Lost

I was really really anxious about internship today.  I feel like I am struggling at times to figure out how to work with my population.  I am interning at a nursing home.  There isn’t a pre-established art therapy program or a staff psychologist at the home so I am left to set up groups and pick out individuals, who may be suitable, by myself.  I do not naturally take on positions of authority, especially in nonacademic settings.  It is one thing to lead a group presentation and quite another to tell people in a work setting what to do and what I need.  I don’t know who to rely upon and feel uncomfortable relying on myself.  My site supervisor is knowledgable and experienced but is not educated in art therapy.  I feel like I am seen as having more knowledge and confidence and direction than I do and that scares me.

I am reminded of my summer meeting with my school supervisor where we talked about my anxieties and about asking for help.  A lot of my fear comes from not knowing how my school supervisor or my site supervisor will react and a lot more of my fear comes from not knowing what they think of me.  I am afraid if I admit my doubts and not knowings that I will be told I don’t belong in the program, that I don’t have what it takes, and that this isn’t for me, that I am not worthy or “up to scratch”…  I am terrified of going back to square one, back to where I was after graduating college, lost and directionless.

I keep thinking about the museum.  Just after I graduated college I got a job at a museum.  I was so unprepared, ignorant, and fearful.  I really had no business being there.  I should’ve asked for help when I needed it but again I was afraid, of being fired, of being seen as juvenile, of being seen as what I have always feared, bad, wrong, stupid, worthless, inconvenient, and worse, a lier… I was afraid to ask for help.  Then when I was fired (by my fault), I felt so guilty, so anxious, so ashamed and humiliated; I felt almost physically ill for a really long time after.  It still makes me want to crawl out of my skin.  All because I didn’t want to admit how lost and out of place I was feeling.  I remember being so anxious I didn’t want to answer the phones.  So I should take a lesson from the museum and tell my supervisors how I feel…

I’d like to think I’ve gotten past lying and letting people think I know more than I do but the fear and the not knowing, the discouragement, the feelings of being lost, are still there.  My desire to belong, to feel confident in what I am doing, to be effective, and my fears of being seen as anything less than worthy rule many of my interpersonal interactions.

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