For the past five years I have worked at the same organization in some capacity or another. I have reached the highest position that my program has to offer. These years have afforded me great flexibility, incredible learning experiences and I have built amazing community relationships that are lasting and important to the work we are doing. I have some of the most supportive bosses I have ever had and they believe in me, trust me and give me every opportunity that I want and need to get better at my job. I am the master of my domain.
But last night, I hated it. I hated the responsibility on my shoulders and I felt tired of being the person that has to make decisions that could save a life or end one. I resented the client that I was supposed to be helping. For the past five years I have been perfecting my skill set in evidence-based suicide prevention and I felt empty and angry when I was once again supposed to decide whether to allow someone space or send the police to their location. This weight on me is hurting my heart and I do not know how to get outside of this box. I want to help people, I want to work where I am, I want the salary that I have. What I do not want is this oppressive dark cloud hanging over me. I do not want to fear the sound of a gun shot on the other end of the phone and I do not want one more phonecall letting me know someone took their life despite my team's best effort.
Each time I am faced with a difficult decision regarding a client and their suicide intent, I stand back in that room with my father and I imagine the client I am working with standing there. I ask myself how much I trust them with the firearm. Almost always, I do trust them but I can't keep going back to that room. I believe that I am very good at what I do, but I hate that the reason I am good is because of the trauma I experienced in the past makes me hyper vigilant and intensely aware of others intentions. I wish the reason I was good was because of my education, not my own experiences with trauma, pain and abuse.
I am ready for something to break and give me the nudge I need to go. I want to work somewhere that it is not normal to discuss suicide methods and their lethality on a daily and sometimes hourly basis.