notokinthehead











{March 25, 2014}   Stalked

As a Firefighter/EMT, when we have bad days they very quickly turn into bad weeks. A bad day for us all too often means that we lost a patient or lost one of our own. This week I worked a scene of a young woman who completed suicide. There was nothing we could do for her, she was gone long before anyone called 911. Even though there was so very obviously nothing anyone could do to save this young woman’s life it tends to follow you, stalk you. Some things that you encounter in this profession never leave you.

For the last three days I’ve been haunted by the completed suicides that I’ve worked in my two short years as a firefighter/EMT. None of which were viable. The elderly male who put a gun in his mouth and sprayed his entire bathroom with blood and brain matter. The 19 year old girl who hung herself with the cord of a curling iron from an eye-hook in a bathroom ceiling. The 32 year old mother who we found face down in her own vomit, she overdosed on Oxycodone with her teenage children in the house. And then Saturday, the young woman who sat in her car garage with her car running.

The things I’ve seen make it hard to sleep at night. Natural death is hard to deal with, but when someone actively takes their own life it’s devastating for all involved. It kind of makes you angry, you studied your ass off to learn how to save people when they’re circling the drain, you’ve held the hand of the dying and tried to do your best to comfort them when all they want is more time on this Earth. Then you go and cut down the body of someone who decided that their life isn’t worth living. It definitely makes you question your faith in God, or whatever higher power that you believe in, that they allow the people who want to live, to die, while the ones who have no desire to live anymore can choose to take their own lives.

I’m not putting down people who are depressed, suicidal or mentally ill. I understand some of the emotional distress and chemical imbalances that play a role in depression. I’m just simply asking why things play out the way they do. I understand that I’ll never have an answer to that question.

Conclusion: death is difficult. My job has me knee deep in corpses, when I’d much rather do lift assists all day every day. You can comfort the families who’ve lost a loved one all day, but you can never breathe life back into a person when their time has come.

EMS: the profession of being stalked by death.



{October 20, 2013}   When Help is 1,749 Miles Away

My psychotherapist, JB, has taken a job in Puerto Rico, 1,749 miles away. She will continue to “see” me via phone, Skype and/or email. I guess it’s a temporary job for only five or six months and then she’s coming back to continue her private practice here. I wish her nothing but luck and happiness. I can imagine how burnt out one can get being a psychotherapist.

Now for the selfish side of me: JB couldn’t have taken this job at a worse time! It’s mid-October and my anxiety and depression increases three-fold throughout the winter months. Yes she gave me referrals in case I feel the need to contact a counselor to have face-to-face sessions with while she’s gone but I’ve been seeing JB off and on for ten years, a new counselor won’t get it. JB does. I don’t have the patience to train a new counselor so they know what is and isn’t off-limits and I don’t have the mental ability to retell my story to a new counselor.

Maybe that’s the problem. I’ve become too comfortable with JB and it’s more like a friendship than a client/counselor relationship. Maybe she respects my boundaries a little too much because she knows how defensive and angry I get. Maybe having another counselor on the side would be beneficial for treatment. Maybe a kind of good cop/bad cop thing wouldn’t be a bad idea. JB is the good cop and another, new counselor can be the bad cop.

Maybe I’m completely overreacting by hitting the panic button so soon.

panic-alarm-button-buy-one-get-one-free

 



{September 21, 2013}   Puppets

puppetSo I have a good friend who’s having a hard time right now. I think it would be safe to say that she’s having a bit of a mental breakdown. I’ve been there for her every day, until I had to have thirty injections in my back and have been legitimately drugged up. All of a sudden I’m the enemy. I’m a liar, I’m selfish and I don’t care about her or what she’s going through. ARGH! Finally last night I had to shut my phone off and avoid all social media. I got to my breaking point, she pushed me over the edge. Then tonight I’m hanging out with a friend and she starts texting my friend telling him how I blew her off and all of a sudden I don’t have any time for her, etc. I don’t have the patience for this crap. I’m in pain.

Being friends with her is like being a puppet on a string. Anybody who is friends with her is her puppet on a string. She says who I can and cannot be friends with, where I can and cannot go and when I’m going to do this and that. Maybe I am being selfish in the way that I’m not going to answer to anyone. I’m my own person and will do and see who I please, whenever I want. I’m single and I have ZERO responsibilities. That’s how I like it.

So tonight I’m struggling with writing her an email explaining that I do love her, she’s like a big sister to me, but I can’t play all these games. I won’t play all of these games. Take me or leave me, but I’m not a puppet on a string and I won’t listen to the b.s. that results from me doing what I want to do.



