Moved to self-hosted site

So I’ve contact support and am not sure what’s going on, but none of my new followers are showing up at my actual site. So if you’d like to follow my blog and if you’d like to see new posts, please SUBSCRIBE at http://www.theracingthoughtsofasocialworkmom.com

Sorry to be a pain. I just want to make sure that everyone who is following me gets the posts, because if you’re only showing up on here you won’t see anything from me. Sorry again, thanks for subscribing if you’d like! 

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Sorry again

Guess you probably need the website. Again, sorry, looooong day at work.

http://www.theracingthoughtsofasocialworkmom.com

Thanks again!

Moved to a self-hosted site

Hi everyone, so sorry to be a pain. I realized that when I moved my wordpress.com blog to a self-hosted site, that several of you aren’t getting any updated posts. I’d love to connect with you all still. If you would be willing could you go to my new site and subscribe if you are interested in still following me? I have noticed that some of my new subscribers are only showing up in my wordpress app and not on my blog, I have contacted support and am trying to remedy the situation. Sorry if this is too much of a pain. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Thank you, I appreciate it!

You Can’t Adopt Inmates?

I mean, obviously you can’t adopt an inmate. You can’t adopt grown-ups. I know about boundaries with my clients, not being “too invested”, having good self-care, blah blah blah. Doesn’t change that every so often there are several inmates that I would gladly take home if I could.

I think movies like The Blind Side make it seem right to take in grownups/or close to being a grown up seem like such a nobel idea. The entire adoption process of children is much more complicated. Once you turn 18 it’s like good luck, try to have a good life with no support system. I see more grown ups that are emotionally stunted because they had horrible childhoods and minimal to no support system.

As a human, you will come in contact with a variety of people who touch your heart in various ways. Some leave lasting impressions. Some you never want to see again. Then, there are some that if it were allowed, I would take home in an instant! I’m pretty vocal at the jail that I want to take some of the inmates home. People joke around with me and ask frequently who I want to bring home today. We laugh it off. I am mostly joking….mostly. I won’t take anyone home. This doesn’t stop me from wanting to.

Part of the reason I became a social worker is because I wanted to fix the world. I want to leave it a better place than I found it. Some of my supervisors over the years have said I have a “bleeding heart” and that my goals are unrealistic. Who cares if they are unrealistic? First, this pisses me off because who the hell is anyone to tell me that wanting to change the world is unrealistic. Change starts with one person, that’s it! I’m not saying that I will save the world, but wanting to save the world, why would anyone try to stop someone from attempting to do so?

Second, when did we all get so comfortable with the bystander effect? I’m a little disgusted that even among other social workers, there is this idea that some of my clients issues aren’t my problem and someone else with deal with them. Who is this magic someone else? Why is there always a someone else to deal with that specific issue? We try to make almost everything someone else’s issue. It’s not our job. It’s not our responsibility. People don’t want to take on other people’s problems. No wonder it is so hard for people to get mental health treatment. They have to go through many people, several agencies, countless pages of paperwork, then wait several weeks to months before even seeing a therapist or prescriber. People we consider high-functioning wouldn’t think this process is acceptable. For someone who is labeled with a mental illness, labeled a criminal, is homeless, whatever; this process becomes incredibly more difficult; if not almost impossible.

No system is perfect. I see countless issues within the system I work and don’t know where to even begin to start a conversation for implementing positive change. People are also uncomfortable with change. Not the point, with a flawed system it makes it seem more realistic in my mind to just take these people home. I know I can’t fix people. I know I’m not this amazing person that brings happiness wherever I go. I do know that change starts with the person who wants to change. But, I do have tools and skills to offer to these people. I do also have a warm heart that can give comfort and empathetic support.

There are things in this world I will never understand. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my job. I love the population I work with. There are days that are challenging. There are people who are challenging. The system gets me fired up at times. I am passionate about what I do, which people might mistake for weakness or being “too invested” (clearly I hear this term used often). As I have said before, I don’t think that being invested in a negative. Even if other people view that as a flaw, I will not change that. I will not apologise for that. I just wish there was better collaboration between agencies to help these inmates. I wish there wasn’t so much stigma attached to people who have committed a crime. Truly, anyone could easily get caught up in the judicial system, this does not mean this person no longer has value.

I just hope for a better world. I hate having conversations that focus on the limitations of what we can do as therapists/social workers. I don’t like being told that my ambitions are too high. That’s the problem with our society. Even if I don’t come close to my goals, I would rather attempt to get there and accomplish something than set my standards lower and accept things as they are. I may never see the changes in this world I wish to see, but I am sure as hell going to try.

