Little Stressed, not gonna lie.

stress drinkingWelcome job changes. No, no. I’m still at the same place. But my boss abruptly left. She was the most senior manager. This doesn’t help things. There’s was about fifty people beneath her, myself one of them. Now, her executive has seen fit to promote me to supervise a few more people…. okay. Alright. But now, over the passed couple weeks he’s also seen fit I add support to the trauma support staff…… um…. maybe, not? I work well on my own. I work well in a team. I work well giving debriefing support and counseling to other staff….. But I get a little anxious when the boss says, “Hey Hatsh, people respect you, the offenders (yes I said OFFENDERS) listen to you, and you’re good at resolving conflict. So I’d like to put you in a  support position to provide more conflict resolution…. to the front line… directly dealing with offenders and hostile clients.” Shit. I thought I was getting away from this. Apparently ever since that guy broke through security with a hack saw and threatened all the staff while I stayed behind when he held my one of my least liked staff hostage. I may hate you as a professional, but I’ll defend you as a person. My Fault. Seriously, my fault. Damn. So now, I’m stressed as hell. I was trying to think of a way to get even with this staff member when they made the most sexist comment in the book the other day. But as it were, I’m such a delightful person the worst thing I could do, was completely unprovoked on a seriously viscous Monday, when he began making jokes about “working too hard” when I had just been attacked by a hostile individual who tried to hold me hostage with a a ski mask, I took a vat of smelly lotion and squirted him with it. Yes. That’s it. I’m a terrible person. I even proceeded to help him clean it up. The whole two tablespoons. Probably more than he could produce anyways. That was mean of me, that last comment. But for reals, it’s pissing me off. So enter the next Monday. I have to take the day off and end up checking myself into the ER at the local hospital. The doctor comes over and takes a good look while I’m dressed in my “bug-out” clothes…. which consists of a black ghetto toque, a turquoise hoodie followed up by a black fitted yoga jacket (it’s cotton, and super easy to maneuver in), black jeans, and shin-high leather converse pulled up over the jeans. I’m not exactly looking reputable, but I’m not clothed in shambles.

“I’m Eva. I’m in my practicum as a clinical physician.” She tells me. “You wanna tell me what’s going on today?” She asks cocking her head to the side, being almost a little belittling. I say Hi. And then, can’t speak. I was so humiliated. There was a thirty year old student in front of me thinking I was a B&E professional or some sort of criminal (and in a way, I couldn’t blame her because in the ER waiting room it was all homeless people who had OD’d, seniors, and immigrants who were trying to get free medical- don’t judge me, I saw the shit that went down). I just started crying. My heart was racing. Every sound, every movement, every glitch, every breath made me so, incredibly, unreasonably nervous. And that’s all I could think about. It was unreasonable. I had no reason to be nervous, so something must be terribly wrong to be feeling like this. She was patient, and I couldn’t be more grateful. All I could think of was my rant. My “rant” as I call it, is what most First Responder’s have memorized to identify themselves in case of an emergency. We have it ingrained in our skulls, and rehearse it over and over again for a situation just like this. So when we have nothing else to say, when we can’t muster the strength, we can spit these phrases out. All my training came out and for a quick minute, all my tears stopped, my breath was on hold, everything stood still so I could spit this out. “My name is Hatsh Wild. I’m a PSP X-6 Delegate Social Worker for an NGO. My registration number is *insert number*, I work for *insert organization*, my date of birth is *DOB*.” “Hi Hatsh.” She responded, quietly. She bent down on one knee in front of me and leaned in, “Hatsh, where are you?” “I’m in the hospital.” I could feel myself starting to cry again. “Why are you here?” Her breath was so light it was like a whisper. “I don’t know.” I pushed really hard to get my words out. “I’m really confused. I can’t see properly. I don’t know where the floor is. I’m so scared. I was at home. I have no reason to be scared. I don’t understand. I’m frightened and I don’t know why. I’m out of breath. My heart is beating so fast. Everything is too much for me. Too much stimulus. Everywhere. I can feel everything* in the room. And I know as a Social Worker that something is terribly wrong. I don’t know what it is. I just know I need to check myself into emerg.” She gave me a very empathetic look, “Hatsh. Are you feeling nervous? I’m going to take a listen to your heart. The intake nurse says it was very high when you checked in and recommend I administer something to you right away. Are you okay with that?” “Yes.” I gasp, as I pull down the front of my shirt around the chest so she can listen to my heart. “That’s okay. You’re wearing thin layers, I think I can hear through it. I’ll let you know.” She takes the stethoscope and listens to my heart. “Deep breaths.” She doesn’t have to tell me, I feel like a racing mule, almost panting. “What happened when you began feeling this way?” She asks while listening. The last thing I remember is nothing. Just pain. “Hatsh? Hatsh!” She begins to yell and everything is silent and a blur. A male nurse comes over, swiftly walking with a tiny paper pill cup in his hand, all I remember is how well trained and under control he was. “Hatsh we’re going to put this under your tongue. We’re going to lay you down. Don’t worry. You’re in good hands. You do what you need to do.” I begin to lose control as he squeezes the sides of my cheeks so my mouth opens and he puts something beneath my tongue which I politely assume is Adivan. Somehow, I’m falling over to my side at the same time on the stretcher, but he’s got me, the doctor has my head and everything is moving in slow motion. Before I know it, an IV is in me. I focus on the male nurse, he’s bringing me  a lot of comfort by talking. And, out. Gone. Everything is gone. All I remember is trembling, everywhere. Waking up, and meeting with the a seasoned doctor. “Hey Hatsh. Glad you’re awake. You went into cardiac arrest.” She smiles at me, “How’re you feeling?” “Okay. Grounded.” “Good.” She says. “Do you wanna talk about it?” I repeat my rant. “It’s all you can say isn’t it?” She asks. I nod. “Okay. We’re gonna give you a little something else. It’ll relax you. You have a lot of anxiety, and you’ve had a mild heart attack. You’re going to be okay. We’re going to keep you under observation for a few hours. We’ve called your emergency contact. Are you okay if we bring them in?” She’s being very gentle. And then it hits me…. who the fuck is my emergency contact? In walks my ex boyfriend from years previous. Love of my life. Yes, we facebook. Yes we text every now and then. I just can’t believe it. Not for something like this. He shouldn’t be here for this, to see me like this. We’ve known each other since I was eight. I shut my eyes and pretend it’s all a bad, bad dream. I know I’m pretending, he knows I’m pretending. He just sits on the edge of the stretcher. “May I touch you?” I can’t say anything. He takes my hand and strokes my hair. Feeling my anxiety he then pokes me on the eye lid and I can’t help but bust out laughing. We both laugh. Years previous when I lost all vision in my right eye, I was in emerg and we were together. He made me laugh so hard in acute care that the nurse told us to shut up while she was drawing blood for testing or she was going to break the needle off in my arm. When he went to stroke the hair away from my one good eye, he accidentally poked me in the eye and I was blind in both eyes for a few seconds. We laughed in hysterics and the nurse got up in a huff and told us to “grow up” because we were in the ER. She gave us a breather and came back within a moment. It had been a long time since we’d seen each other.

