Yesterday at work I had a very , very difficult client. It was a solid two hours of verbal abuse and snarky comments. Normally I would have left but there were circumstances that prevented me from leaving. So I stayed and by the end of the visit I was near tears and shaking. This is the part of my job I find difficult. I believe in treating everyone with kindness. I can and do deal with rudeness, anger and frustration on a daily basis but what should I do when someone is just plain mean? For the record, I was kind. I was patient. I tried to be understanding. But she got the best of me and when I left I felt completely defeated. And I still do. It was so bad that I took today off work because she got the ball rolling of my anxiety and now I am just feeling… anxious, depressed and hopeless. All I want to do is sleep. My chest aches and I can’t breathe without shaky breaths. About 30 minutes ago I broke down and took an Ativan. I haven’t taken one in months. (I used to take Ativan daily.)

I am angry with myself for caring so much. I am angry at my employer for allowing this horrible person to have services when she is so awful. There does not seem to be any protocol in place for this type of behavior. We don’t allow physical abuse but verbal abuse is tolerated.

Days like this make me hate my job. Days like this are the ones that drain me and leave me with nothing to give to anyone, let alone myself. Days like this leave me so beyond empty that I can’t function. I am tired of being weak and sensitive. I serves me no purpose but it benefits those around me. I am tired of following the advice of the great spiritual teachers that tell us to be kind because in the end I get taken advantage of.


Anyway, I can’t stop crying so I am going to go have a nap.

23 thoughts on “Yesterday

    • I second this! Those words are prickly and slippery at the same time and can make you feel ways you don’t want to feel. Grrrr. I’ve only told off 2 or 3 people in my life so far, but boy I sure feel like telling that lady off!

  1. That is the worst. When my father had a fever, he was horrendous to his caretakers in the hospital. You couldn’t stop him. I’m so sorry this happened to you.

    • I have never been bothered in cases like that. In fact, I double up on the compassion and gentleness because I know they person is not only not in his right mind but also afraid and feeling awful. I hope your dad’s carers treated him with compassion.

  2. I believe that verbal abuse is the worst kind of abuse. It stays with you longer than physical. I would have turned around and confronted that woman and asked her what her problem is and why she’s so nasty. There is something deep down inside her that hurt her a long time ago. I’ll bet she hides behind her wickedness because of it.

    • If I had done that she would have contacted my employer and got me in trouble. She was already insinuating how unhappy she was with my care.

  3. Your employer shouldn’t be tolerating this kind of abuse, or any kind of abuse towards it’s staff.

    I read a quote awhile ago which has stuck with me. “I hurt and so I hurt”, it’s from “The Humans” by Matt Haig.

    Sending hugs.

  4. Oh dear….
    I understand fully…believe me…I do…
    Verbal abuse is so damaging…I despise people who use this cowards tactic…
    Hope you are calmed down…thinking of you…

  5. I am so sorry you went through this, dear Birdie. I hope that your tears and nap calm you and make you feel better. Much love and many hugs.

  6. Sorry to hear this client has such a bad effect on you. I would hope that your employer would reschedule you so you don’t have to deal with her again. It’s in your employer’s financial best interests to accommodate you because otherwise you will keep needing sick time and someone to cover for you after appointments with her.

  7. Why was your client (patient?) so angry? Was ANY of it justified? Was the rant, raging and abuse seemingly directed as YOU personally or is this just an angry soul? Just wondering. I have dealt with many an angry patient myself … a lot of them have fear, PSTD, residual wrongdoings from previous caregivers and the health system in general and/or alcohol /drug / chemical imbalance problems in general.

    I’m sorry your had to experience this because it’s exhausting, overwhelming and you feel like your want to help someone but instead end up listening and being the brunt of the their dissatisfaction to say they least.

    Hugs to you and hope you are having a better day today! ❤

    • She seemed mad at everything. Me, her landlord, the government, cable television, her daughter, carpets, the toilet…It was just hate and anger. She told me over again how great her life is and how rich she is but everyone around her were fucking assholes.

      • Hmmmmmm … I think you should have replied, “That’s interesting.” “I’m sorry you feel that way.” “Would you like me to leave and arrange a different person for your follow-up care?”

        Don’t take it personally Birdie … I’ve been berated many a time over many trivial, mysterious and inconsequential things. They own their anger … it’s a serious case of, “It’s them, not you.”.

        Hugs ❤

  8. When Ron and I were left in charge of grandchildren for a week the oldest, age 11 at the time, decided he would test our authority and he acted horrible. I mean horrible!! I simply got out the video camera when he started acting that way and told him I was documenting to share with his mother when she returned home. That ended the behavior. Maybe you should let the lady know that you will share with her family or her superiors how terrible she acts.

  9. I’m sorry you had such a rough day. I’ve been trying to cope without Ativan as much as I can too and it’s difficult. I had to take one plus sleeping medication last night! It felt like I broke down or lost out but really I was just helping myself feel better enough to sleep. You aren’t a failure. You were put in the same room with a torture nut, some miserable, awful lady and you survived and took care of yourself. We are proud of you!

    I’m amazed that stayed caring and considerate and proud of you for taking the high road, though I don’t believe anyone would blame you for biting this lady’s head off and getting out of there, top speed ahead!

    Sorry you had such an awful gig. I hope your sleep was soothing and helpful. I imagine myself blowing up balloons with deep breaths of love and caring to float up to you and drop off a bouquet of “screw that bitch, you’re awesome” flowers” (they’re quite lovely, I assure you ;o) ) now if I could only design a remote that could mute horrible clients’ voices…..

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