 

New Nipples

I’m 2 weeks and 1 day out from my breast reduction. The drainage tubes were taken out on the 3rd day and I returned to work the Monday after the surgery. Most of the steri strips have fallen (or may have been pulled) off. I can really start to see what my final size might end up being.

I will probably be a small D, still a little large for my liking. Poor me, right? I don’t mind the scars. The scars aren’t as bad as I would have expected, especially so soon after the surgery. I feel more confident. I like the way my body looks in clothing now. My back doesn’t hurt as much and I’m hunching less.

Probably the worst part of this surgery so far is that the incisions itch horribly! I know that means they are healing, by I want to claw my skin off. Literally, I’m causing bruising to my boobs because of how much I am itching them! The pain from the whole surgery wasn’t that bad at all. I would say on a pain scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain I’ve ever been in, the worst I felt was probably a 2. I have taken Tylenol 3 times for some discomfort. Quite pleased.

Well, besides the itching, I saw my nipples without the steri strips for the first time since the surgery…I don’t really know how I feel about it. Maybe I’m used to my old nipples. I knew those nipples, they were just mine, for so many years! Now they are weird. Maybe because they are higher? I can’t quite decide what I’m not thrilled with. There is scarring all the way around both nips, this could be why I don’t like them.

The scarring seems to be worse around the nipples. It is red and angry looking. There is some puckering around the skin of the nipples. I’m sure they will heal in time and I’ll get used to them. I told my husband I was worried he would find me unattractive because my nipples looks weird. Of course he didn’t agree. I don’t feel like he would tell me the truth about it. Or, he’s a guy and they are boobs and therefore, they are exciting either way? I don’t know.

I am very critical of myself and expect perfection in every area of my life. I am still beyond happy that I had the reduction and lift. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I feel like at this stage in healing process it’s been a pretty good recovery with minimal issues. I just don’t like my nipples right at this moment. I might just need to get used to them, which probably means staring at my new boobs for far more time than is considered normal.

Social Work Struggles

I returned to work on Monday. One week post-op. No real issues in that department. What I am sad about is that some people at my job tell me I’m too invested. This really irritates the living daylights out of me! We live in a culture that is very self-centered. Everyone’s main focus is on themselves.

I think if people spend a little more time being selfless instead of selfish, our society would function just a little better. I am all about self-care and being self full, but there has to be a balance. I hate when another social worker tells me I’m too invested in my clients, because that doesn’t seem like a very social worky thing to say. I thought that was the whole point of my job, to actually give a crap.

I think every therapist or in any line of work people have their favorite clients/patients/whatever. I definitely have mine, but I’ve also been told by my peers that while they know I have my favorite inmates they do not see me give them any special favoritism. I appreciate that feedback, I try to treat everyone equally and work equally as hard for all my clients. As a social worker, and more importantly, as a human we form attachments to people.

Forming bonds are so rare and special. People share things with me that I’m sure they have never shared with another person in their lives. I’m also positive that people flat-out lie to my face. Everyone has a story. Everyone has trauma. Everyone is a human. In my job specifically, I think the inmates are frequently seen as just that: an inmate, a criminal. It’s not always so black and white.

It surprises me that in 2015, we are still thinking with such rigid judgments on people, myself included. There are several inmates I would gladly take home. I tell the majority of my co-workers I want to take inmates home. However, I do have good boundaries and haven’t and won’t do that. But there are people in there that are funny, charming, smart, kind-hearted and absolutely worthwhile. There are some that I think exactly the opposite of. Regardless of my opinions or anyone else’s we are all people. We are all searching for the same things in life: love and acceptance.

There are several people at the jail, that if it weren’t for the guidelines of my job, if I would have met them outside of jail I probably would have been friends with them. We forget how easily any one of us could be inside a jail for making a mistake. Some choose to make worse mistakes than others, but some people are stuck in a system that is difficult to get out of.

Basically, I’m irritated that people tell me I care too much. What does that even mean? Why is that a bad thing? I can tell you I will NEVER change that. That doesn’t mean I have poor boundaries. That doesn’t mean I’m not good at my job. That doesn’t mean I coddle inmates. That doesn’t mean that I need to work on my self-care or be involved in my own therapy to sort it out. I care because in my heart I feel that it’s the right thing to do. I care because too many people don’t give a s**t about anyone or anything. I care because I believe it in my heart and soul to be a positive thing. It gives me hope to care, because the world can be a cruel place. I also know I am not alone in my thinking and am so saddened that we live in a society where caring is viewed as a flaw that needs to be fixed. I refuse to accept that. I refuse to change my heart. I refuse to give up on people that everyone else wants to throw away.

