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November 2011

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So I quit my job at the new out of school care and went back to Regan. Among other things, the travel time was just too much. My experience there made me appreciate what I have at Over the Rainbow. There was little structure at this other place and no investment to attain any. They had daily activities, but it seemed like they only took fifteen minutes for them. Aside from an optional snack time, all the kids did was engage in free play. Free play is important, but two and a half hours of it is too much. The kids began getting restless as well, which was very problematic because quite a few kids there had behavioural issues. I have never met such disrespectful and defiant kids. Yesterday some five year old angrily called his brother a shithead because he wouldn`t give him a toy. I had a kid challenge me by looking me in the eye saying 'no' to me after I asked him to put a stick down that he was swinging on our way back to school. On Friday, after the staff had cleaned up way too early, the kids had an hour and fifteen minutes to entertain themselves. When kids aren`t stimulated, they become restless and find anything to entertain themselves. In this case, they used the packed up tables and shelving units as a playground. We had to spend twenty minutes coaxing the potty mouth kid out. He only left when one staff member took his own toy from him and threatened to throw it in the garbage. Had the staff not cleaned up as early, engaged in stimulating games for the kids (like tag) rather than mop the gym floor so the kids couldn`t run, and/or had board games out for the kids to play with, this wouldn`t have happened. A lot of kids there would scream, fight, swear, hit, and were resistant to any sort of problem solving. There were other things that I didn`t agree with at this place too, but the prevailing problem was the lack of investment in entertaining the kids. At times all the staff just sat at the teacher table and talked. One lady even went out for cigarette breaks. I wanted to do something, and I tried my best with these kids, but I can't do it all myself. The best way to be effective with kids is to be consistent.

The kids at Over the Rainbow are much more respectful than those group of kids. You may have to remind them of things, but in the end they`ll deliver. I prefer the program at Over the Rainbow too. I was lucky to keep my afternoon shifts at Regan because the girl who was supposed to replace me didn`t like how our program was run. Marta confided this to me when I called her about my schedule, and in turn I told her I wasn`t satisfied at this new place either. So I`m back to where I was at the beginning of the month. I may make less money, but I am much happier.

Gabe and I had a difficult weekend too. The end result was tears and a better understanding of our deepest worries. He says he had a great weekend despite this, and we`re fine as a couple, but I`m not fine. I`m not upset with him, but the thought of upsetting him or our relationship is just devastating to me. I know this may not make sense to people, but it`s a deep insecurity I have. I hate the thought of hurting anyone. I often think that all I ever do is hurt people after I have done so; no positive thoughts exist anymore and I completely focus on what I`ve done wrong and how horrible it is that they`re that mad at me. I think that if that`s what I end up doing despite my good intentions, why bother living at all? It`s these sort of thoughts that led me to get the referral. When I saw my doctor, I just described the thoughts and feelings I got because I wasn`t suffering from at the time. My weekend with Gabe triggered them. I`ve been very vague with my description of how I feel when I feel I`ve fucked up or failed, and that`s simply because I feel uncomfortable talking about it. I`ve suspected I might have depression; I have a family history of mental illness and emotional problems, and I have the severe feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, adhedonism, and thoughts of suicide. I suffer from sleep problems as well. What prevents me from thinking that it might be depression is that these symptoms last a few days before I can pull myself out of it rather than a few weeks or months. Everything is more impulsive. However, it`s been like this for over ten years and it keeps repeating itself. These feelings never fully go away, but just go into remission.

I`m still uncomfortable talking to people about this, but opening up to Gabe made me more confident to talk about this. Plus, I`m sick of people not taking me seriously. I may not have depression, but I don`t think I`m completely healthy either. Things may not seem concerning now, but these could be little signs and perhaps later in life things would be more severe. That was the case with my mom and her bipolar disorder. Gabe didn`t consider it silly that I wanted to get assessed; he was proud of me! He`s shown so much support for me with this. My respect for him just keeps growing, and I understand him much more now after confiding in me too.

I will write about any news I have on this. I see a psychiatrist this Friday.