OK, this is definitely a sore spot with me right now. Yesterday when I was working with the man who has paranoid schizophrenia, he was angry with me for some things. He had a perfect right to be angry, but for some reason his anger felt like a personal attack. When I finally left him and his girlfriend, I got in the car and cried. We stopped at Subway, and I cried. I came home, and I cried. I cried for an hour before I finally started to calm myself down. His girlfriend called to apologize for him–it turned out he hadn’t taken his meds on time that afternoon. I listened to the message and nodded my head. I understood. When he called to apologize himself, I said all the right understanding things and said I’d see him on Monday.
So why is it that even after all is said and done, I still feel shattered inside? Why is one outburst such a big deal?
I believe that the only opinions of ourselves that we take in from others are the ones that match what we think of ourselves. I took the things he said to heart because I believe them to be true. Otherwise, I would have moved on by now. If he had said I was a caring, supportive “staff,” I wouldn’t have believed him. I only believed him because I knew that I hadn’t been there for him the way I should have been. The problem isn’t the way he feels about me–it’s the way I feel about myself.
So what do I do with that?