Friday, November 12, 2004

Foggy Daze

It’s a rainy evening here in Tobaccoville and that stirs mental whirlpools that draw me into myself but my little study is a little too well insulated to hear the music of the rain outside during times of cool weather. I could open the door but then I’d over work the heater and – well, I just get quieter in my solitude and hear the drops tap woodenly on the deck and ping the metal of the air conditioner once in a while. I’m satisfied with that.

I snarled at my 16 year-old tonight. It’s a long story but after he went up the road with his buddy (walking, not driving tonight) I realized that my grumpy disposition came from a day that I just didn’t know was hard.

I’m working with a woman and her paraplegic daughter whom I’ve known for years and who ended up on my patient census accidentally. I could have transferred them to another chaplain but didn’t. After all, I’m practically a doctor and, what the hell, I know myself well enough to know if there are conflicts (?) Today, I realized that I was utterly confused about what I saw in the family dynamics and felt anxious about my diagnosis and spiritual assessment of the patient and her caregiver. I asked the social worker on the team if I was doing any damage and she said no, not that she could tell. My clinical supervisor would undoubtedly remind me that all dual relationships are fraught with danger but I got caught up, not so much in my pride, but in my deep wish to help these folks through their crisis.

I haven’t seen them in years and my friendship with them came out of one I had with their father/husband - a fellow officer when I worked in law enforcement. He was able to give me opportunities that have an effect on my life even today, 15 years later and shared with me liberally. He died shortly after I left the department and I grieved his death with anger and depression in those days. I have the chance to give back something special by helping his family through another terrible loss.

Human relationships are very powerful things and those of us who tinker with them are subject to all manner of problems if the work is not done with squeaky-clean differentiation and crystal clear goals. My lenses are foggy right now. My work over the next few days will be to get defrosted so my friends will have the best possible care.

First things first, though; I just called my son out to the study to apologize for growling at him and make it clear as to what I expect so that he can get the car.

I think I’m feeling a little better.


At Sunday, 14 November, 2004 , Blogger Marjorie said...

That sounds so intense. I'm glad you realized it was affecting your interaction with your son and set that right. I imagine its pretty easy to get into an argument with a teenager.

Best to you


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