Betrayal, Sorrow, and Rage: Things I Do Not Understand (Trigger Warning)

It seems that since my carer was fired this afternoon the little things that went undone or should not have been done are still building up. Trash on my doorstep, which I expect to be strewn thoroughly by the stray cats, my juice down in the raw meat drawer of my refrigerator where it has been with raw meat for a while. A neighbor helped me get a box of yoghurt off of the bottom shelf and there it sat, hidden from view, beneath a pane of glass in what appears to be a puddle of meat juice.

I have had a hell in me for the last few days and yet now that I do not feel endangered, a feeling I couldn’t clearly identify because I wrote it off as my being paranoid, I feel oddly empty. The rage is still there but the degree of heat is down, it’s simmering in my lower back where the pain never fades. The music is helping, as is the fact that my specific flavor of metal is the Elegy disc by Leaves’ Eyes, who doesn’t like viking Symphonic Gothic Metal? Yeah… they took their norse heritage and the Edda and twisted into something that suits my ears nicely.

I felt desperate earlier, and this entire time I have been trying to give her a second chance, I felt… off. It has effected a good deal, including my comfort level with being identified as a nice person. I dislike the aspect of betrayal that nters into any caregiving situation where the caregiver turns out to think that not only am I required to say please and thank you, but that they cannot say they are unhappy in the pairing when it is policy, if you aren’t happy say so! The little jibes that came, the attempts to hurt me? They worked.

To need care is one thing. Most of us could actually benefit from a bit of care in our lives. To admit that you need care is another. To let a stranger into your life, your home, and to see you at your most vulnerable is wholly a third. The aching sorrow that stabs into the darkness that seems right for my soul, it is a bright light like a silver blade under the scales of a dragon. This sorrow comes before I even realize it, it steals my breath, and I want nothing more than to be independant.

I think that moment when I feel the need to assert my dominance in my home is a sign things aren’t okay. I am having to learn what to look at. I did say something well before today’s incident. I did. I also was listened to but there are laws for both her and I. I do not want her to lose all livelihood, but that is something she should have thought of before trying to feed me raw meat. That is something she should have thought of before LYING.

I don’t know what makes a lie something that flares my temper so, but, if there is one thing that can make me lose my temper, it is knowing I was lied to. I have managed to not do foolish things in my anger for a while now but that does not mean it is not there sizzling beneath my skin while I try and root out the truth that a betrayer does not seem to value. A little white lie? Welcome to job hunting.

The lies weren’t little. They were also a smudgey grey color with dots of snot green. Very icky lies. I won’t go into details here, because I already did elsewhere but why bother lying? Then again, I didn’t believe she was sick when she called in, but was hung over after the fourth anyway. She didn’t call me but seemed outright nervous afterwards, flinching when I said I am glad she feels better. Is that not the right thing to say when you are glad someone isn’t sick? Ah well. I don’t think my idea of logic or sense was near hers at all.

To me things that are simple to know were shocking to her. Cat venom exists in her reality where as in mine I know that retractable claws don’t work the same as fangs, which don’t actually retract but lie flat in a snake’s mouth until the mouth is opened via a sort of internal pulley system. They aren’t the same at all. She certainly thought the song Cat scratch fever was imperical evidence that cats have venom and will infect you. I found this out when Nymph sank her claws into me on her second day here. She asked me if I was worried about the cat venom.

That was just an example of her conversational style, I am fairly sure she meant this literally but if not she spent a lot of time on a personae of unintelligent blather. There’s nothing wrong with that, and there are things she did know. It was merely that once a day she asserted something like cat venom. I tried to not let that bother me but it did. It worried me, because if she thinks cats have venom or the other things stated, how is she going to ever graduate college and achieve her dreams? Of course I want her to achieve her dreams, I want all people to.

So there it sits. I am leaving out the gorey details, because the people who need them have them. The things that really devestated me internally. I am once more proud that I did not cry over this. That also makes me sad. I feel as if I should turn away and hide myself. As if I should try and live on my own for a while.

Sense and instinct are clashing. Sense tells me that if every time I get my own food I break things, spreading glass around my house then I must NOT go without a caregiver. Instinct, or perhaps something base and fearful in the mask of instinct, tells me the next one will just be another failure and that it would be best to not get attached. IT would be best to not hope.

I am trying to shut that voice up. That voice started before my first caregiver, and with the bad ones gets a little louder but with a few has gone away. I wasn’t right for them. That’s different and I am okay with that. I know that voice is really the voice of a terrified little girl waiting for her father to force his way into her bedroom, to hurt her where she is most vulnerable. That little girl who fears everything and everyone, and wants to be isolated beyond what is comfortable. That little girl that never will grow up, but cannot reign over the adult. I mourn her pain. I mourn my pain.

I know the little wounded child in me is wrong, and that being alone will mean I just starve to death. I know that I will wake up in the morning, I will get things done with the temp and wait for Monday. Then I will meet another potential caregiver, I will move on.

