Monday, April 6, 2009

The Countess of Monte Cristo

I find myself trapped in the dungeon again with the only windows and sources of light high above, far from my reach. The walls close in around me. There are too many people nearby and all are wearing frowns. I search desperately for some means of escape; perhaps I can dig out with a plastic spoon...

Okay, so maybe I'm over-dramatizing a little but I couldn't help it. After being away for 3 weeks the stark contrast between where I am and where I would like to be is even more apparent. I need the open spaces and was allowed to remember for a little bit that they do still exist. I need room where I'm not constantly tripping over the little ones and can have my other babies with me (my mom is watching them for me since I couldn't have them all here until I'm finished with the internship). I need good Southern food (artery clogging be darned) and the lovely Southern drawl and the smiles and friendliness that, to me, characterize home.

Coming back was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It is too crowded here, the traffic is horrendous, and I just plain don't like it and I "ain't a-skeered to say so!" The people here were glad to have me back though; I was told that I have manners and they appreciate it:) Some of them I like even if they are Yankees...

I live in a basement apartment that is tiny and the rent is huge due to the area where I am. I do lovingly refer to the place as my own little dungeon but am not actually trying to dig my way out with a plastic spoon--yet!! Ninety-one days left from today unless they allow me to leave early since my next internship starts before this one is complete. I'm sure that'll go over really well (sarcasm intended); fortunately the next group is at a university and they are willing to work with me regarding my start date if needed. I started packing what's left of my stuff today--one should be ready at a moment's notice, you know.

There is no way that I can possibly express how much I am looking forward in anticipation to returning to a university setting and a place where there is space!!! It'll probably be a little too flat to satisfy someone that grew up in the foothills of the Appalachians but at least there's room to breathe.

I found myself in an odd mood today. Typically, I'm a very non-confrontational person but I was arguing with the "adults" in rounds. I was quite surprised at myself. It was almost as if I grew up in some odd way while gone. I felt very disconnected as if I were watching the proceedings from afar and the commentary in my head went something like this: "What an arrogant, pompous group of people. They don't even really know what they are talking about as much as they think they do. And now, watch, they will shoot what you say down because 1) You're an intern and 2) They don't really know the answer or understand therefore they'll say it's a bad idea rather than admit there is something they don't know." A good friend of mine told me recently that one problem with private practice specialty groups is that the specialists eventually reach a point in which they think they know everything and become frightened if challenged (this also happens in general private practice unfortunately) where in the university/academic setting, there is always someone down the hall that knows more than you. I think he had a really good point. When I came here, I was very reluctant to argue since I felt they must know so much more than I do but this time away made me realize that is not always true. It's been an invigorating but somewhat disconcerting experience. One of my most important goals in life is to always question and search for better ways to do things--it frightens me to think that I could cease to wonder.

The vacation time was very good for me even though I was working through most of it. I think I've done some growing. It gave me a chance to make decisions about the future while taking a step back from the reality of the moment. I was able to refresh to the point that I no longer have violent tendencies (such as wanting to choke a client). There was time to see my babies at home, visit my mother, and even catch up with a few of the most important people in my life. I think I've regained some of my sense of humor and some of my usual happy disposition. Admittedly, I'm still not up to par since the really difficult months of January/February when I lost three of the little ones but that will take a lot longer to get through than it's been. I've been missing a support system, though, and it was good to be able to fall into the laps of some of my friends and family and soak up the comfort and caring. This was a much needed and enjoyed break and I even learned some things;)

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