Friday, September 17, 2010

We interrupt this program.....

for a non-spiritual mini-rant, because I just need to vent.

I really hate my damn job. I'm sick of being mistreated by staff, belittled, overworked, and threatened. I got off of work 5 hours later than I was supposed to, meaning I worked a 13 hour shift with one damn meal break. Meantime, all hell is breaking loose, and I'm informed by one kid that two of the other kids are deliberately causing confusion in an effort to get the chance to attack me. After all that, another staff bitched at me when I finally did leave, and some of them hadn't gotten to eat yet. Well sorry, would've stayed if I could, but it's not my problem. Try 13 hours with one meal break, asswipe. I need to get out of that shithole. I actually am one of the few staff that attempt to enforce the rules, and NOTHING happens. The kids get no consequences. Nobody gives a damn. We're just babysitting the next generation of inmates. Our only contribution to society is our recidivism. Hell, even the kids that leave "successfully", I know of at least TWO, graduates from the sex offender program of all places, that have gotten some teenage girl knocked up within 4 months of leaving. And these are our success stories? What the fuck.

There, I feel a little better now.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness

I've been feeling in a bit of a funk lately. Dealing with a lot of loneliness. I feel like such a recluse sometimes, holed up in my house(when I'm not at work) somewhat doing my studies, or when I do go out, always going, again, alone. Depressed at the fact that I haven't had a serious relationship(or for that matter, anything beyond a first date) since 2007. I look at those who have achieved goals I thought I would have accomplished by now, and it just adds to it.

And I realized that the minister's (paraphrased) prayer at church today hits it spot on: "Help me not to envy the talents and gifts of others, but to enjoy what I have been given." That's at the heart of it all, I suppose: I want what, at least at the moment, I can't have. I see my family pressuring me to get married and have kids, I see others enjoying their social lives while I'm still in school, I see myself in a job where there's no real room for creativity or growth, and I want to change it all. I want the wife, 2.5 kids and a picket fence, the job where I feel like I'm actually accomplishing something, and friends to go out with on payday, or to go hiking or swimming or kayaking with.

I try to reframe it. For the most part, life is actually going pretty good for the time being. Yes, I'm single. But when I do find the right person, I'll appreciate her that much more. Yes, I'm still in school, but when I am finished, it will qualify me for better jobs(hopefully) and further enable me to help the population I have chosen to work with. Yes, I'm in a dead-end job where supervisors try to belittle me and take advantage of me and disrespect me, but I'm also in an internship where, even after only being there for two weeks, I've managed to get them signed up to participate in a major local festival that's going on this month, that they had never even heard of prior to my mentioning it, and they're talking about the possibility of me being an intern again there next school year and making it a paid part-time position, with intent of going full-time after I graduate. So if things go well there, the light at the end of my bad-job-tunnel is that much closer. So why can't I be happy with my life as-is?

I guess it just takes time. I caught my first real glimpse of true inner happiness in undergrad, thanks to a couple of years' worth of therapy, a support group for adult children of dysfunctional families at a nearby church, and learning how to make real, meaningful friendships which helped me learn that I actually was capable of being a happy, functioning human being. I question my life now - have I really had such a dramatic and deep string of negative circumstances in the years following undergrad that I lost all of the progress I made in those years? As a mental health worker and aspiring therapist/social worker, a part of me wonders if we really truly "lose" such life lessons, or whether we just get "sidetracked" and have to figure out how those life lessons fit in to new circumstances and things that happen. Since I do my internship on Mondays and Tuesdays, and will probably be switching to Day shift at my paid job during my weekdays(since I'm part-time, I make up my own schedule - I have to keep my weekends Evening shift because of work and class, but I'll probably go Day shift on my weekdays, to keep a more consistent sleep/homework schedule during the week), I've been debating going to a local ACA group. ACA is Adult Children of Alcoholics. It's geared towards, obviously, adult children of alcoholics, but it also welcomes people from dysfunctional families in general, because while my parents weren't alcoholics, my mom was raised by alcoholics, and therefore the behavioral patterns are still there, even if the alcohol isn't(what one co-worker once referred to as a "dry drunk"). Maybe that will at least help me keep my own issues in check, because, if I can't sort out my own life, how can I really help others?