Friday, September 29, 2017

Harvey Happened and Now Nothing's The Same

So, I've been working as a Case Manager helping Hurricane Harvey survivors for the past 2 weeks and I'm having a blast, getting a chance to see all these beautiful cities in Texas I probably won't have been to if Harvey didn't happen.

Here's the thing though, I have another job, which I took a leave of absence from so I could recover from the effects of Hurricane Harvey. While I did not suffer any material losses from the hurricane (thank God!!), all the anxiety and worry from seeing the extent of the damage on TV left me a mess emotionally.

I went through this confusing phase where I would express gratitude for not being affected, then I would feel guilty because it seemed unfair to the people who had lost everything. Like a "thank God I wasn't affected o!!" thought would be closely followed by "Oh?! You're grateful? What about those who were affected? Is it not this same God that is their Father? He had the power to deliver them, but didn't. Did those people have to die? Just like He didn't deliver them, you do know there are no guarantees that you'll be delivered from future disaster too? What are you thankful for, really?"

I was confused. I couldn't really articulate how I felt, and as these thoughts percolated through my mind, I became a mess emotionally. I was having a hard time sleeping, then I started to have panic and anxiety attacks and I knew I needed to take a break before I completely broke down. So, I requested a two week leave of absence from work, and then asked for a 6 week extension when I realized I needed more time. I was going to lose much needed income, but I needed to prioritize self care and I did.

Three weeks into my leave of absence, I was feeling better, sleeping well, praying through the mess, feeling all Zen and shizz when I got a call from a job I had applied to last year. Was I available for immediate deployment? The hurricane had left a lot of people vulnerable, and they needed Case Managers.  Well... I'm not working right now... so yeah, I guess... Seeing as I wasn't due to return to my regular job for another 4 to 6 weeks, I figured l'd try the gig out for a few weeks, and if I didn't like it, return to my regular job as scheduled.

So I deployed, 2 weeks ago today.  I love, love, love, love it! πŸ˜„

Thing is, I still have my old job lined up, with a promotion and raise guaranteed upon resumption, because I passed my board exams. I'm now a BCaBA 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

I really really like my CEO and there's so much I was hoping I could contribute to the growth of her company. She's a nice person who genuinely cares about people. I can't say the same for some of the other people I worked with though πŸ˜•
While I do not expect to be best friends with everyone I work with, there was a lot of tension... walking on eggshells, being spoken to with condescension and only getting negative feedback was stressful. I found myself constantly questioning my competence. I liked to think I was good at what I did, I heard that much from my clients parents, co-workers and CEO but my supervisor and manager... let's just say I learned from them the kind of supervisor or manager I never want to be. More than once, I've had to go to the bathroom to cry and more than once, I've had to comfort a crying co-worker. One time, a co-worker got fired, partly because he stood up for me when I was treated badly. I kept telling myself to suck it up. "Girl, you're here to advance your career, and if this is what you have to put up with, it's a small price to pay. Why are you giving them so much power???" I like to think that I'm resilient and staying on this job was a way to prove that I am not a quitter. Also, all I needed to do was pass my boards, get that promotion and move up. I figured things would change then.

Looking back now, I realize how toxic that environment was. Life is not perfect and people will be people, yeah, but I did not need to have suffered like that. Nope!

My experience for the last two weeks has been overwhelmingly positive. Working in human services is emotionally exhausting, however, when your work environment is positive, it is 100 times better.

It's not all perfect. I'm away from home for extended periods and I miss my Lover and my babies. Also, it's a temporary gig and I don't have anything lined up for when it's over.

It's okay though. I'm learning that I DO NOT have to have everything all figured out. I thoroughly enjoy what I do, my work is appreciated and I go to bed at night knowing that I have made a difference in people's lives. Also, living in a beachfront hotel is awesome πŸ˜„ not being able to go chill there because I'm working, not so much πŸ˜•

I'm in a really good place right now. For this, and all the other blessings I  my life, especially those that money cannot buy, I am grateful. ❤