At the end of my life, I want to know I gave every ounce of my soul to helping and loving others. Showing emotions is a strength. We need to be more open and accepting of that. I have always had a tender heart and used to feel that I needed to change that. As I got older I have learned to embrace it and am so proud that in a society where it isn’t easy to be sensitive, I am not afraid to be me. I can be a henious b***h, don’t get me wrong. I will always stand up for what is right. Maybe if we took an extra moment each day to be a little kinder, to be less judgmental, to embrace our own emotions we could really make some major positive changes. Just maybe we could each give a little bit more…

 

Reduction Recovery

I had my breast reduction on Monday the 6th. I was terrified and shaking with nerves. The plastic surgeon, nurses and the entire staff were beyond reassuring. On a side note, I feel that they should send everyone home with a vial of Versed instead of narcotics. That was lovely!

As for pain, I haven’t really had much. I’ve been sore, but mainly where the drainage tubes were. Those came out on Wednesday. More than anything I am itchy. I want to scratch the living day lights out of my boobs, but that would probably open up my sutures.

Other than the multi-colored bruising I am quite pleased with the results so far. They are perky, smaller and have a nice shape. I wish I would have done this a decade ago! I’m bummed that I can’t work out for a while or pick up my toddler. Except I have a couple of times, shhhh.

The Dr. gave me Valium since I can’t handle any type of narcotics so I have been pretty loopy and keep getting my days mixed up. I already feel so much better in my skin and feel more confident. My husband who was sad when I initially told him I wanted a reduction, is now thrilled and says they are a good size and perky. I don’t need his approval, but it is nice to have it.

However, since I have all this Valium in my system I’m sure I continue to ask my mom and husband the same questions incessantly. I have also caught up on a lot of sleep. This is the main benefit of this surgery so far. Anyone with children, especially a toddler knows how precious even a moment to ourselves is.

I’m sure this post makes no sense since I am still in a daze. I would have written about my experience sooner, but I think any attempt at writing would have ended in disaster. I believe that anyone should be allowed to do with their own bodies as they see fit. As long as it isn’t extremely destructive. I’m so grateful I have family close by to help me take care of my little one so I can recover. I’m so lucky to have a supportive husband who tells me he just wants me to be happy. I have some amazing friends, and now I have some amazing boobs. Today is a good day.

Bye Bye Back Pain

Well, it’s the night before my breast reduction. It’s a mix between a child-like excitement for Christmas, and crippling fear. The fear is because I will be under general anesthesia. I’m also afraid that my boobs will turn out horribly and look like a train wreck.

I have bought some clothing for when I am a smaller size and have saved several shirts I have saved for the one amazing day that my boobs will be smaller. As silly as it sounds, I don’t want them to turn out to be too small.

What silly problems. If my most significant concern at the moment is the size of my breasts, I think I’m doing okay. I am very fortunate to be able to have this done. I don’t take this for granted. I know many women, even some of my friends would kill to have my size boobs. The grass is always greener. I wonder why that really is. Each side of the coin has its pros and cons.

I do believe that my self-esteem and quality of life will improve. My back aches most of the time. I can’t wear a lot of the clothes that I like without feeling like I’m being very provocative. I just want to feel good in my skin.

One of my other concerns is that I can’t go to work this week. While my job can be difficult, I love it. I like the structure of my routine. I have attachments to some of the inmates who have been there for as long as I have worked there. I’m excited to return and be less concerned with how I dress so it won’t seem inappropriate. This issue has never come up, but I get worried that if I wear even the tiniest V-neck there will be cleavage and I will look unprofessional.

My thoughts feel dumb to me tonight. It’s basically my stupid insecurities running through my brain because I’m nervous about the surgery. I’m sure I’ll be just fine. I’ll be awake and on the road to recovery before I know it. I have a couple of friends who have had the same surgery, from what I hear a lot of women who have this procedure are very happy with the outcome. Hopefully, I will be part of that group who is thrilled with my new boobs!

Toddler Fights and Kitten Bites!!!

After an eventful day at work, I arrived home to learn my darling little girl took a 30 minute nap. Sounds about right. I knew she would be fussy, but I wasn’t expecting the meltdown of the century.

