Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Grace Poole

After yesterday, my every instinct is telling me to hand in my notice and never return to work again, and the little faith in my employers that remained lies in pieces on the floor. Like the plate that was thrown last night. My back was turned, so I don't know if my client had deliberately taken aim at me, but when I saw the closeness of the broken pieces to where I stood, I was alarmed to say the least. 

Worst still was the screaming. It was piercing. I don't know how I held it together, while I cleared up the broken pieces, and then retreated upstairs to give my client some space. Blood trickled down my wrist from one of the sharp edges. She never really calmed down. Neither did I. But I held it together for as long as I could. 

Thankfully, her parents (who live close by) took her away, because she wouldn't stay in the house with me, and wouldn't be consoled. They told me it wasn't my fault - I'd done nothing wrong. But my employers had by putting me there alone in that situation. I couldn't give her the support she needed. Not alone. 

When they had gone, the shock hit me like a tonne of bricks. I began to hyperventilate, and I couldn't stop crying for several hours. I barely slept that night. I kept thinking about what had happened, and how frightened I had been. How helpless I had felt. Strangely, my thoughts came to Bertha Rochester. Perhaps she wasn't mad after all. Perhaps Mr Rochester's wife was autistic. I am Grace Poole, I thought. I won't be Grace Poole any more. Not for any amount of money (and carers get paid pittance). 

I knew then that I needed to get out. Although rare, this wasn't a first time occurrence, and I don't have the strength to go through a similar scenario again. At least, not on my own like I was last night. Supporting her is like being in a house with a ticking bomb. I have to get out before the stress really sets in. Work have let me down consistently from day on, and I won't put up with it any more. 

And so, the job hunt begins once more...


Anna said...

Wow! I mean, wow!
Oh Kess, how awful for you.
Caring for people with special needs can be totally demanding, especially those with Autism.
I think you are doing the right thing.
And your employers should learn from this.
A big lesson.
So glad you are safe my sweet.

Kess said...

Thank you for being so understanding sweetpea. I've never experienced shock like that, and it was completely devastating. I was brave though, and have since gone back and worked with the same individual and received really positive results.

I have had an ongoing stream of problems even before I started my job, which is the real reason why I intend to walk as soon as I find another job. The management won't provide the staff with the support they need and I won't be the first to leave because of similar circumstances.



Bethany Mason said...

Sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience and I hope it won't put you off caring for people in the future (though knowing you, I don't expect it will). Keep being strong and keep searching - you will find the right job for you eventually.

Kess said...

Thanks for having faith in me, hun. I have since gone back and had two very positive shifts with the same individual. I am still job hunting though. If anything, the experience has confirmed to me what I knew all along - that the company cannot provide their staff with the support they need. But at least I know I can stick it out for the time being!