Back to today. He brought me home. Offered to stick around, but I’d rather not. I apologized for him being my emerg contact. He didn’t. I got a weeks worth of Adivan and anti-anxiety drugs. It’s almost my last day. Two more days. I’m super anxious about how work will play out. I’m terrified about this new event with my ex. I know it only bothers me, because I’m the only one who’s in love, and I hate him, and I hate everything about him, and I wish he’d go away and die and leave me alone- and I wish I could just bury myself in his chest and be safe and love him. Yeah. That’s how fucked up things are right now. I’m frustrated, anxious, and hyped up on drugs. Not how I was thinking of spending my week. I’m not even sure where I’m going with this post anymore. God, I hope things get better soon. I couldn’t tell my boss I went into cardiac arrest. I’ve just been off “sick”. Tomorrow’s Sunday. Maybe a new week will bring some new hope.


Special Task Force

I’ve developed a real respect for the gang task force. Recently there was a staff member who approached me needing to play eraser because a hit was put out on their brother. This is a slippery slope because unknown to many, gangs operate more and more like NGO military and guerrilla groups everyday.  This particular gang is one of the top ten largest in the country, and they subcon positions out to other gangs when an individual is out of reach (not for long) or has an advantage they don’t. They specialize in recruiting and recon. For those of you who are not familiar with these terms, in civi language it means they specialize in building partnerships, alliances, gathering information, and composing dirt files on everyone as collateral. Believe it or not, most of their violence is subcontracted out, but it doesn’t stop them from criminal activity. Despite any public opinion, there’s something to be said about organized crime.

So when a colleague needs to play eraser, it’s like a fun game of identity theft. Let’s start with new “staff”. We bring on some extras that resemble this individual and provide similar, if not same services. We even go to the length of ensuring they have a similar name. Stagger work shifts. Pile on stupidity to public who ask questions, “Who? What? I don’t know who that is.” Add a rumour of remarriage or devastation in family matters that implies cut-off from all family. (Honour and disgrace run families who are often associated with gangs). Oh yes, and of course, call your local gang task force. I was so pleased with the service they offered and how quickly they move. They allow the client to maintain integrity, and truly encourage them without sugarcoating or doubting. Police have come a long way since I was a kid. It really is a different kind of beast. For now, we’ll sit tight, ride out the new year and watch carefully. I will say, no better place to be than in an agency that handles this stuff on a regular basis. My colleague has been counting their blessings, and I know staff is only too game to participate in this round.