The client

Today I met a client that seemed to read me like a book. She sensed my uncertainty and pounced on it. When I asked her anything she cried and wouldn’t answer, but her tears were very short lived. She doesn’t want an advocate – by her own admission, she wants a support person. As the story unfolded what she essentially wants is a taxi service to drive her around. Although it’s not my place to make those judgments, I just write the paperwork. The thing that got to me was in amongst her aches and pains she confided she had been raped. It sounded like a disclosure. She started to cry. I’m not good at hiding my feelings. I blanched, I know I did, she caught it. So she seemed to get graphic. I struggled to keep my composure, lots of things whirring through my head. The next minute she was up showing me her paintings. Then she picked up her bag and requested I drive her to the shops (which is not something we do). I was so taken aback by the whole thing I didn’t object. The woman isn’t under the mental health act, so there’s no illness. I felt well and truly manipulated. Which is not uncommon in this sort of job. I duly dropped her off and then drove back to the office in tears. I felt really angry with myself for losing control in the meeting, for being triggered, for letting my past get in the way. This woman’s story may or may not have been true, but I should have controlled the meeting better. She took control and walked all over me. I feel like such an idiot.

Fortunately I have counselling tomorrow so I can go over it then. I need to learn to manage my triggers.

The rest of the day was fairly nondescript. I went back to the Ward, which used to be my trigger, or at least triggered me the first time I went, but now I’m in and out and don’t think anything of it. The client I was seeing there was just arriving the same time as me in the back of a police car, and I thought, yep, here we go! At least this job isn’t predictable!

My daughter has twisted her ankle (my 11 year old) which is a common occurrence with her. She is hell bent on having crutches- I have no idea why. So every so often we go through this bloody thing of her twisting her ankle and saying she can’t walk and needs crutches. Then we feel like horrible parents making her keep walking. This time however, she has completely put her foot down, or not, as the case may be. She’s adamant she’s really hurt herself. Her father definitely wouldn’t put up with it, but I’ve decided on this occasion to take her to the GP. Just in case. Most likely response is he’ll say she’s sprained it and to rest it where possible. No crutches. No time off school. No bandages (which she also loves). It’s a really frustrating situation. We all know the story about the boy that cried wolf. I’ll never know when/if she’s truly injured unless she’s got a bone jutting out somewhere.

Tomorrow is Egg’s birthday. She’s insisted that I join in the birthday dinner, much to Steve’s chagrin. He has no choice, so it’s a family affair. A couple of hours of being civil. I’ll have to try and not make my passive aggressive comments.

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