(This post was supposed to be published on 3/15, hence the title.)
You know what the worst thing about admitting that you actually have feelings? Actually feeling those feelings.
The last two weeks have been really painful ones for me for a variety of reasons, but mostly job related. Work itself has become increasingly more difficult for me since the departments I cover have been changed. I used to cover sort of a cross section of all the county departments, but now I only cover Health and Human Services. And in a conservative county, its not the best place to be. As we know conservatives don't place a lot of value on providing social services, so this department is basically run on a shoestring budget, and because it's the biggest department in the county, it also suffers from what a lot of big departments or corporations suffer from - mismanagement and a disconnect between management and line staff, and management and the clients that the line staff serve.
What this means for me specifically is that I deal with a lot of unhappy people all the time, in fact every day. I can't help everyone, and there are so many issues, especially because they haven't been addressed by the coworkers of mine previously. I just feel like I'm in the middle of a circle of fire, with a small bucket of water, just trying to put the big flare ups out. I know I can never put out the fire, and can barely suppress the big flare ups. And on top of all that, I'm being shot at with arrows from outside of the circle of fire. I'm trying to stop from getting burned by the fire, and trying not to be shot. (Sidenote: it's a lot of women that do social services work, and my god, listening to women bitch all day and talk about their feelings and figuratively holding their hand at the same time is putting me in my own personal hell.)
I'm now in the middle of a bad situation that's been getting progressively worse over the last few years and is just now getting to a critical mass. I know I didn't cause it, I know I can't fix it all by myself, but it still bothers me. I started doing this job because I wanted to help people, not just operate by reacting and doing damage control. That's a hard thing for me to take. I am a control freak, and having basically every aspect of my job be outside of my control is just so, so difficult. On top of that, being in union work and part of the Labor movement at a time like now is depressing, considering what has happened in Wisconsin and Ohio, and considering the layoffs just today of 19000 teachers in California.
This job is probably the most difficult and challenging one I've ever had, and I've worked a lot of jobs. It has also been the most rewarding. But over the last few weeks, I've just been wondering whether or not I can really DO the job anymore. I've been doubting myself and my abilities, and wondering whether or not I'm really the type of person who can or should be in a career where I help people. I understand now more than ever that I never would have been able to make it as a social worker or a therapist. At this point in my life, I haven't recovered enough from my own traumas and distanced myself enough from them to not care too much. As it is now, I care WAY too much about my job and whether or not I'm helping people enough, and it is killing me.
No, I'm not cutting myself, so no worries that I've become emo. But, I have been crying a lot. I've cried about 3 times in the last few weeks, which is more than I've cried in a few years combined. I feel like I'm being betrayed by my own body, (hence the title of this post) because what happens when I become overwhelmed and pissed off is I cry. I don't cry when I'm sad. I cry when I'm mad as hell and want to murder people. I cry when I'm frustrated. And... I HATE IT. I am trying to understand that crying is okay, and it's a natural thing. But for me, it isn't. Crying is not what I do. Crying is what pussies do. Crying is what you do when you're weak. I suppose my emotional state isn't the healthiest if when I'm upset and overwhelmed all I want to do is hit people. The Hulk inside of me these days is just under the surface. I'm operating on a daily basis being at the midway point between Bruce Banner and the Hulk.
I think the key is that I need to spend more time doing things that I enjoy and that make me happy. Unfortunately, working so much isn't enabling me to do so. At least before, when I worked with the other departments, it was awesome when I was in a department with mostly dudes (mechanics or road crews) because we'd bullshit about football or basketball or whatnot, and that made things easier. Now I don't even have that outlet, and poor manz has to hear me raging or crying all the time, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't know how to handle it all.
Sigh. Why can't I go back to the days when I didn't admit I actually had feelings or cared about anything?