11 May 2009
OMG!! I was off for a few days, and then I heard a new addict was in detox, so it wasn't until I walked into work and saw the list of new patients that I found out Rochelle had checked into my internship for rehab! I'm sure she didn't know I was working there when she chose it (if she chose it). It was so awkward! From the time I read her name, my heart was pounding and my head was racing. I didn't know whether I should go see her, or talk to my supervisor, or just run out and call. I went for a walk to think about it, and I realized that she was there for treatment and I was there to work and learn, and those were our primary responsibilities. So I came back and asked my supervisor to give me a few minutes. I told her I was feeling really nervous and awkward because Rochelle and I used to be partners and I didn't get over her for a long time after we broke up. My supervisor, Betty (who's about 150 yrs old and very wise) told me they would keep me out of R's treatment as much as possible, but I should go talk to her and break the ice. She told me my being there might motivate R--that she might be too ashamed to act out in front of me in the ways addicts usually act out at the beginning of treatment--like raging at the staff, trying to sneak drugs or falsify their drug tests, picking a fight with staff or other patients, refusing to eat, etc etc. She might even have a hard time denying that she is an addict and has lost control of her drug use, as new residents usually do, because she'll know how much bullshit I know it is.
So I went to see her. It was horrible. When she saw me, she hid her face in her hands and refused to come out of them. She kept saying she didn't want me to see her like this and telling me to go away. I tried to be gentle and empathize with her, but she just escalated and ended up screaming me out of the room. I hurt for her; I hurt for me. I want to help her, and I'm disappointed that she's still not clean and sober, after all these years and rehabs and hurting herself and other people. It reminds me how lucky I am to be out of that relationship I treasured so much at the time. I guess Al-Anon (or therapy?) is working, because I was able to let her go and not obsess about fixing her or proving I am worthy of her love or any of that old bullshit. I was able to see her as a wonderful woman being destroyed by this disease. It is very sad though. I guess I didn't get into this field by accident.