Even tonight, I will merely take the step forward to do what I need to do. There is no point in anything else, there is no point in waiting for the sorrow to eat at me but I can try and let it go. I won’t forget, I probably won’t forgive because I don’t think I could unless I thought she didn’t actually mean it. I will try and let go. That’s not the same. It will take me a month I think, that’s my usual, to stop playing the moment when I nearly lost my temper out in my head.

The moments. I didn’t get a real dinner last night because of her lies. Today she asks me if I ate. I almost screamed at her. I couldn’t hide my frustration. She asks what is wrong. I say I don’t want to talk about it and lets just have a day. She pushes at me, picks at me for fifteen minutes. “Not telling me makes this a hostile work environment.” My temper almost escapes again, I consider seriously squirting her with the cat squirt gun and telling her she’s bad and wrong and disgusting. I instead lift my phone and say, “Okay you can go home then.” She says never mind. I turn on music loudly.

She lasts a whole hour and a half before she nearly wins out. I think she wants me to yell. She seems to be enjoying pushing buttons. It’s in the facial expressions, it’s in the raw meat she called a cooked hamburger. I think these doubts are over reactions at first until she huffs at me for asking her to microwave the burgers for three minutes. That cooked them, nearly burned them. I couldn’t let go of the rage. I was so very hungry, so why couldn’t I get real food from her? Why couldn’t I have my needs met? That takes less time. I picked up the phone again, told her the time, and I said “You can go home now.” The little smile, it bothers me. Why smile when you are clearly not going to be allowed back to work?

“Fine.” Out she went. I spent the next few hours making sure things weren’t going to lead to me starving all weekend. They won’t. I will be okay. I will have enchiladas and spaghetti I think. Not sure yet but that sounds like a delicious weekend to me. I will face the next set of demons that I know comes afte rnot eating. The urge to eat or not eat, I am not sure which will be out of proportion but I am prepared. I was already after I didn’t get food last night. Peanutbutter Bowl is not dinner. It’s snack. Peanutbutter and jelly without bread in a bowl. It is also quite gross. Protein however lasts longer than carbs so it worked better to fuel me.

In the last hours all the things that she said and did were rehashed, each thing that I see as wrong shared, and documented. The previous documentation was pulled forward. I haven’t documented something or someone this much in a while, not since I had to fight to get handrails in my bathroom. The time that is unaccounted for bothers me the most, as do the whispers of my neighbors. Her racist accusations almost had me fire her last week out of a want to protect my neighbor yet she is a behind the back racist, which feels worse to me but will not directly effect my friend as I will not have her around him.

I wish this was the worst caregiving experience I have had. It’s very bad. Top three. She just comes under K and HIM… I doubt anyone will ever surpass him in the horror department. For that I am grateful. There is nothing left for me to say that should be said in a public space but, I will be okay. I will mourn, I will sorrow. I will remember this betrayal.

I will unlock my door in the morning, I will look to the sunny or cloudy sky, I will know that the future rises with the sunset, and the dawn brings something new for me to live with.

What the Hell! (Trigger Warning)

Today’s trigger warning is brought to you by abusive caregivers! Today I did not want to wake up. Sprite insisted, and in her special way got me upright, into pre-shower jammies. I always put on clean pajamas before I shower, so that I can then put on clean clothes. It feels good this way. So I put on my red satin jammies. I feel like a movie star with this on. I did the morning ritual, pee, meds, considering food, rejecting that idea because it’s too early. I curled up and watched a cartoon on my computer.

It was so late and my internal clock went “Ding, caregiver is late.” I looked at the clock, she wasn’t just a little late. She was a half an hour late. So I called the office. They normally call if someone calls in, and I requested that they make sure she knows, she calls them BEFORE she is late. They called me back, they gave her a formal warning. This is your job on the line, if you don’t call in next time you get fired.

I don’t have to hear the excuses for why people are late now. I try to not be late, it makes me panic to be late. I do not hold others to the same terror of lateness that I experience. I opened the blanket so I could watch the sky, still planning to shower. This would be three whole days not a week… twice in a row! Improvement. The office and I were on the phone when she walked up, so I told them she was here. Simple. Easy.

She starts giving me the excuses and I cut her off. “I don’t want to hear them. I don’t need to either. Lets just get the work done.” Maybe I said it wrong? I know better than that but she argued about feeding the cat, about feeding me. I pointed out she was over an hour and a half late, and since she never called I couldn’t compensate for that. I have to know she is going to be that late when I am in motion or it’s too late. I save moving sometimes or will save movement energy if I need to. I also tell her that we will be mopping tomorrow…

She storms off, then I hear crashing. I smell bad fumes. I was eating. We don’t clean when I eat because the smells can make me queasy even on the approved stuff. I choke down my food, more crashing. She’s throwing things. I hear water splashing on the floor. She never went out for a broom. My questing mind won’t let it go. I am afraid. Sprite is afraid., Sprite.. afraid? My indicator of when I should be afraid is screaming in terror and is trying to find a safe place to hide.

