Welcome to May and it’s Mental Health Awareness Month (alongside borderline personality disorder (BPD) or Emotionally Unstable personality disorder (EUPD) awareness month as well). For the month of May, my goal is to return to the world of blogging each day (if not five or maybe six times a week) with some sort of blog post along the topic of mental health conditions awareness, some fun stuff and recovery oriented endeavors.
As today is the first, I will be sharing a fresh new story that I’m apparently embarking on. It’s actually an original story (so, not fan fiction) with original characters and a timeline that I have no idea will be explored. I’d say the chapters will probably act more as one-shots but that may change at the same time too.** (**If you’d be interested to see my character description for our main character, let me know in a comment and I’ll do a dedicated post to that in the future!! Or you could just wait until I describe it more naturally as the story goes on. Either way 😁😊)
I basically needed to vent from work today so this is what I came up with to do just that. All the names and characters and true inspiration has been changed for confidentiality purposes and so I won’t be discussing so much what happened to me in real life but rather through the bits and pieces of what really happened and how I’m going to handle my reactions towards those things.
If anyone has any suggestions on how to handle either being disrespected or teenagers, thaaaaaat’d be great. Leave them in a comment down below!!! Teenagers are definitely pretty ruthless so any feedback on how to not take their scathing replies personally or how to leave work stuff behind at work and not take it home with you would be SO helpful for me!! I’d love your feedback in any way that I can gobbler it in.
My plan with the rest of today (as I do have work again tomorrow morning): is to reread and edit this first chapter, place it into this post without further much ado, watch maybe a Grey’s Anatomy episode on Netflix, brainstorm ideas for tomorrow’s post (whether that’s a tag, an old film review, watching a new MCU movie, etc.), reading a book, gaming with Animal Crossing and then just going to sleep early is well, erm, that’s it, that’s my plan. 😁😅🤗
So, here is my story and let me know in the comments what you think!! I’ll be back tomorrow to see you all again. I’ve honestly been trying to write a couple of blog posts behind the scenes but this is the first time it’s really gotten further than just rewriting the same sentence or working only a little on a MCU movie review.
Any ways, that’s it. Thanks for reading!!!
“One Woman’s Persistence”
It wasn’t exactly the type of job she’d ever imagined for herself.
Sure, she’d worked with kids before.
Okay, they were her siblings. No surprise there.
But she didn’t realize, didn’t think, couldn’t have imagined that she’d be where she is now, scrubbing running mascara off her face in the bathroom, her shoulders shaking uncontrollably as hot tears rolled down her white highlighted cheeks.
“Damn,” she croaked, her voice breaking between her sobs.
I really thought I was stronger than this.
And, naturally of course, following that was:
If I knew I’d be crying today, I wouldn’t have worn so much makeup.
She couldn’t help but let out an airy chuckle bitterly.
This wasn’t exactly the way she thought her job would go. She was working at a trauma informed residential for youth where they were placed to protect their safety and to stabilize their moods before they went through either adoption or foster care.
They were rambunctious little five-year old’s up to twelve-year old’s that needed a hefty amount of redirection but it wasn’t them she had trouble with. Rather, this crying spell was because of the cruelty in words the older teens had unleashed.
Sure, she understood it wasn’t (necessarily) personal. They were going through hell and abandonment themselves, lashing out at anyone not just because they could but because, maybe, they thought these other adults could take it?
But Jazz would be kidding herself and making a mockery of her tear-stained face if she ever dared to think she could have taken it—because, obviously, she couldn’t.
And it was more than just the disrespect that stung. It was more than the power struggle, the embarrassment that sizzled on her skin for having other teens present to witness her humiliation, it was more than all of that and had everything to do with the frequent verbal leadup that eclipsed the entire event, pushing Jazz past her breaking point.
“Go back to your fucking little kids house where you belong.” The teen, red-faced and blue eyes narrowed in a glare had growled. “Who do you think you are? Telling me what to do?” the teen, Pez, spat, because his words slid out like the candied pieces of a Pez machine, his white skin, freckled and red, resembling more of a caricature than a real human being. “I ain’t some three-year-old you can boss around. I’m seventeen. I’m human. You can’t tell me what to do.” Pez looked down for a moment, hairs bristled. “You ain’t my Momma.”
Hate sliced through him again, “Get the fuck outta here.”
He leaned back in his chair, the wood smacking the wall as it angled.
Jazz had wanted so much to have a clever retort, a witty comeback, a swift end of discussion maneuver, a challenge to return even if it was only verbal.
But instead, all she felt were the tears coming. And she was alone.
