PROFESSOR ABSTRACT, MEET MR. CONCRETE
Mr.Tractor Pull was replaced by this man who had almost the whole alphabet following his name.He had a master's,he had a PhD.,he was a diplomat, plus some other shit. This man was so full of academia and theory that he had lost the ability to think like the people he was dealing with...patients and staff.
My original unit coordinator had moved on to bigger and better things at this time, and Kat had been installed as his replacement a few months before Mr. Tractor Pull got his walking papers...she, in a snit and a pathetic show of solidarity resigned.
I applied for the position, as did Becca. After a protracted decision making process, I got the job. Becca promptly put in her notice and left the team, but not before scolding me on selling out.
The original team was a memory at this point, and I had some very strong ideas about the kind of people I wanted to rebuild a new team (MY team), and how I wanted that team to run the unit.
Enter Professor Abstract.
He was new to this kind of setting, so the first few months were spent showing him the ropes. Our supervisions were hilarious. I took a very simple, common sense approach to milieu management.If you controlled the environment, you controlled the people living in it and then you introduced the therapeutic mumbo jumbo.Once you gained the patients trust and they felt safe,the mumbo jumbo would stick to the walls,so to speak,more than it didn't.
Prof. Abstract had a hard time with this and was full of dense theoretically based word salads that made little to no sense to me whatsoever. In hindsight, we were most likely saying the same things, just in two different languages.
He was also useless in a crisis situation, and because of his inability to read people as PEOPLE, he frequently incited a crisis by pushing way too hard or being too honest too soon about individual patient issues in a group setting.
He was the fire starter, I was the fireman. It was a difficult fence to straddle...I had to support this man and somehow help my patients without splitting myself off from him.
I wish I could of just said " He's a smartypantsed dumbass from some big school up in New York...it's gonna take me some time to turn him around", but I couldn't.
Now, as far as my personal life was concerned, it was rapidly going to shit. Kyle had been born ( and while that is still the most joyous moment of my life...and I'm not just sayin' that Kyle.) and his mom had fallen into post partum, but she super sized it.
I have always believed that she depressed from the get go and while our use of speed was a great way to self medicate, it's withdrawl effects undoubtedly made her underlying condition worse. For myself, I hated the crash, which explained why I avoided it like the plague. For the record, she used no drugs and quit smoking prior to conception and maintained that to term. Our pregnancy was a magical time, we looked forward to having a child, to being parents.
After about 6 months, I began trying to approach her condition and suggested she (we) do something about it.She flatly refused, saying she wanted no part of my "junior psychology".
OK...so...we drifted apart.When we weren't taking care of Kyle, I was in the garage with my guitar and she was in her office working. We were doing more and more speed, which accelerated the process. For me, the weekend binge became the thursday through monday run which grew to the daily use that would destroy us as a couple first and then finally as a family.
Cracks were beginning to show on the job as well.
My "cover" was a constant cup of coffee in my hand or on my desk. Cedar allergies explained away the afrin I had to use to clear the way for more lines to snort.
Here's an example of how truly pathetic I had become:
The unit was heading up to the cafe for dinner, I sent them ahead saying I needed to use the bathroom and would "be right there". As soon as they cleared our patio, I locked the door and went into the bathroom to snort. I had no kit with me, so I tore the cover off a book of matches and started to tap some out of the vial, a big chunk rolled out and I had easily 3 lines of this really nasty shit in the matchbook cover. For some reason, the group came back to the unit. I heard the door being unlocked and opened...I panicked.
Did I dump it in the commode and flush? No.
I snorted it and flushed.
As it turned out, the cafe was running behind and we had been bumped for 15 minutes.
By the time we got to the cafe, I thought I was gonna come out of my skin.
I was a mess...full of poison and anger and denial.
The end was near and I pretended that it wasn't.