This little girl has lungs! She is also very dedicated to her cause. The reason for such an extreme meltdown? I wouldn’t let her pour water all over the floor. Seriously! 45 minute meltdown with shrill screaming and noises I have never heard from her before!

I tried everything! Distraction? Nope, not cutting it! Offering a cookie? She looked at me with disgust! Tried to snuggle with her, almost got kicked in my jaw; several times. Singing to her? Absolutely not! That made her cry harder. Ignoring her? This little drama queen followed me around throwing herself on the ground and screaming as loudly as she could.

I called both my husband and my mother. I put it on speaker phone. I didn’t want to talk with them, just let them see this side of her. Also, to reassure myself that I’m not crazy and this is actually happening. Surprisingly, I was fairly calm throughout the ordeal. I tuned her out at some point. Survival skills must have kicked in.

One of our cats HATES shrill/loud sounds. The screaming was offensive to her ears. Rather than go somewhere else in the house to avoid the loud screaming, she meowed loudly in my face several times. I tried to reassure her. No success. I’m striking out with the kid and the kitties today.

As if a screaming, tantrum throwing toddler isn’t difficult enough, my cat decides to bite me. Hard. Three times! 3!!! Her tiny razor teeth got my foot, arm and shoulder! Holy hell that hurt! Made me want to hide under a blanket for several years. It was really quite rude!

This was the first major meltdown I have experienced. Probably my karma for being a world record holder for most extreme tantrums. My parents love to remind me of what a screamer I used to be! Anyway, I can say that I’m officially stumped on what I dislike more. For now it’s a draw between tantrums and cat bites. They both equally piss me off and hurt my sensitive little heart!

I am in bed, enjoying some sacred moments of solitude. I have a raging headache. I want to throw up a bit. Probably from the headache. I love that sweet little girl, who shows me that she isn’t always so sweet. I love my cats. I think my daughter is showing me she is a determined, strong-willed child. One day, when the tantrums are long forgotten I’m sure I will be grateful that she has a strong personality. I need a snack. Something chocolate. That will soothe my soul….

No Panties? No Problem?

This might be true, if I wasn’t talking about my non-potty trained toddler. She has become quite the exhibitionist lately. She loves to strip off her clothes and pull her diapers off. I can’t keep them on her!

We are in the beginning stages of attempting to introduce her to the potty. She likes to sit on her little potty, but doesn’t seem interested in actually trying to use it. We also have a little potty seat that fits in our toilet, which she also declines to use.

The past week has gotten more difficult. She has a history of taking off her clothes, but usually leaves her diaper on. Now she just wants to streak and parade around in her birthday suit. The only reason this bothers me is that she isn’t potty trained and I don’t want bodily fluids all over my house.

My hopes may be too high. On Thursday evening she was running around without clothes on, our new normal. My husband came home and saw a naked baby and gave me a questioning look. I told him she wouldn’t wear anything, and not for my lack of effort.

We practiced sitting on the potty. Asked her if she needed to go many times. She continuously said no. She was running back and forth between our bedroom and hers. Next thing we know, she is squatting behind the chair in her room and peeing on the floor. Doesn’t seem to faze her in the slightest. She continues to play as if nothing happened.

On Friday night, we were in a similar situation. She seemed to be more interested in spending some time on her potty. We asked again if she needed to use it, she declined. This went on for a good 20-30 minutes. Next thing we know, she is peeing in the hallway. She did grab a baby wipe and was trying to clean the carpet, which was endearing.

I’m not complaining about this situation. I don’t feel that I need advice on what to do. I know she will learn to use the potty when she is ready. I think we are headed in that direction, I just am not sure if we are there yet. It’s the in-between that is slightly concerning. She definitely needs diapers, but doesn’t want to wear them. She isn’t interested in the toilet. She knows how to dress and undress herself. She’s just under 20 months and is very strong willed.

She gives us no indication that she is aware that she had to pee yet. She is very aware that diapers, panties, pants are of no interest to her. I know there is a solution. I know we will figure this all out. I am hopeful this resolves itself before she starts making “art” with her waste. That is my greatest fear. People do that at the jail often. Makes it more of a reality that things like that actually happen. Please oh please dear child, please don’t make me presents just yet.

Mommyhood sure does have its ups and downs. While this behavior is kind of humorous because she is so darn cute, it is not one of my favorite cleaning activities. They should have highly absorbent diaper lined rugs that people can place all over their floors when they are anywhere near the potty training process. Maybe I’ll make a diaper quilt and cover our entire house with it.