Sunday

Sunday is the day I look forward to the most – being the only day of the week I get a proper lie-in, it’s taken over from Saturdays since I started at college. Today should have had a lovely start as I had no morning plans and I could get up when I wanted; unfortunately all I could think about when I woke up were things guaranteed to make anyone angry. Brexit, the current problems with the Labour party, Trump, the crumbling liberal consensus. Once again I’ve spent far too much time on news websites this week, so now it’s the first thing I’m thinking about. My Sunday lie-in was thus ruined and I had to get up earlier than I normally would just to escape the thoughts.

It’s so difficult to escape the news! I guess I wouldn’t be so interested in it if there weren’t so much incompetence and egregiousness amongst our political leaders. I feel particularly frustrated with the Labour party, something I used to support wholeheartedly until very recently, when they decided to turn their backs on reason and go for Brexit. I often find myself wanting to shake my head at it; I believe it is the inability or unwillingness of the left that has allowed bigotry to take off in the world today. I know there are plenty of people in the world with loud voices willing to protest against the state of things, but none of them are politicians. The wilful spinelessness of our official opposition, and that of all political entities who have failed to challenge the growing right wing movement, makes me seethe, and I want to escape it all. I just want to live in a place where there is no TV and no internet, where I don’t have to listen to the sound of politicians copping out of their responsibilities any more.

*****

Yesterday was one of the long days at college. We were there for eight hours, faced with a heap of theory to learn and take in. It was cognitive behavioural theory this week, something I already knew about, but despite having prior knowledge of it I felt as overwhelmed as my colleagues by the amount of information. Fortunately my prior knowledge allowed me to contribute some insights to the class discussion. Week by week I seem to be more a part of the group – I’ve witnessed bonds developing with some of them, I like some of them and so I feel quite comfortable there now. I still haven’t ‘come out’ to any of them, and it’s questionable whether I ever will, or whether it’s important to. Most of the time I guess it isn’t, but since we’re asked to bring personal experience to the triad work it feels more like something I’m avoiding by the week.

It was my second visit to the hospital on Friday, helping the home support team. The first week had been nervous but survivable. This week apparently I had sufficient experience to start visiting service users’ homes on my own. I felt the usual fear about something new – but I did it, and it went ok. By the end of the day, I thought maybe I could do this long term. It isn’t something I ever saw myself doing, but as I may have mentioned before, it’s good career experience and I can learn a lot from it.

If only the pay were better. If I were to change from my main job to the home support job it could be step up career-wise, but not pay-wise. Last year I was happy to take the significant pay cut involved with working for a well respected charity. But with so many hopes and aspirations on the horizon, such as the next level of counselling training and trips to new parts of the world, it gets harder to feel comfortable with the salary I’m on. Every time I see P now he encourages me to apply for something better, something on a level with what I was on at RG. Oh, how I miss the RG salary. I still don’t regret leaving there, and I don’t regret moving to a charity that doesn’t pay very well. But it’s hard to justify staying at this level for more than a year or two. The trouble is, as I said the other day, I don’t think I can face changing jobs again for a long while, and I don’t know what else I would do. It seems that so many better paid jobs are out of bounds to me because I don’t know the right people and I don’t have the relevant experience. P doesn’t seem to get this.

I like Fridays at the moment because it’s a day out of the office, where awkwardness continues to linger in the team. I’m getting on a bit better with my colleague P these days, but the lack of friendly camaraderie remains, as it does with our manager. At the beginning of each day I have to try so hard just to go in with a smile and a “hello”. It’s that common human problem – there just isn’t a connection there. It bothers me particularly when I manage to get on so well with other people. I’ve never understood why with some people you just can’t click. There’s some hope in the fact that I realise it’s not just me, it’s something everyone experiences. Normalising it – seeing it as a regular part of human experience rather than some personal catastrophe – may be the only answer.

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