{August 23, 2013}   We Are All One

image



{August 18, 2013}   ~*High*~

I’ve been strong for far too long,
I just can’t keep the pace.
I’ve been carrying on,
driving down the same old roads,
I’m losing faith, starting to lose face.
Seems it’s the same from day-to-day,
It seems nothing ever changes.
I’ve nothing left to lose,
there’s nothing left to gain,
I’m all out of things to say.
These pills only kill the pain for just so long,
just one more line, I think-
and I’ll be able to go on.
I’ve run out of cigarettes
and I’m down to my last shot of whiskey,
I know that if I keep this up
this lifestyle will kill me.
I need a helping hand,
someone to save me from myself
because I don’t think I can,
and I don’t know how much more I can stand.
I feel I’ve lost my mind- all concept of time-
and I’m going to extremes just to unwind.
So hold me close and don’t let me go,
I’m becoming my own worst enemy.
Hold me tight and don’t let my mind take flight,
I feel it’s getting harder for me to breathe.
I’m sorry if my words have brought you down,
it seems like you’re always around
for the good and the bad days,
when I’m feeling crazy, a touch insane.
You get it all,
the best of me and the worst of me,
now that I’m down on my knees, crying “please”
I hear you whispering to me calmly,
soothing away my misery.
I realize you make me want to be a better person,
and I know that through trials and tribulations
your love and patience can replace my addictions.



{March 19, 2013}   Job Offer

There’s a job offer on the table for me. I have to take it. My Chief pulled me aside at a car accident scene this morning and told me that the fire commission voted unanimously to hire me for a new position: Fire Department Clerk. It will not be officially offered to me until after the first Thursday in April. Chief said they will pay me a stipend plus my regular pay, should I accept the position. Of course I will. I’m doing the work now, only I’m not being paid for it.

I’ve been seriously considering taking some psych classes at the local community college. It’s something that has interested me since junior high and it would give me an advantage on the rescue squad since about 50% of our medical calls are for people with mental illnesses.

It’s been snowing steady since about three this morning and we have five inches of snow. It’s supposed to stop for a period this afternoon, but then they say it’ll start falling at 3″ per hour until we have around 20″. Just when I got comfortable wearing t-shirts and button ups without a jacket or sweatshirt…



{January 26, 2013}   *~The Monster~*

I feel the
Tension coiled in
My belly, knotted
In a spiral,
A snake preparing
To strike out.
Deadly poison leaking
From the teeth,
Sinking into my
Thick, round, blue
Vein, pumping through
My core, dispersing
Throughout my body,
Overtaking me entirely.
I become the
Beast I so
Feared, vicious and
Utterly selfish, taking
For my own
Greed, handing out
Pain and death
Sentences, only happy
To share my
Own betrayals and
Griefs. Once bitten,
The sick magic
Forces you to
Forward it, pass
It along like
A contagious disease.
A disease, indeed,
It is. A
Force to be
Reckoned with, your
Personal strength your
Only superpower. Are
You strong enough
To beat the
Monster at his
Own game?



{January 20, 2013}   I’m The “Go-To”

Or at least that’s how it appears. If someone has a problem they come to me to fix it. I’m always putting band-aids on everyone’s boo-boos.

Right now I am getting ready to take one of my older sisters to our Emergency Room for an admit to the State Hospital Psych Ward. She’s an alcoholic, manic-bipolar, meth head who is also the single mother of two young children. So my week will be filled with kids and I will be missing out on a lot of work… right after I buy a new car. This whole situation reminds me of one of my first calls as an EMT. Not surprisingly it was to pick up my sister who texted her child’s father that she took all of her medications, every last pill, and she was sleepy. She happened to have both children with her. I hope she will be able to figure some things out while she’s locked up this time because those kids need a good mother and though I would do it, I don’t want to become responsible for them when CPS steps in and takes them away from her. There’s a reason I haven’t had any kids, other than I’m a lesbian, and that’s because I don’t want to be responsible for anyone but myself.

Wish me luck with this newest drama!

 

 



{October 1, 2012}   Psych!… Emergencies

It’s incredibly sad and amazing how many psych calls we get in my town. Being on the rescue squad I have to go. I’d really rather not, especially when the patient is wielding a machete. These calls bother me especially and the only reason I can think of is something in each of my psych patients reminds me of me: thirteen year old boy, overdosed on anti-depressants and flipped out in anger. Fifty-nine year old man, lonely, tired of being disabled, overdosed on Oxycodone and pulled a machete when the cops showed up (that was this morning’s call). Forty-two year old female, “just tired”, overdosed on alcohol and Citalopram and turned the gas on in her residence so she could “take a nap and feel better”. Every one of these patients were reaching out for help, wanting someone to care, someone to be there for them. I’ve been there and I still revisit those old feelings from time to time. I understand them, and that scares me, for I know many people don’t and I have heard my own partners call them “crazy” at the end of the shift. They’re not crazy. They’re hurting, they feel defeated and they’re doing the only thing they can in their desperation to say “I need help”.

I console myself by knowing that I was the first one there when they needed the help, I held their hands and I listened to them. Just by being there and giving them my undivided attention I’ve showed them that they are not alone, that people do care about what happens to them. I’ve demonstrated to them that when they need someone, someone will be there for them. I wish I could get to them before they do something drastic and life-threatening, but that’s unrealistic in my profession. I just have to take comfort in knowing that I was there, I am here, and I will go running out the door every time they call, racing to their side to aide them, both physically and emotionally.



{March 8, 2012}   *~They Tell Me~*

They tell me to
keep my head up
high,
but they have not
been beaten
down as have
I.
They tell me
things will get
better if I just
smile
once in
awhile.
They tell me
things always
look better in
the morning
light,
breathe deep
and close your
eyes.
They tell me
that anger will
destroy only
me,
in the end the
only winners are my
enemies.
They tell me
all of these
things
to make me
believe that it’s me
who they are
protecting.



et cetera