Posted by: jmdenham | January 26, 2011

Inadequacy, Shame, and Loneliness

So it started just the other day.  It started when I felt really frustrated because I spent almost all day in CPE didactics and then supervision and then NICU rounds.  By the time I went through all of that I had a seeming small amount of time for visits, perhaps only an hour and a half.  I felt frustrated by the lack of time to visit.  It was a mix of being perplexed, being hungry for more, and disappointment.  I was disappointed because when I only have that small amount of time, I feel anxious while I am doing visits because I feel the pressure of all the needs that I cannot take care of or even begin to take care of.  On a normal 4-5 hour visit day, there are more needs than anyone could handle.  But on those minimized days, I can barely follow up with the major report needs and I cannot even take care of those tasks I have been given like seeing all the Children’s Center admits.  It seems too much.  But I feel like I am failing my duties to the patients and at times I feel like I cannot follow through with the tasks that I have been given- if that is the case I struggle with being disappointed but also feeling like a disappointment.   That’s a real issue.  I doubt my supervisors would be upset because they are fully aware of the issues.  They know I have a full slate.  But I feel like I am letting down, not keeping my duties.  That s frustrating- and I don’t seem to reframe those days and look at them as a gift or simply days I don’t do visits or see them as okay period.

That frustration, errr, inadequacy continued the day after.  I wanted to talk through my frustration with someone, but instead of processing and seeking to release, I held the emotions in and let them eat me all day long.  That led to me not speaking much, not engaging much, not interacting much with my peers.  It led to me putting distance between me and others.  It led to me being resistant to speaking at all- resisting the chance of participating in conversations and sharing my stories when everyone else was sharing theirs.  it is a major issue.  I just held in all my thoughts and emotions.  It was powerfully bitter and isolating.  But I just don’t know how to debrief and process.  Or in some situations I just am afraid.  Perhaps ashamed of sharing my inadequacy.  Perhaps I am ashamed not of being inadequate- but ashamed of my loneliness.  I know and have always known and have always treated myself like an inadequate failure.  That’s pretty normal actually.  But I am ashamed because I just don’t have any intimate friends with whom to talk.  No relationships with which to share my pain.

It then becomes a matter of loneliness, inadequacy, and shame.  And then I start being bitter and resisting others.  I don’t use my group then.  I don’t use my supervisors then.  I don’t seek help or seek release.  And I turn it all inwards and then play with all the possibilities of removing myself further- which usually are attention grabbers from others.  But that is shameful in and of itself- because instead of debriefing and taking the initiative to get help, I shut down my pain until my actions scream in unhealthy ways for attention.  That is both isolating and shameful.  That’s kind of sad.  I hope to keep progressing, but it always seems to be the same cycle.

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