327/362/2015 You Can’t See This One

But I took it, and I feel compelled to tell you I took it because I missed yesterday, and that’s twice in one week. Oops.

So, I would like to tell you a few stories from the last several days at work, but I really can’t. They are about my residents, see. And they are beautiful stories, but I can’t share them. At least not right now. What I can say is that two weeks ago my administrator and DON gave me a four item list of things I needed to work on, three of which they said had already been addressed before our meeting, none of which concerned patient care. The remaining item was about my notes. I asked for more exact feedback, began writing the notes to my understanding of what they asked for, and then requested more feedback which I never received. Yesterday, I was told there had been improvement but not enough. And that what he really needed was a Director of Social Work, and I just wasn’t at that level, maybe I was too green. And I was let go, because my 90th day would have been Monday and he had to make a decision by then, and he was sorry that it was the day before a holiday.

Now, call me crazy, but it is crazy to hire a fresh graduate and expect she’s going to be director material in three months time. And it is also crazy to fire a good social worker over notes who is making improvement and asking for feedback that she isn’t getting. And I am a good social worker. If I could share those stories, you would know that if you don’t already.

Here’s something I can share that will speak to that. I have bills to pay, like everyone does. I have kids counting on me to clothe, care, and feed them. And buy presents because Christmas is coming. And last night I sat here crying, but not over that. I was crying for my residents– the one the rest of the staff considers non-verbal, but who talks to me every time I walk into her room; the ones the nursing staff call me to come see on a regular basis because they won’t calm down or stop a behavior, but they do when I go and talk with them; the ones I promised to help sort through the stuff today that a gna removed from the room two weeks ago without permission. It’s sitting in my old office. That’s right, I was going to work on Thanksgiving day visiting with residents who weren’t taken out for the holiday. I am a damn good social worker.

I’m upset here because not only are my people losing me, they are losing me without a word of explanation. No termination processing, no goodbyes. A horrible, horrible violation of both my personal and my professional ethics. That part makes me angry.

314/364/2015 Pinned

Veteran’s Day is a hard one for me.   I am so proud of my time in the military, and I so long for a world that no longer relies on massive standing armies.


313/364/2015 Nightly Tea

Because it’s needed, and this is my favorite tea cup.


293/364/2015 Bigger Chai

Because I have a bigger tired.


275/364/2015 Cat In A Tree


This is my fattest cat, in the tree I reduced to two levels instead of three so both of them could jump their lard asses up on it without knocking it over. I’m pleased to see it worked.

This is something I said yesterday: “I think men don’t get how dangerous it can be to walk away from a woman who can do that. When they turn around, the space is gone, and it’s totally gone because it’s all full of the woman, not somethings she can put down to pick you up again.”

For context, “that” refers to filling the void left by an ended/radically changed relationship with more of me instead of other things/people. And it is interesting that this was a point of conversation at 7:30 in the morning, because 14 hours later I was presented with an opportunity to grow myself again. I wonder what I will get up to this time?

Now this sounds really strong and lovely and proactive, but there are a few drawbacks. Learning to meet my own needs and expanding into myself means that each time there is an ending, the bar gets raised for the next guy. Like, I started after my divorce with a list of stuff I wouldn’t accept, yeah? So, I was positioned to only date men who added to my life. Which I have done. And I learned things from all of those relationships that I then expanded on between relationships. Essentially, the bar got raised every time, because a new guy had to be able to meet a need I couldn’t meet for myself, and I have learned to meet more and more of them. At this point, I’m pretty much down to pillow talk and conversation over morning coffee, new restaurants and museums, books and television shows. Wait, I can find three of those last four on my own. Damn, see what I mean?

I guess the point is the same as a man can’t step into the same river twice. He’s not the same man and it’s not the same river.

224/364/2015 MSW


Today has been the worst day so far. I have managed to

1. Oversleep, thus mishandling a simple request.
2. Check the mail, because it was at the door when I opened it to go down to
3. Wash and dry a load of laundry. It isn’t folded yet, but that may happen.
4. Color a lot, so I wouldn’t go back to bed and because I can’t drink or eat when I color and that helps
5. Avoid binge eating or drinking. One or both of these may change. The picture is almost done and the evening is young.
6. Smoke like a chimney.

Even getting my degree has not lifted the fog. You may also note that getting dressed isn’t on my list of accomplishments. I hope tomorrow is perky, but if you need me for the rest of the day, I am pretty sure I will be sitting over here tending my mental garden and basically unavailable due to unsuitability for human contact.

Yep, I finally have initials after my name. Today, they stand for Most Sad Wench.

172/364/2015 Thinking Feet


So, I’ve been at this walking challenge for 12 days. Usually, I just walk. Sometimes I combine errands with the walk. And then, apparently, there are days like today when I spend my steps thinking. Solidifying concepts within myself.

Yesterday, I did some sharing with a companion. I won’t share again the story I told, primarily to protect the guilty, but after the tale was told I ended with “and this is why I won’t get married again until I don’t have kids at home.” I mean, I can look back now and trace the reasons for why people acted the way they did, and I can be objective and say things like “they did the best they could with the things they carried.” And I can and do believe that. But. There is something about seeing horror on a person’s face and pity in their eyes that will make me realize, yet again, that sometimes a person’s best still fucking sucks. Really hard. These stories I keep in my heart, they may be my normal, but they are not normal at all. For most people.

So today as I walked, that was what I was thinking about. And then my mind went on to considering one of my dearest friends. One who has let me down fairly frequently and whom I still call on, even though the success rate is 50/50 there. And that’s not a good track record. But. There are decades of longevity in that relationship. And I know the hidden stories in that heart. So I know that this person is a hero twice a day, minimum. Every morning that didn’t result in overnight suicide and every night that didn’t result in a cash-in that day is a success.

And the up-shot of all that, at around five thousand steps was this: There are times when just living to tell the tale counts as success. I am successful.

You know, I went into psychology to confront my own head. When I realized I was scoring great on the exams, but not really making headway with my own issues, I switched to social work. Man, have I done some serious demon confrontation in the past few years. Which is not to say I’m done. In fact, I woke up Saturday morning gasping for breath and on the verge of tears from a dream I had. My family, alive and dead, was talking about my dad. He wasn’t there. Because: dead. The conversation was pointed at my mother. And there was no resolution there. Which I guess is accurate, because there is never going to be any resolution there. It is a thing that just is. And while last year I was able to be loving and generous toward the fathers in my life on Father’s Day, that couldn’t happen for me this year. And that’s okay. That’s okay, because I am still successful: I’ve lived to tell the tale tales.