No other staff on this side of the house within the facility of five other houses and she couldn’t just run away, either.
Instead, she just bit her lip taunt, teeth clamping onto hot pink, like she was doing now, between the hiccups of pain and the scars of a fresh wound.
When she did manage to get away, about twenty minutes after the air had returned to cool and she could see the lashing fading from the teen’s body, and cast a glimmer of pain at her none the wiser co-worker (save me, please) she drifted away to the bathroom where she was bawling in now.
Jazzelle hadn’t had it easy growing up in her dysfunctional household: with parents that split on each other in a nasty divorce, her mother ending up taking her own life and her father drowning in his guilt as he remarried—Jazzelle often had to be the parent for herself and even more so later when her two younger siblings came into the picture, at least twelve years younger than her, by which Jazz was then sixteen.
By the time Jazz was a junior in high school, she had to lay herself down to the grass and give up: the trauma had been too much to bear alone and she realized she could no longer keep up in school (what was the point anyhow? She’d never make it to college) and had to drop out.
She got small jobs here and there, not much to help in rent or fun excursions, but it was better than nothing which was what she would have had without them.
Yeah, most nights she went hungry, but her sisters Margarette and Janese got to eat and that’s all that really counted.
By eighteen, Jazz was on her feet better than ever, or at least for the time being, as she moved out and got her own apartment with two roommates and assisted state living, succeeding in getting her GED and beginning cosmetology school.
Two and a half years after and thrust in the workforce, she found that while still passionate for her own self-expression and handling jobs on the side focused on hair and makeup, it wasn’t her main source of fulfillment anymore and the thought of doing it for the rest of her life was both nauseating and choke holding.
She had to crawl her way out of that existential crisis alone, too, but once she managed, she found her growing love for photography was maybe something worth pursuing professionally.
So, that’s what she had done.
She applied to a school in the city, packed up her bags and dove right in.
Four years into it after taking one year off, she was still working for her degree when she landed the position, part-time, at the residential.
While toying with the idea of wandering into a sociology degree, in the spare time that Jazzelle never had, she’d be entering into her forty-second week working before she was introduced to the older teens facilities upon her work’s campus. Sure, she’d have covered breaks before or arrived at the very end of the night or given out medications, but this time was her first time really thrown to the wolves as in being alone working on that side of the house with the teenage boys.
So, while things hadn’t exactly gone to plan: between her muffled cries, the snot and all the tears; the disrespect; the incessant tomfoolery; the blaming herself like when she did after her mother’s passing and the high natural order that she’d have to be back to work tomorrow morning—between all of that…maybe Jazz could have done more to prevent this from happening.
She was still slowly getting used to the fact that she didn’t work in a vacuum of space: she and her co-workers were a team and they protected one another, laying upon each other when they needed it, supporting, not always agreeing, and definitely offering feedback and posing the necessary questions.
…Jazz knew this.
It was just hard, still, to ask for help. To not just be the independent, strong woman she had needed to always be for herself, and to finally say, ‘Hey, maybe I can’t and don’t have to handle this alone.’
It was help that totally would have, if supplied right and given at the most opportune moment, completely prevented this sob story for having played out.
Jazz couldn’t have been crying for more than ten minutes but it felt like a forever sense of eternal damnation that she just wasn’t and couldn’t have properly prepared for.
But one small knock on the door, a tapping really, and she was reeling herself back in.
Forget what she could have done, what she could have said, what should or shouldn’t have happened, it was done and over with and while her voice was still hoarse and shaky as she mentioned, “Just a second,” her blue-green eyes fixed their stare at her reflection. She could see the lines on her face, the wrinkles like the Grand Canyon upon her forehead, her face battered from wearing the storm and when she scrunched up her pink lips, half crumpled with gloss and still half in place, she let out a long sigh and put that game face of hers back into play.
She’d handle the rest of the shift.
If she was lucky: away from Pez.
If not, tolerating him would have to be enough.
And while she may have a shake in her step or the hypervigilance to be aware of Pez and where his arms were at, she knew she’d be okay.
She knew she’d make it in tomorrow.
Because that’s just what Jazz did.
In the face of adversity, she persisted.
Written: May 1st 2021 between 4:45p – 6p; typed at 6:15p, edited by 7p, uploaded by 7:30p EST.
Thank you all so much once more, and let’s all hail for tomorrow’s upcoming return!!!
When you’re stressed out, how do you manage your emotions? Is there something you can turn to pretty easily to self-soothe and practice self-care? What could you do to challenge yourself in one small way going forwards?
All the best,