I once asked my grief counselor if people reach a point of no return in what they can handle, when it becomes too much to bear and they just can't go on. I'm not sure how she answered, I don't recall it now.
This bout of getting sick has pushed me under the water. I am struggling to get my footing and head back up above the waves. My physical symptoms are much improved but my emotional health is suffering. I feel as though I am drowning. It is like I am only going through the motions of life right now.
I should be thrilled with my new job but it is awful. Grueling and ugly. None of the CNAs are practicing the rules of safe hygiene we learned such as washing your hands after working with a resident. Some don't wash their hands or wear gloves. I've been told to forget everything I learned about being safe in my training. If I want to get my work done on time, I'll need to take shortcuts. In our orientation we were told that there are CNAs on staff for 10 plus years who do not want to help newcomers. One of the nice young women in training with me brought that topic back up with a vengence. "Why," she asked, "would employees be unwilling to lend a hand when there are times two people are needed to transport a resident?" The nursing superviser just kind of shrugged her shoulders and said some of the employees might feel threatened. The young woman replied that that was terrible as she shook her head disapprovingly. There are some residents who weigh 400 and 500 pounds, so obviously CNAs will need to work together.
On my second day of being on the floor shadowing an experienced CNA, the male CNA I was assigned to, a mature, middle-aged man working two jobs to support three sons in college, did not want me tagging along and pushed me onto a female co-worker. I guess he thought I'd slow him down.
The writing is on the wall. I felt it the first day. I need to get a job asap in my regular, professional field of social services. That is where I belong and where I best fit in. I rode up the elevator one day with a young woman from the social services dept. and I asked her if she'd mind telling me what her background/training was. She said she had worked her way up to her job but then refused to speak with me any further.
I'm glad I didn't return to work before feeling better. As it stands now, I'll give it my best shot. I will say the days go by quickly. But a number of the CNAs don't take their breaks or lunch, working longer than 8 hours straight through and I will not do that. It is not healthy and if these aides can't get their work loads done to allow for a legitimate 30-minute lunch, then something is really wrong with the system, not the aides. And I won't pay that kind of price for a $10.00 an hour job. I don't return to work until the weekend so I hope my health and spirit is restored by then.
Right now it just appears that there is no end to this hardship. Yes, I got a job but that means we'll lose the medical care we're getting from the state. Now I'll have to pay for it out of pocket again and that means half my salary will be going toward health insurance. My accountant charges $750.00 dollars to prepare a tax return for someone who has sold their home. I am hoping to make a payment arrangement with him in installments. Car insurance is due in mid-April for $600.00 because I put my oldest back on the policy since he needs to start driving again because I am at work. I still haven't paid the remaining payment due to my bankruptcy attorney but it appears filing is probably my only option at this point. I need to pay a $50.00 volleyball fee and get my son new volleyball shoes. He used a hot glue gun to reattach the sole on his shoe that had separated. And the little stick shift sedan I drive needs four new tires to the tune of $300.00. The broken futon my oldest sleeps on will cost $75.00 for the guy to come out and reassemble the bad parts.
The taxes, health insurance and car insurance are overwhelming me on top of my going back to work. Any one of them is enough of a worry. But all of them combined along with just the normal everyday stuff to get through - sports injuries, clothes to be washed, team uniforms to keep track of, making sure there is enough for the boys to eat... And then I'm just supposed to be positive, optimistic and grateful besides! I've reached my limit. The weight has become too much to bear. People can only hold up the burden so long before they begin to break.
Sometimes I have been criticized for bringing up the long litany of my hardships - husband died, son diagnoised with major heart ailment, parents needed help, got remarried, mother died, had to clean out parents' home, divorced, had to sell and relocate. But the reason I've brought that up is I guess to prove to myself that I've reached my personal limit. I don't have the reserves, the strength, the energy or even the hope anymore to keep going like this on my own. All that other stuff brought me down. I've never recovered or regained the energy needed to keep at it in full force. I'm depleted, just shuffling along. What is the point? IRS, go ahead and send me to jail. Creditors try to drain blood from a turnip. All I am is a defeated, tired and drained middle-aged mom who just wanted to be married and raise a happy family. And for the past six years valiantly struggled to be there for her dying Mom and her two young sons when no one else gave a damn about those two wounded souls.
What does someone like me do when you reach this point? I have no one to call, no where to go, no one to lean on during this particularly thorny period of prickles and thistles. I have to keep walking through Hell, keep putting one foot in front of the other. Yes, I've heard all that. I need to take a load off and there is no chair to sit in.
Update: I called H & R Block and am going in to meet with them tomorrow. They will prepare the filing and if it is too much I can take back my records and don't have to pay. They gave me a quote of $170.00 so I am going to try and see what happens there.