Friday, February 26, 2010

I just really need to write and get this all out of my head....

Something really bad happened this week at work. I am going to blog about it because I need to get it out of my head and on the road to healing. One of the things that helps me heal is writing. I know I am not the best writer and all that jazz but it helps me. I am changing all the names (except mine) just in case someone I know is actually reading my blog. (Hi Pastor Brenda!!)

**Warning - Details may get graphic**

Wednesday approx 1215am

A client comes down and says Rachel cut her arms really bad and I need to go upstairs to the bathroom to take a look.

I still had another coworker here so she watched the phones while I went upstairs.

They would not let me in the bathroom. Rachel and another client Sally were in the bathroom.

I came down stairs and started to call my on call manager while co worker went up stairs to try and get in the bathroom.

Hung up with on call manager, resident Sally comes down bawling her eyes out and says "I should of told you yesterday, I'm sorry....her arms are cut really bad, I can see muscle, she needs to go to the ER"

I call my on call manager back who instructs me to call 911

I call 911 and they ask me like 800 questions and say they will be there shortly.

I went upstairs to get coworker out of the bathroom and asked her to come down stairs. Coworker was really shooken up at this point. I have not had the chance to see what actually happened.

As soon as EMS and police arrive at the shelter I take them upstairs where Rachel is still in the bathroom. I opened the door and Rachel is there with 3 other residents.

I see the bubbles, the bath water. I see the water is pinkish/ red. The bubbles around her breasts are pink with blood.

I calmly ask her to get out of the tub, get some clothes on and come down stairs. She pulls her arms out of the water and there is bloody water dripping off her arms. I see dozens and dozens of cuts on both arms. I see muscle coming out.

I must of been in work mode because I remember being so emotionless. I remember doing what I had to do for the Rachel and for the other residents.

After she got dressed, I helped get her downstairs to my office where the EMS asked her and I questions. They also wrapped her arms with bandages.

And off she went.

I remember I took some of the residents out for a cigarette and I smoked like 2 in a matter of minutes. I was still very detached. (My stomach is getting sick as I write this)

I called on call manager back and we talked about Rachel's kids, about clean up, about how me and co worker were doing. I was still detached.

About 20 minutes later on call manager called back and she asked if I needed her to come in..... I couldn't even talk. I was just bawling.

I kept going through these spurts of where I would clean for like 10 minutes then I would sit or stand and just zone out. It all felt like a dream - it still feels like a dream.

I remember having to put these blue latex gloves on and they smelled like cat pee. I had to strip her bed because there was blood over everything and I didn't want her kids waking up to the blood in the morning.

I remember my stinky blue gloves and the bleach spray and cleaning up the tub.

when on call manager arrived at the shelter my co worker and I were sitting in the hallway surrounded by the bloody linens and crying.

on call manager was a HUGE support for us. I am soooo glad she came in. While upstairs cleaning the bathroom and hallway carpet, the door rang. On call manager said it was the higher up manager. I answered phone (our door bell rings into our phone and you can talk over it) and it was Rachel. She was back.

Only after being gone for approx. 2 hours. she was back. She said the hospital did not see her as suicidal but she was only a cutter. They gave her pain meds and stapled her arm wounds. She walked in like everything was ok.

Then higher up manager arrived. On call and higher up managers both spoke with her for a while. Coworker and I finished cleaning up the mess.

After everyone had left or went to sleep, I didn't do anything. I went into the living room and watched TV. I was just so tired. My brain hurt.

I met with a counselor that specializes in PSTD (post traumatic stress disorder) today. My work provided this service to me and my coworker.

I told her how I haven't been able to sleep well, eat well, talk to anyone. I don't even feel like texting. I have been just laying in bed watching TV. The only person I have really talked are my coworker and the PSTD lady.

She assured me that all my feelings are very normal for someone who has witnessed trauma. She said even though Rachel supposedly didn't try and kill her self that what she had done and what we had witnessed was considered a traumatic incident.

She said I need to deal with the feelings and not push them down. When I see the images I need to see them then let them go out of head as easily as they came in. She told me not to fight it. To talk about it, to write about it. She said it would help with the healing process.

I feel crazy and confused right now. I still feel like I am having an out of body experience. I feel weird. My stomach still hurts and I can't sleep and I really want to drink.

I know I will get through this. I have a good support system. I have my husband and some friends at church who I know are big supporters. I just need to get through this. I have to work through all the feelings and emotions. I have to come out on top.

I have worked so hard to get to where I am now. I can't let this drag me down to that place.

(**post in long and poorly edited, sorry**)


Resentful Wife said...

What a scary situation. I hope she is ok...and I hope you are, too. Keep doing your therapy.

I can't believe they didn't at least keep her overnight for observation! She needs some very serious, intense therapy. I hope she gets it.

Heather said...

wow, I had a hard time reading this. I couldn't imagine it being real life. Super big ((hugs)) to you.