End of Career

There is a bright shining light at the end of a tunnel that I’ve been traveling in for 26 years.  It hasn’t all been a dark tunnel but needless to say it has been very dark at many times.  I tunnel-1963456__480 say that I can see the light to retirement very clearly.  If you can hang in there until retirement age, you will be glad that you did.  But it was definitely not an easy challenge.

My career has been very rewarding but very difficult.  I did not have an easy ride.  Unless you tell people about your situation, they don’t really know what you have been through.  And our experiences shape who we are as people.  You see someone who is going though a difficult time and wonder, “Wow, how did they get there?”  Well I guarantee if you take a minute to stop and find out, you will see that they have probably been given a life with difficult circumstances.  In any case, I’ve been through many difficult situations at work.  From seeing dead bodies to being a victim of indecent exposure on numerous occasions, to having people attempt to have very inappropriate relationships, to being called names for my physical appearance, sexually harassed, and also not getting along with co-workers which is the most difficult situation.  I’ve almost had to shoot at someone, cell extractions, being a witness to an autopsy, testifying in a death penalty trial, photographing trails of blood and I won’t even get started on the numerous disgusting descriptions of crimes that I’ve read about.

It takes its toll on a person.  It makes you tough and it can make you a hardened person.  Have I had to be tough?  You had better believe it.  I feel that I am not a hardened person although I know I am definitely rough around the edges.  I at many times find myself wanting to fight.  Not physically although I am not afraid of it.  But many times I can be defensive and if I feel someone is trying to threaten me or come at me with something inappropriate, I will slam them down so fast, their head will spin.  I don’t mean to be so hard, but it’s because of all of my experiences.  And also because people still want to be disrespectful.  But I can be disrespectful too.  If someone goes low, I can go low so fast and I will beat them at being low.  Kind of embarrassed to say that.  But it’s true.  I can use profanity like there is no tomorrow.  Sometimes, you just have to use profanity to describe the situation.  And it feels better.  Thank Steve Martin in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

steve martin

But now I for the most part am loving to people. If I see that they are suffering if they are acting out, I have compassion for them.  Many of the people I work with have also been through some bad stuff too.  Such as being assaulted which in my opinion is the most traumatic.  But the thing is once you’ve been traumatized, we all heal in the same way but the more traumatized, the longer it takes to heal in my opinion but feel wonderful exploring this area yourself.

So needless to say, many co workers act out in my opinion because they are stressed to the max, sleep deprived, suffering from PTSD, poor diet, over weight and lack of social support.  So pretty much just living in survival mode.

And also I just want to say that I know I have been hurt, but I have also hurt people very much.  So I have been the victim and also been the one hurt people too.  I have hurt people in many different ways and I am really sorry to those I did hurt.  That was never my intentions to hurt anyone.  But sometimes when we are going through grief, we don’t always treat the people close to us with the most appreciation.  We need them to take care of us and usually parents do that for their kids.  And sometimes people grow up on the outside but are still behave very much like children.  I think there are many examples of such behavior in politics.

bratty kid

But I do feel that all of us are big kids anyway.  We still like to kick back and watch grown up cartoons.  So it’s the adult version of you as a kid watching cartoons.  So let’s all be patient with our big kid self.  And let’s have some fun for a minute.  Seeing dead bodies isn’t fun and I’m ready to get away from that drama and negativity.

I think people around there are an extension of the inmate populations. So the negativity just flows out to the staff and then they turn on each other.  Also because there is not a lot of violence on staff, the staff turn on each other for their aggression and frustration.  If staff were being assaulted, staff would so be united.  I can guarantee that there is a lot of camaraderie at MCSP where that Officer was almost murdered.

But I do feel that I can lose contact with people there very quickly. The good new is  if you want to keep in touch with me after retirement, you can.  And if you want to share with me your experiences on the comments that would be fantastic.  Or you can just follow me and see if anything I am saying resonates with you.  You can also email me questions or comments or you can just say, “Hi.”  What I would really love is for you to share with me how you are dealing with your traumatic situation.  I know we are all so resilient and you can overcome whatever situation you are in, you can turn it around.  It will take time, work and more time but it will be worth it.  But just start somewhere.

And I’ll just say this now, the hardest thing to change is your eating habits.  So just consult a professional health coach for assistance.  What you put in your body has a huge effect on how you feel mentally.  Start with what you are putting in your body.

I am a health coach but I’m not currently taking clients because I am working full time and blogging and being a mom with a house and trying to keep myself healthy.  But start with your Health Insurance.  Kaiser has excellent programs and I think they are really invaluable.

If you are reading this, I want you to know that I am wishing you all the good things in life.  And may your guardian angels protect and guide you.  I hope you are having an amazing summer and that you don’t take things too seriously.  Life is going very fast.  Just know that you can all on your guardian angels anytime you feel like it.  Just try it and you will begin to see amazing things begin to happen in your life.

With lots of Love and Blessings and all good things.

Val

5 thoughts on “End of Career

  1. Mark Corioso says:

    Valerie, your blog entry resonates with me in a number of ways. I thought about my father’s three rules of Corrections that he shared with me once I was hired. Rule #1, Don’t fall in love with anyone at work. I have seen some terrible harassment of predominantly female staff from my position as an EEO coordinator. Rule #2, When you have your heart attack, don’t blame it on the inmates. I received nearly all of my stress from my peers and supervisors during my career. That is the main reason that I shied away from promoting to supervisory positions because I did not want to be vicariously liable for the behavior of what I considered to be a few unsupervisable employees. Rule #3, Relative to the shift differential, holiday pay, and uniform checks….not a word to your Mother! He always had a finely tuned sense of humor. While I am not the health advocate that you are Val, I do believe that we need to take care of ourselves to avoid becoming stressed out and mentally ill. We have lost more of our staff to suicide, than we ever did to inmate violence. The department changes everyone who makes that career choice and how you respond to those changes oftentimes will determine your longevity in the job and, sadly, in life. I always tried to find something to laugh about each workday. I figured if I was laughing then I wasn’t weeping. Now that I’ve been retired for nearly a decade my blood pressure has stabilized and I don’t look at the life insurance companies actuarial charts as often. Sure beats 180/126 forty minutes after a supervisor was harassing me while we were trying to conduct ICC in the ad-seg unit. Peace.

    Like

    • ValerieEstrella says:

      Yes it’s toughest working with co-workers for sure!! The supervisors can be good or really bad. Sometimes there good but sometimes bad. I just can’t wait to get out.

      Like

  2. Mark Corioso says:

    Valerie, I left a pretty long message here however I don’t see it posted. Is there a lag time from writing it until the time that it is posted? Your post resonated with me and I could relate to most everything you said except the portions where I don’t have a female perspective. I know that you are really looking forward to your upcoming retirement and that the appeals office can wear you down quickly. Stay strong and don’t let the bastards get you down! Peace.

    Like

    • ValerieEstrella says:

      Thanks Renee for your kind words. I do appreciate you dear. Yes we’ll get together soon. Let’s put it on the calendar and stick to it. The Blog had been fun putting it together.
      Thanks again love!!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s