2nd December 2017
I’m currently waiting for my sister to arrive for the weekend, although there have been major delays on the trains so it’s been a frustrating start to the day! So what better time to blog than when I’m waiting around with nothing to do?
There have been a few things occurring this week – I had my mentoring launch at a secondary school with two other girls I trained alongside. I’ll be mentoring 4 people at the school, and we visited to do an introductory session with them. Prior to the session I was overthinking, getting myself in a rut and feeling very anxious about it. I did the right thing and tried to distract myself by going for a coffee and looking around a book shop, and it worked wonders. I also reached out to my sister and a friend which helped, it was a reminder that actually I can do this and that despite my mind being powerful it isn’t right when it says that I can’t do it.
I did go in the end and there were things that I wasn’t surprised by. No thank you’s or enthusiasm from the young people – they stare at you with straight faces and look as though they don’t want to be there. I also didn’t realise how hard it would be to organise sessions with them! They were saying they were only available for particular lessons but upon reflection with the group after the session it seems it’s more that they are reluctant to miss certain lessons that aren’t essential in terms of the core subjects.
Despite the challenges, I was really proud of myself for going, and when I got home I had a big grin on my face, even though I had no one to share it with. That evening I also had further Samaritans training which I was in a good frame of mind for. When I arrived it was me and 4/5 others, and it was uncomfortable for me at first because I was joining a group that I wasn’t a part of during this stage of training and I had just joined because I had to delay my training previously. But the Samaritan who led it was really supportive, challenged us in a positive way and was really encouraging.
I ended up raising the fact that I had an awful shift with someone who was really unsupportive and rude, and it was nice to vent that to someone in a safe space. I had already written an email to the volunteer support team who will be raising it as a complaint with the volunteer, but it’s nice to have an additional bit of support. Prior to that session I thought I was nit picking and worried that I was coming across as a bit of a moaner but the session and the support of the volunteer running the training session reminded me that it’s okay to reach out for support.
Another negative highlight of the week was that the day leader on my current frequent volunteer shift at Samaritans spontaneously reviewed me via email to the volunteer who ran the session because we were rearranging a review for me in January, and he said a few comments about me that really frustrated me. This included that I was “too confident and reluctant to take advice”, and that “she will one day be a good samaritan”. I couldn’t believe the unfairness of it. I’m labelled this way simply because I’m not afraid to challenge somebody and disagree with somebody who thinks they’re higher up than me just because they’ve been at the branch longer than me. Actually, it’s okay to disagree and present your own opinion, yet he didn’t seem to appreciate this. Also suggesting that I wasn’t yet a good Samaritan really frustrated and upset me.
I know that I’m good at what I do, and I have a caring and non-judgemental nature which helps me in this role – it isn’t an act! This is a difficult one because it’s not an isolated incident that you can raise a complaint about, there’s a lot of indirect stuff going on – probably he doesn’t like being challenged by someone female, who is young. But if I raise my thoughts, I’m labelled a certain way and seen as the problem. In my first review the woman said that she thinks I’m defensive and that other people have commented on that, which was horrible because it made me feel that people had been talking about me, and that I’ve been seriously misunderstood. Simply because I disagree and challenge people and have my own opinion, I’m labelled in this way, and it’s unfair.
Meanwhile, I’m still trying to process my feelings with regards to a friend. It’s a challenging situation, and I decided to keep things online for a bit so I could have some space alone to adjust to certain things with our friendship. I’m not really sure how I feel, it’s becoming a blur, and I’m finding that although being apart has its benefits for me, it can be really detached and it makes me feel distant from him. There’s a part of me that thinks that I’ll never accept things as they are unless I meet up with him more and adjust to it that way, but then there’s also a part of me that wants to run and hide and refuse to accept the realities. I don’t want to feel detached from him, I want to feel close to him because he’s a part of my life but I’m not sure how to feel close to him at the moment.
I’m also thinking about my first mentoring sessions next week, and the fact that I have an awkward gap between the first two half an hour sessions and the final two. It isn’t ideal and I’m hoping that I won’t overthink too much. There are a lot of negative voices in my head telling me not to bother, but I have to remind myself that it will look great on my CV and will be a good experience, both for me and hopefully for them. If anything, I should do it to atleast prove to myself that I can see it through.
That’s all for now. I hope my sister arrives no later than 3!