04 December 2013

How not to wake up a veteran

Yesterday, as I was leaving vets house, Peer Support guy caught me to say "hey I know you're headed out but Housing Manager called and wants to know if the cleaning person can come clean your room tomorrow at 1100."

No, but she can come in the afternoon.



1150 this morning; BAMBAMBAMBAM!!!!

Case Manager is outside my door banging and yelling that I need to GET UP NOW because THE MAID IS HERE.

Fine, give me a few minutes to wake up.


FINE. Give me a few minutes!



Fine. We'll be back in ten minutes.

(Normal time for me to get out of bed, figure out what day it is, and get ready to sieze the day is about an hour.)

(Now it's actually 1200. So, technically, afternoon.)


Jesus FUCKING CHRIST I'm trying to get dressed. 

(Opening door) I'll be out in 60 seconds.

(I make sure I have meds for the day, as I'm really going to need them today.)


I'm dressed, coat on, earbuds in, backpack on. Maid is waiting patiently outside my room. Case Manager has already gone back downstairs.

I apologize to the maid for the delay and yelling- this isn't her fault- she says she doesn't know how long this will take. Okay, I'll be gone for a while.

I make it a point to ask the maid to please lock the door if she has to step out.

Case manager is almost back to her ground floor office (I live on the 3rd floor) when I catch up to her and let her know that the maid is in, and I head out to campus for the day.

That part about CM keeping an eye on what's happening in my room? Yeah. Sure.


Today is Wednesday-- that means that the maid has already had two work days this week to get to my room, and the work order I had to sign was quite clearly marked "emergency". So lighten the fuck up.

Case Manager also knows that I have PTSD, knows that people pounding on my door and yelling triggers me, and knows I'm groggy when I wake up.

There is nothing that a maid is going to do that is that damn important as to warrant triggering me like that. Nothing. 

I skipped my bedtime meds last night to make sure I wasn't so comatose that I wouldn't wake up this morning. I didn't get to sleep until around 0530 this morning.

 I don't feel anything. I'm numb. I'm pissed off by several orders of magnitude, I feel disrespected, and I'm going to use the chain of command once I settle down a bit-- but right now holding it together means just sitting here and writing, and thinking.

If I were an alcoholic, I'd have been to a bar or the liquor store already, and if I wasn't drunk I'd dam sure be well in my way there.

If I were a user or an addict, I'd have scored a hit and been flying high by now.

If I were a violent person, there would be a hole the size of a fist in my wall and I'd be arrested in a holding cell downtown.

I'm none of those things. 

I'm messy. 

I'm addressing that in prolonged exposure therapy at the VA Hospital and at the Vet Center.  I'm on meds, seeing three different mental health care providers.

The last thing I need right now is disrespect. That's how I feel, after this morning. Disrespected.

I was active duty US Air Force, I was a civilian USAF employee, and I've worked for a defense contractor. I know a thing or two about inspections. They are stressful, even if you do have your shit together. The results of an inspection can have a huge impact on your career. There's pride, too- you work hard, and you want to do well when your work is reviewed.

I've known that a major inspection was coming since long before it was actually announced. I pay attention to my environment. Hyper vigilance.

I honestly do appreciate my room being cleaned. This is an issue that I've been struggling with. I'd like to believe that the staff here really care about me as a person and want me to be successful.

That's supposed to be how it is, right? Focus on the mission. Recovery. Ending veterans homelessness.

This morning had nothing to do with me, really. There was no hate involved. The Inspection and making sure the Problem of The  Room Being Messy is not seen by the inspection team, is what this morning was about. Not the veteran inside the room, who will spend three hours writing just to try to sort all of this out.

If you are willing to disrespect me by doing things that you know will trigger my PTSD, then you are not welcome in my life or my recovery efforts.

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