I am finally working full time at the jail and I am actually liking it more and more. The diversity of the patients I see every day is unbelievable. I think I’m getting better at figuring out who is not telling me the truth and who I can truly help.
I have to tell you the story of this patient because well, it’s a story worth telling.
This patient is pissed that he has a new therapist (I drive about an hour one day a week to see patients in a small town jail). He said he didn’t want to have to repeat his life story again.
Me: “You don’t have to, let’s focus on yesterday.”
Patient: “It sucked. I want to shoot my head off and that’s the first thing I’m gonna do when I’m released. You don’t need to worry about me cause I’m not going to do anything now!! I don’t want my soul to be tapped here.”
Me: “If that’s what you want to do then we should consider having you go to a psych hospital.”
Patient: “I’m not going to any fucking psych hospital!! I’ve been to the state hospital for 6 months before. They had me taking so much Seroquel I couldn’t even wipe my ass. You know why I’m at jail now? Because my fucking ankle bracelet malfunctioned! You talking about me needing to go to the psych hospital is gonna make me flip out! I don’t need meds. I’m now gonna stop taking Prozac which I agreed to take with the previous therapist.”
He finally stops talking. I know I need to refocus our conversation on something else…so I say: “Want to learn a little about me?”
I go on to tell him I used to be a librarian…and his face immediately softens…he breathes…we have a chance.
The following week we meet again. FYI, I looked to see if he did indeed stop taking his Prozac and he didn’t, he continued to take it daily. During the second session, he tells me about his abusive father. How one night his father found him in bed with a girl and grabbed him and kicked him down the stairs. Then kicked him off the porch. He goes on to talk about more abuse. No mention of his mom.
Here is a guy who probably has never known what it is to be loved. And so I asked my clinical supervisor this week if someone is never loved, how do they learn to have self love? My supervisor said if someone can talk about a dream, a hope, or something they want to accomplish, that shows self love. It shows that someone has enough love to know that there is more to life than the life that they have experienced.
Does this patient have any dreams or hopes?? I didn’t get into that with him but I definitely plan to do so if we ever meet again.