Today, Monday, May 30th, is my Saturday. I worked just under 40 hours in four days at my new job. The group home I am caregiving in is coined the “hardest house” because you have three women who have severe mental and physical disabilities. One has cerebral palsy, had a stroke, and is what I assumed to be a little bit of a speech delay, but nothing too crazy. One has dementia and has only one working arm and is wheelchair bound. The third individual has schizophrenia and is waiting to go to hospice. She has no teeth and yells and screams at her internal stimuli. She is completely immobile; bed ridden.
It was funny though. The first client has an electric wheelchair and is the most able bodied. She rolls past roommate number 2 and says “hey how are you, ________?” and the roommate goes “good!” Then the first woman says “I love you” and the other woman replies, “I love you too!”
The first lady rolls down the hall to the third person’s bedroom. Now mind you, the third person was yelling at everything and anything due to her schizophrenia. The first woman says “Hey, _______. How are you holding up?” and the third woman screams “Get me out of here! Go fuck yourself.” and the first woman says, “Well, I love you too, ___________.” and rolls into the living room to pick up her Doordash order.
It was an almost endearing moment for the whole household. Then the first woman says to me that she was empathetic to those with schizophrenia, but it doesn’t give her a right to act, basically, like an asshole to staff and the other roommates. It was rather profound to me because our words do have such a direct effect on other people and no matter what others are struggling with, we are struggling too. But that doesn’t mean we can take our anger out on people.
But then again I sympathize with this patient because she’s on hospice, waiting to go to a hospice facility, in pain, weighs probably 70 pounds, just skin and bones. Not to mention have paranoia, hallucinations, delusions, etc. She had a birthday the other day and I don’t know how old she turned but people sent her cards and flowers so how they could let her, them meaning her loved ones, go to die and rot in a group home is beyond me. But not everybody is equipped to deal with those who are mentally and physically ill.
I just know that when I am near the end of my life, I don’t want to be somewhere like where I work. I mean, it’s not the worst situation because you get to interact with other people and staff is always there in case something goes awry, but I want to die in peace in my own home. It makes you really think about the fragility of life when you witness someone so close to death.
But I digress. Ultimately this job is made me realize that I can’t treat others like shit just because I feel like shit, mentally that is. Like Diego always taught me: Bipolar gives me a reason, but never an excuse to act like a jackass. Pete Davidson, the former SNL comedian aka the love of my life said something similar about Kanye West and his lack of medication. It goes something like this: “There is no shame in the medicine game, I take ’em. Mental illness doesn’t give you an excuse to act like a jackass. So just take ’em. Take ’em! [medicine]”.
I usually don’t think I take my anger out on others that I know of. Or if I do, usually I catch myself. And apologize. But that wasn’t always the case because I didn’t know better to do better and be better. Today has been relaxing. Filled with BBQ food, many naps, and a trip to the local coffee shop for a daily must have: Red Bull spritzers. I am doing laundry now and I got to clean my room but I am feeling unmotivated. It is always like 120 degrees F in my room and it’s too hot to move around too much because the little fan I have can’t keep up.
It’s rather funny because if I open the door, it is instantly cooler outside of my lair than in it. Maybe because I call my room the lair that Satan made it hotter in my room and it’s the only room in the house that doesn’t get the benefits of A/C. I mean, it should have A/C but it doesn’t work like it should so I suffer like the heathens that don’t have any A/C at all.
I should probably get up and finish my beer and do some work. If I am slightly intoxicated it shouldn’t bother me as much (the heat). I got my headphones in and I am as ready as I will ever be.
Thank you for reading and being there for me even virtually you all are the best.