neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

Thursday real life

Did not sleep last night.  Finally took an allergy pill around 6:00 a.m. and dropped off at some point after that.  R. woke me around 1:00 p.m. saying she needed me to take her to the grief counselor.  After quite a bit of back and forth as I tried to comprehend why this had fallen to me, I got the story, more or less.

C., R.'s social worker, couldn't take her because she'd already spent some hours with R. earlier in the week, and would have had to charge R.M. for another day.  R.M. is getting edgy about expenses, apparently.  From all indications, they can afford to pay for anything R. needs, but maybe R.M. thinks that the way you retain wealth is to be very conscious about spending money.

R. couldn't afford a cab there and back because she'd spent all her money on groceries over the last couple of days.  I felt vaguely guilty about that and said I'd take her.  I called Mom and Dad to see what was up there, and they said I'd gotten something from the government.  Getting to the house became my new big priority.

I brought my e-reader along, and we got to the counselor's more or less on time.  The counselor, S.K., was surprised that someone else had come along, but adjusted.  She gave us glasses of water with lemon -- R. knew to ask for that, and I followed R.'s lead.  She had me settled in the breakfast nook, with R. in the office/counseling room.  I knew that R.'s "homework" was to write about all the changes in her life in the last several months.  She can write, though she speaks out loud while she writes the words.  R. can be verbally pretty fluent, but it doesn't carry over into writing.

She had written that she'd moved, that she was friends with D., that M. was her boyfriend and very nice to her, and a few other facts and interpretations.  I had heard her write this, and said I was surprised she hadn't said anything about having a roommate now, because that was a big change.  She wrote, and apparently said that I was very nice to her, too, from what I heard of it.

I said to S.K. that perhaps when we got to the part of the changes that included R. having a roommate now, we could include me.  Both of us were like, "If that's okay with R."  Even if a patient is brain-damaged, the policy is to still allow them to have some semblance of choice and dignity, from what I gather.  I asked R., and she said that was fine.  S.K. said that we could start with me in the room.

I described my former living situation and the family dynamics, trying to be as succinct as possible so as to not cut into R.'s time.  S.K. had us say what we liked about each other, and what "little thing" we would change about the other person.  I said that sometimes I snapped at R. when I got frustrated or hormonal, but that I did apologize.  We discussed whether R. thought I acted bossy.  She seems to think so, at least a little bit and some of the time.  I stressed that the things I wanted her to do were for her health and comfort, like that her taking baths was for her health.  Also, I'm a saint that way compared to M.

I said that I would rather have R. tell me up front that she didn't feel up to doing something, that I wouldn't get mad if she gave me the real reason right away, instead of making up lots of excuses, and then screaming and crying.  S.K. asked R. if she thought she was passive-aggressive, then explained "passive-aggressive" in terms R. could understand.  "Maybe..." R. said.

S.K. asked me.  "Just a little bit," I said.  I'm sure my tone made it clear that I thought it was way more than a little bit.  We're to work on better communication.  I'll report on how that goes.  At least there's another adult -- another of R.'s professional support people -- who has an idea of the roommate dynamics we've had so far.  I'm just not sure what the "R.-version" of the situation has been, if R. ventured one at all.

We discussed how M. has been yelling at R. a lot and giving her ultimatums.  S.K. said that he needed to treat R. with respect.  She asked me if M. yelled at me.  "He knows better," I said, or words to that effect.  M. knows to treat me as an adult.

S.K. was keeping track of the time we took for our joint discussion.  She then said that she'd talk with R. alone for a while.  I went back to the breakfast nook.  I was a little too restless to read, so I listened to some of the mixes on my iPod.  I thought it was very productive that we'd given S.K. a reasonable version of R.'s current living arrangements.

I'll do another post about the rest of the day.

Tags: roommate

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