I stopped doubting myself, and considering my options. I had to look to see what was going on. I used movement energy, I got upright and moved to my room, I paused in the door way, my knees were dislocating so I relocated them. The cracking made her look up. My bathroom was thrashed. No amount of cleaning makes THAT kind of mess. I grabbed my ebook reader, and then went outside. My energy is spent, I am afraid. How do I keep going? My brain stalls a moment. What do I do?

I lean on my fence, letting it hold me up. Today was thankfully good on the ability. So rare are these days when I can move this far without falling. I did not fall. I creep out of my gate when I realize she could see me. I hold my mace at the ready. I am vulnerable, the sun is burning my skin. My neighbors look up. They are gathered as they tend to be and they notice me. I rarely commune with them, but when I do go out I am never in disarray. My hair is always brushed, my feet always shoed. Shoed is a word? If not it is now. I am never in my pajamas. I am never without my scooter.

The agency and I talk, I explain what is happening. I am put on hold and transferred to the man who runs the agency. Robert is a tall black man, he used to play football, and he has always felt safe to me. He has a nice smile, and always seems to understand, even when my brain is tied between pain and panick. I get the words out, “I need you to come remove my caregiver, and get the keys. She can’t be here now.” I explain what I saw and that Sprite is also afraid. I also tell him I am pretending to call my mother, she has no idea I have done this because I am afraid.

He got here in five minutes. I had just made it in, the door left unlocked. The window is still open. Jo has moved to the kitchen, supposedly the bathroom is fixed. I haven’t looked yet. She is smearing the broom around in soapy water. No mop. She doesn’t grab the mop until Robert is here. My knight in shining armor. Damned damsel in distress. I hate needing a rescue. I signal for him to enter when I see him. He steps over the puddle that is my entry way, and her mood shifts. She stops glaring at me when she sees him there, and grabs the mop. We let her finish “mopping” though my floor has brown streaks in it now. It’s dirtier. Cat poop litter streaks? That’s the level of ick that is in the bathroom. That is why I keep the germs seperate. Different broom, different mop. My kitchen floor is coated in grime. It scares me.

He didn’t tell her I called. I didn’t have to talk until I was ready. Robert noted Sprite, still screaming. She calmed some when he entered. Sprite likes him too. She moves and sits beside him. She keeps growling and muttering at Jo. I get the keys back. Robert and I talk. “You should never be afraid of your caregiver. You did the right thing.” I explain, sometimes I am afraid of everything and everyone and I can’t always tell if it is reasonable fear. Sprite tells me. He points out that Sprite calmed down the moment the door closed behind her.

Sprite is asleep. I have been calling people. I was on the phone with someone, I also got a few calls while in the moment of mess. I also texted two people before I realized it wasn’t PTSD and autistic overload. My body hurts. My body doesn’t just hurt but my mind too. The switch between calm and rage was so sudden. I flashed back. My terror was real for the moment. It wasn’t too much it just was. The agency respects me as a person and knew.

I called my mother, and told her that I had to use her as an excuse. She pointed out people DO argue with their parents, so it was a good excuse and to use it again if I have to. We talked. There was no anger. There was no fear. I talked to My Beth, my sweet sister. She asked why I was so out of it. I told her, we talked about the mundane. My Beth is almost an adult now. I know I should not call her mine but she is mine in a way. My memories. My sister. My Beth. She was tired, and yet she made sure to talk to me a bit. We didn’t talk too long, they are moving cars today so she had to go help winch something. My mom called back after they were done winching. She was glad I trusted her enough to use the excuse.

The reason that is trust is, my caregivers before who were not giving care but abuse have called to verify my excuses. I am also afraid of using an excuse with someone who could be hurt. It takes trust to let someone be your excuse. It takes trust. I am trying. She is trying.

Still… what the hell happened? I can’t follow the line in mind. A half an hour of abuse happened. The why escapes me as it always does. I can handle the cursing, I can handle someone being mad. I cannot handle the flinging of things. I have to pee now so I will see how bad the bathroom is. The floors should be dry now. It’s been an hour. Right now Jo is finding out she no longer works for the agency.

I am always afraid that I will be told I cannot have a caregiver again when this happens. I already know I have a temporary person coming in and that the agency doesn’t hold this against me. They hold this sort of action against the caregiver. I am known to be a rather laid back person (on the outside, my head is not so laid back as you my readers know). I tend to roll with the little challenges, I try to work things out.

“You should never be afraid of your caregiver.” I am going to try and remember that. My little fear and trepidation, I will try to let them go. I am not afraid of anyone at the agency, my neighbors, and I am working on my fear of my mother. I felt safer outside of my house today. Maybe this is in and of itself a form of progress?

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