I hope I’ll always feel like this about my work

I just came back from work. It was a lovely shift and again everyone was happy. I really feel like I’m making a difference there. However, when I left, a lady sitting at the bench outside waiting for her night shift to start, said hello to me, asked which unit I worked and if everything was ok there ‘today’.

I think it’s really nice that more experienced staff start conversation with me, even though we’re not working on the same unit. It makes me feel really included, which probably doesn’t make sense for non autistic people as the conversation lasts like 90 seconds, I don’t know their names and wouldn’t be able to even recognise them if I next see them, but it makes me feel good.

However, her comment made me think not all days are lovely; I was of course aware I may witness some challenging behaviours but so far nothing happened. I do wonder now how will I cope emotionally after it happens, which I’m sure it will eventually. Will I not feel rejected? I feel like I’m getting emotionally attached to the residents and who knows how my autistic instinct is going to react when someone is rude to me in response, or even possibly, repeatedly aggressive.

I had to deal with challenging behaviours many times while working in care and had to remain professional regardless. I mean, as long as it was possible. Sometimes it’s not, not when one has to go to A&E as a result – and that happened twice to me, many years ago, both in the same place. Needless to say I didn’t stay there for long.

I don’t expect anything that serious here, but I’m worried if my positive emotions are going to be affected? Remaining professional is one thing, but I want to have all those positive feelings I have now when a resident is smiling at me.

I really hope that will never change, no matter what I have to deal with.

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