Thursday, May 7, 2009

HI! Remember Me?

That's really what I feel like at the moment....a good friend of mine reminded me that I haven't written in quite some time. There has been so much going on in my life since my last post that I don't know where to start. In a nutshell:

Church is worse. We had a grand total of 40 people at our Easter Service -- we used to have over 200.

Job is good. Lots of drama and people getting thrown under the bus. I keep my nose clean and don't venture far from my space. I do my job and that's that! :)

Practice is okay. Way more drama than I'd like to experience. SSDD. The owner is still very scattered. So scattered that she is creating more of a mess than she realizes. Again, I keep to myself, do my thing, and leave. I don't socialize with them, speak to them outside of the office unless it's important, don't email them, don't write on their facebook walls....

I really need to find new space. It's so bad that one of my clients won't go back into that building -- I have to meet her somewhere else now. Guess you should know that she was our receptionist who happens to be the daughter of one of the massage therapists who happens to be good friends with the owner. See where I'm going with this??? It's a stinking nightmare.

I had to "fire" my first client last week. I guess fire isn't the right word -- maybe I should say that I referred him to a higher level of care. Yes, that's it. So, here's the bottom line: ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCT!! Background: male, early 50's, recently divorced after 30+ yrs married, part time work, lives alone. OK, I say, I can do this. First real contact was on the phone because we had lost electricity in the office on the night of our first appt. He lets a lot out. Sounds pretty coherent. I mail him the paperwork and schedule to see him the following week.

The following week comes, he's in the parking lot with the radio blasting, filling out the paperwork and doesn't hear me beeping at him. (red flag #1) We sit down to start the session and I'm going over the paperwork which he still hasn't finished. He is all over the place. Can't sit still. Mumbles his words. Breaks down crying. Drinks his Pepsi so fast I think he's gonna explode from the pent up carbonation. At this point, I take a look at the paperwork -- he checks "never" for alcohol use. (red flag #2) You can't tell me that you have NEVER even sipped alcohol before. Nope he says. OK I say.

Third session: I was with a client and he shows up for his time. The owner sends him over to the bar to use the restroom -- they were both occupied at the time. He comes back and I happen to be in the waiting area and see him in his car. He puts his hand to his mouth then checks his nose in the rear view mirror. Gives it the old "wipearoo" like he was brushing a piece of lint off and decides to come in. (red flag #3). While he's in the office he's sniffing to beat the band! {I know you know where this is going, right?}

The next two sessions were more of the same. Intersperse many voice mail messages left in a mumbling, low voice. "I'm not doing good, etc." It was at that point that I know I can no longer meet his needs and I have to do something. Lo and behold, I find out that he was arrested for stalking and harassing his ex wife. He was also charged with a hit and run from the night before. His blood alcohol level was .25 -- and this was 7:00 in the morning. CONFIRMED! He's got a substance abuse problem. So I have to now make the call to refer him to a place where he can get the treatment he needs and deserves. The conversation doesn't go well. He is pissed (as I knew he would be), sad, belligerent, and crying. I tell him that he can come back once he has it in writing that he has done his rehab.

That was one of the hardest things I have done. I felt guilty. I felt bad. I felt a million different feelings but realized that I was doing the professional and ethical thing. I was being humane and offering him help for his problems. I don't know what's happened to him since our conversation last week. I hope and pray that he was able to make that call and get the help he needed. I can only hope that one day I will find out that he is okay.

And that, my friends, is only the tip of the iceberg.....................more later.

Thanks for reading this far. Peace!