Today is the day for the big interview and I'm a little worried. I'm not concerned about not getting the position. Indeed, I'm a little fearful that I will. Since last week, I've been praying for clarity, and yesterday, I got it in the form of a phone call from a colleague I confided in the day before.
Since I'm living with this overwhelming fear in my gut, my feelings are never far from the surface. On Tuesday, we met at a patient start of care and I confided in her that I was thinking of leaving the clinical end of our business and my reasons for thinking this way. We discussed all of the incidents that have occurred to me at night and the solitary nature of my position. You see, the day shift staff all have one another and weekly team meetings. They have routine opportunities to debrief and discuss events as they occur. They also have more opportunities to team up for visits. I ordinarily work alone. I have an evening shift counterpart, but she lacks empathy. Completely. I know, it seems odd that a nurse would have no ability to place herself in another's shoes, but that's her in a nutshell. In addition, she's got much safer territory to cover than me, so maybe she just doesn't get it.
On Wednesday morning, my coworker from Tuesday called me back to discuss both the patient we'd seen and our more private discussion. What she had to say kind of threw me for a loop, and now I have the clarity I prayed for. My colleague believes I'm experiencing a threat induced post traumatic stress disorder stemming from my near assault in Detroit in December. She told me what she thought and is encouraging me to get some help for this. She also told me that if I fail to get help and I don't work through this, that no matter what job I do, these feelings of despair, anxiety and their physical manifestations will follow me around and even if I chose to work outside of nursing, something will happen to trigger this problem. Essentially, the damage is done and now I must work to do the repair.
I think she's right. As soon as the words left her mouth, my understanding was instant. Living it, I couldn't see what she plainly could, but there you have it. I'm not sleeping well. I can't fall asleep for hours and I can't stay asleep once I'm there. I'm having nightmares, although I can't recall their details when awake. I have intermittent pains in my chest and the feeling that a sharp edged rock is residing deep in my gut. I'm irritable (see above--not sleeping), angry and when it's time to clock into work for the day, I'm nauseated. I don't leave the house unless it's Saturday morning and time to spin, or I have to because it's time to work. I've turned into a little recluse and I've been using the weather as an excuse. I haven't even seen my best friend since before Christmas and that's not normal, nor is it me. That episode last Monday? I mean talk about a hyper-vigilant state of mind...I was in that frame of mind even before the yelling started. My physical response was to run and I don't think reason ever stood a chance. To top it all off, I recognize that I've really personalized that home care nurse's death and this can't be good for my psyche.
Lately, I'm just tearful. I love what I do and the thought of working at a desk job with no patient interaction is counter to who and what I am. I'm a nurturer and a caregiver. I've been one since I was a wee little girl. Nursing came naturally to me and this potential job change just doesn't feel right. I am uniquely qualified to perform the tasks I currently do.
Still...I'm going to the interview. I'm also going to see the doctor.
In the meantime, I'm going to have a good cry over the way I feel and try to let some of these damaging thoughts and feelings go.