I’ve been doing an awful lot the past few days. I was sort of high on the success of my accomplishments for a while. In two days, I had lunch with my future housemates, pre-ordered The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for 3DS, drove to Cockburn (that’s a suburb, pronounced co-burn) Central so Adam could talk to the banks about a loan, bought a snuggie for Beth, pre-ordered another copy of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for 3DS (this time a limited edition Ocarina Edition which I couldn’t walk past), got a refund on my previous pre-order, checked out potential locations for house-building (I’ll explain more about this later), watched some new anime, made bread from scratch (a delightful process with good company), watched Reign of Assassins, played Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood for many hours, practiced Tai Chi, journaled about Mugai Ryu, caught up on the FaceBook photo challenge, watched The Last Train to Freo (a deeply unsettling thriller so close to home I’m a little paranoid it might happen to me), made appointments to see the dentist and optometrist, saw the optometrist, checked if Giri had any new sword cleaning kits, signed up for a new Medicare card, picked up an assignment (I got a 50%, the lowest mark I’ve ever received because I didn’t realise I had to stamp the date on the coversheet T_T), went to work, came home sick, spent time cuddling with Bethwyn watching My Little Pony (a surprisingly good animated series), Avatar the Last Airbender and Bones, and playing lots more Assassins Creed. That’s a pretty full on three days for me, and it’s been tremendously satisfying getting so many little errands and chores done in a remarkably short period of time.
The rush of success has since been tainted by the persistent and invasive feelings of guilt. When I left work yesterday, I was exhausted, dizzy, unable to form thoughts in my mind (a typical sentence might have gone like this: “unable to.. thinking the words that line up aren’t straight” to describe my inability to form a coherent line of thought), stomach problems, coughing up phlegm and a mildly high temperature. When a young person started talking to me and requiring a little of my attention, I just felt like closing the door in his face and curling up under my desk. Based on this feeling, I decided I was not fit for work. But everything I’ve just said is a way of justifying my decision to go. And the reason I feel so guilty is because I called my manager (who was out at the time) to let her know what I had decided, requesting she call me back so I knew how she felt. She hasn’t done so. This worries me- I’ve taken time off before for not-very-good-reasons and been cautioned not to do it again. I hope she considers this a good-enough-reason. I do. And I think it becomes a problem if a worker is scared to take a sick day when he’s sick. But what really makes me question myself is that when I told my fellow youth worker that I was going home because I was feeling physically uncomfortable and unable to think straight, she instantly fired up and said it sounded like I had no work ethic or commitment to my job. I definitely hear what she said, but I think she misunderstood how poorly I was feeling. And it’s led me to question whether I am a competent youth worker and whether I do have any work ethic.
I’m really struggling here. It’s practically killing my peace of mind. Am I suited for youthwork? Am I suited for looking after (or rather, providing service to) young people? I thought I was, but maybe all my six months has taught me is that:
a) I have anxiety and control issues
b) I hate confrontation and it degrades the quality of my work with people
c) I’m not suitable for such a flexible, uncontrolled job right now.
It would suck if that’s all I’ve gotten from my employment. Well, that’s not all. I can think of some really good, rewarding times, but at the moment I see those as inconsequential, minute and not worth writing down officially. A smile and a hug from a young person doesn’t balance out them yelling at you and then making destructive choices for their life. Maybe I’m not able to help people as much as I thought I was.
But then where do I go? Something well-structured like a government job (Centrelink, a hospital) or highly individualistic with people who want to be there, like counselling. I don’t know anymore. And I kind of just want to stop working for a couple of weeks until I know better, but that’s not kind to my workplace. I should probably be talking to my boss about this rather than posting it on my blog.