love my job even though I’ve felt inept and disliked lately. When I got there someone who isn’t in my program asked about my absence and then my health. That made me feel noticed. Next, a co-worker gave me notes the kids and staff wrote for me. Every single staff person in my program said they were happy to see me and asked how I was, etc. Many of the kids had heartwarming reactions too. There is one kid that I worked with for a year straight (John) and when he saw me, his voice went up a few octaves as he exclaimed, “You’re back!!” Then he ran up to me and gave me a huge hug. 😀 People kept asking about me all day. Therefore, I felt noticed and missed.

Also, I advocated for myself and asked for a day to be put back in my paid time off account because school was unexpectedly closed one day last week when the air conditioning broke. Everyone got paid for it as if it were a snow day. First of all, I hate asking for things. Second of all, I felt guilty for taking Monday and Tuesday off and I’d decided not to ask for it back because I felt like I didn’t deserve it after taking more time than I originally said.

The Bad: I self-injured on the clock. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve done that. There were 4 distinct times I had urges. Oddly, it wasn’t during one of those times that I self-harmed.

1. A student said he hated me and he wasn’t in crisis. Usually that stuff doesn’t bother me. Idk if it was my anxiety about being back or something else. It occurred to me that maybe I feel like I’m always doing the wrong thing with him and somehow that transferred over. Perhaps I feel he should hate  me if I’m always messing up? I worked with a different student for a year straight (mentioned above) and there were months when every time he’d see me come to the bus he’d say he hated me, why can’t he work with someone else, etc. That never bothered me. In fact, the student who said he hated me today has said similar things in the past and it hasn’t bugged me. Later he said more insults and it didn’t matter as much. *shrug* I feel bad about feeling triggered because we’re not supposed to be bother by that type of thing. I feel like a childish baby.

2. I disagreed with my boss on data. I’m a perfectionist, so I hate being wrong. However, in this case, I think I was frustrated because I still think I’m right. I worry because if we’re all operating on different definitions of eloping, property destruction, etc., then the students’ behavior data is meaningless.We track how many times each behavior occurs per hour so we can see if our interventions are causing a decrease in behavior, but if we’re using different definitions, the data isn’t showing us anything because we’re tracking different things!

3. Then it was lunch time. I already toyed with the idea of restricting, even though I’ve been super good up until this point because of healing from surgery. I was a little late (like 1 minute) because only 1 out of the 6 kids had data filled out, even though there were 5 staff working during their lunch period. So, I filled out all of their data. However, as I walked to get my lunch, I saw friends leaving without a word to me. Yay, rejection. I know it was likely unintentional, but despite the probability it was unintentional, that is not how I think about it. Then I said screw it to food and napped in my car.

It was on my students’ 1st break after lunch that I started self-injuring (scratching, plausible deniability). That break was an hour and a half after I saw my friends leaving for lunch. I wasn’t emotionally overwhelmed. I had the skills to deal with my distress; after the 3rd trigger, I guess I gave up because low grade distress all day wears your defenses down? I knew I could sit with the feelings and survive, but I decided sitting with feelings was stupid. I was sick of feeling crappy. I think boredom was also a factor because the kid I worked with today had no behaviors and didn’t interact on breaks. I like working with challenging kids. I have self-injured purely out of boredom in the past. So maybe that was an unconscious trigger.

Shame on you_Willow_Buffy

4. At the end of the day, after the kids left, we had a meeting. The girl who got all those accolades on Facebook came to our meeting. Then I asked a (stupid) question because I’m stupid, lol. The worst part is people started expanding on the topic as if I was doing something wrong (which I’m not). I asked a question about data, unrelated to the earlier data issue, and it was answered. Then they (my boss and behaviorists) said something else about his behavior and our reaction to it, but it was directed at me.

Writing the 2nd and 3rd reasons makes me want to SI again, so I’m clearly still not over it. I made it through the way home though. I still feel guilty for SIing at work…Yet, after going back and adding the “good” part of the post, my current SI urge decreased to a manageable level. Emotional reactivity is awesome. -.-

No Hallucinations, Bored

Ugh, I’m bored. Maybe I should clean or something useful, but I can’t because that would wake my parents.

In the past 42 hours, I’ve had 30 minutes of sleep.

Started hallucinating (minor, people moving the periphery of my vision, hearing drills and hammers when the construction people had already left) around hour 29, I successfully napped around hour 31. Since then no more hallucinations, but also no more sleep. Sometimes I feel tired, sometimes I don’t, but I’m not motivated to do anything and I’m not happy.

Bored Now_Willow_ Buffy

I was paranoid I was going into a manic episode, but then I realized that wasn’t the problem because I WANT to rest (except the hours I’m not tired at all like when I woke up from my nap). Right now, I don’t care about sleep. I don’t feel like it.

Theoretically, I had hypomanic episodes in the past. Various professionals say Borderline, others say Bipolar II. Borderline makes more sense to me because my mood swings are most often caused by minor external events and my cognitive reaction to them, as opposed to purely biological mood swings in Bipolar. However, the first doc to Dx me with Bipolar also put me on a mood stabilizer and I’ve been on it for almost 10 years because it helped so much. Anyway, I was worried because if the I-have-Bipolar II camp is right, I am at high risk for a manic episode. I was reading the DSM 5 today and it was some huge proportion of Bipolar II patients eventually have a full blown manic episode.

*shrug* I don’t think that is the case. I’m rambling. I might also be repeating myself. I’m going to go check.

Why Are Lawyers Killing Themselves?

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/19/us/lawyer-suicides/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Oh, CNN, THAT is a stupid question! The law is stressful. If you screw up, you may potentially ruin someone’s life. It is boring and it is cut-throat.