I’m writing now because — even though I do have things to do — it’s very likely that if I’m not writing, I’ll be asleep. Maybe I should be asleep? I don’t know. I got my Omicron booster last week, and am still fatigued. Of course, adding to this is the fact that I turned in a job application…for an academic job, this time. This job does work with people, but Academic Librarianship, I’ve heard to be less stressful (in the ways I have trouble with stress) than Public Librarianship.
As regards that application: I had to work fast, as I hadn’t been observant, and the second deadline for submissions came up a couple of days ago…meaning I was working until and after midnight for several days, doing things like trying to figure out what a Curriculum Vitae (CV) looks like for this potential post, when I had never made a CV before.
Yes, that was on top of being fatigued. And on top of missing the deadline for my XML work, which I’m not cheerful about, as my academic references are my main employment references. I looked back at the XML reading for last week a couple of minutes ago (I have 15 pages before the end of it), and I…really don’t want to do it, right now. It requires attention and thinking and cross-referencing; which I’m not sure I can handle, at the moment.
I’ve also been working through a lot about my history. I tried to write all this down…some of it is in my free-writing journal, some in my regular journal, and some in files or drafts. What we’ve been talking about in my counseling sessions is actually becoming clearer to me. I’ll have to seek out my other notes…I can’t recall everything, precisely, now.
I mean, seriously, this is like trying to untangle a knot… A huge, emotionally-involved knot, that took decades to snarl. (I guess, on the plus side, I do have emotions, even if I don’t understand them?) And no, I haven’t been writing much, recently. I probably should be writing, just to retain a record for the future. The thing is, I can start writing at 4 PM and write clear through to 4 AM (stopping a moment for dinner). It’s not always something that has a clear end point, other than exhaustion. Or hand-cramping, in the case of writing this out longhand.
A couple of days ago, I did start outlining what I could remember about certain people I encountered during my work…looking for patterns. There are patterns. To publicly divulge what those patterns are could be trouble, as I really don’t know how to phrase it in a way everyone would accept. Even psychiatric terms tend to sound…well, disrespectful, at times. (This is probably why people in Psychiatry tend not to use those terms with their clients.)
This problem went beyond people being jerks, to people being intoxicated and/or mentally unstable, at the same time as they’ve wanted things from me they weren’t entitled to, and wanted me to compensate for their behavior.
At last count, there were only seven particular (adult) members of the community whom I’ve really gotten upset with — over ten years of employment. Just: some of them, I had to deal with, continually. Like I said before, I thought I had anger issues, but apparently, I don’t: I keep myself under control too well. What I have are rumination issues, and grounding issues. I’m working on emotional modulation, basically. I have physical control, but I’m only learning emotional control, now.
I also never really learned to recognize when a person is high — with the exception of the one guy who kept coming in obviously smashed and complaining about his girlfriend (I’m being nice, here) — which likely would have helped me feel safer when I had to deal with them. “High,” is different than, “this guy’s brain just doesn’t work well.” The latter can be scarier; it doesn’t wear off. There aren’t necessarily periods of sobriety.
Of course, you don’t always get one with the absence of the other. Especially when one can trigger the other, or people try to “self-medicate” their troubles with drugs from their local hookup.
Recently, I had to take another Sexual Violence Prevention Training refresher course. I learned that what I had thought, at least for the first nine years of my employment; that I had to tolerate unwanted and harassing behavior as a condition of keeping my job, just wasn’t true. If it was, it shouldn’t have been, and I shouldn’t have been working there.
This means that I was undertrained (probably because, as Shelvers, we were not supposed to be dealing with the public at all: thus why train us to work with it), and the condition of my employment was such that it should be no surprise if I were turned off of public service by my experiences there. It also means that, should I go back into working with people, I do not have to tolerate that type of behavior…again.
I also know not to take my problems to the de facto supervisor, but the de jure supervisor.
The best I got at the time, amounted to, “these things happen,” or the knowledge that if I complained again, I could get the person’s library privileges (temporarily) suspended…which…I don’t know what that’s supposed to do, except upset them. And then they come back.
As well, what I learned via my initial martial arts training was, in effect, the definition of hypervigilance. I didn’t know about the harmfulness of hypervigilance, at the time; that constantly, “watching your back,” for decades, could be as harmful or more psychologically harmful than actually getting attacked. (Though, please: that is not a recommendation.) This is what I mean when I say that generational trauma can be passed along from teacher to student. At a certain point, you’ve got to ask what kind of person runs a martial arts dojo: though trust me, it should be different for every art.
This gets deeper, into things that I’m pretty sure would be safer to hold closer to the vest…I’m not sure if that stuff is going to come out at all, though if it does, it’s probably going to have a trigger warning.
I know that I’ve been surprised by stuff like this in the context of movie trailers, and after having seen it, I’m like, “That was totally unnecessary. I didn’t have to see that.” Then I’m left trying to forget about the trailer so I can focus on the movie, when my adrenaline’s rushing due to some recalled memory that I had no desire and no need to remember. But my body is thinking it has to do something because I’m obviously in danger.
No: I was obviously, triggered.
Yeah. I’m…working on emotional regulation.