Burned Out Buildings and Emotional Exhaustion

As I got on the eerily deserted interstate and drove south I felt a weight beginning to lift off of me.  The weather apparently agreed and the further south I got the terrible misting rain that plagued me for six weeks began to lift and the sun began to shine.  The rain and the cold and the damp made six weeks in Shreveport terrible.  Where I come from it rains, no, it storms and the skies empty and and the thunder and the lightening put on a show and then that nonsense is OVER.  I did not take to perpetually grey skies well. 

Combine the terrible weather and the fact that Shreveport looks like something out of a horror movie set and it really was not a good place for me.  When I say it looks like a horror movie I mean that there are burned out buildings everywhere.  There was even one right across the street from the hospital.  These wouldn't have bothered me, but it wasn't one or two, they were everywhere.  No neighborhood was spared. Shreveport once had some big headquarters of a some oil corporation and you can tell that there was once money flowing freely through the town.  The buildings are older and have some beautiful construction, but are mostly abandoned (or burned out).

Are you feeling a little weirded out yet?  Add the permanent rain and standing water and flash flood warnings to the beautiful old abandoned buildings to the burned out ones on every block or so and Shreveport should be creeping you out.

Wait, wait, we have one more thing to add! The fact that I was there solely to do a psychiatric clinical rotation.  A psych rotation in the damn creepiest, dampest, saddest town I've ever lived in.  Now, every other student I have talked to told me how easy and relaxing this rotation was going to be.  It was even called a "psych-cation."  This is a lie.  A psychiatric rotation is not a vacation. It was emotionally gut-wrenching every day.  It was the saddest stories you can imagine day in and day out.  I don't even want to think about them, let alone share the things I could.  I wasn't really acknowledging how much of a toll it was taking on me until one evening I announced I was going to bed (it was dark outside and I was tired).  My roommate looked at me incredulously and asked if I felt okay, to which I replied yes.  She still looked really concerned and said to me "it's only seven."  I didn't care.  I needed to take to the bed.  I was emotionally exhausted.  I was done.  Needless to say, psych is not for me.

*This all makes Shreveport sound terrible.  It wasn't terrible.  Every single person that I met in Shreveport was lovely.  Absolutely lovely.  They made the weather and the creepiness something I could deal with.


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