Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Managing Myself

In my last post, Steve commented his position of priests serving and of my potential for burn-out. I was going to just respond down there, but I will bring it up into a real post.

I've decided to only do this for another year or two. It's all I can really handle. I have a good friend in prison for something that he should have known better over-- he keeps me grounded. He's upbeat and is my muse and he tells me what the people who I work with don't tell me-- what he is actually seeing. It seems like on the days that I come home thinking, "Oh these poor people!" he is there in the form of a letter saying, "I watched this drug dealer totally BS a religious volunteer!" I put his letters in my night stand and it is interesting that if I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about what I had seen or heard, the nightstand reminds me of his letter and he is saying it all over again. (I wonder if he ever gets woken up, thinking that he is dreaming of me waking him up to talk to him! "Tell me again what you said about the drug dealers.")

I am getting on to some boards that serve prisoners and I think that after doing the front line work, I will volunteer exclusively on the boards.

For years I have believed that politicians should do boot camp before they run for anything by washing the feet of the poor or serving in some capacity to the lowest of the low.

I have done Hospice and loved volunteering with it, and I have worked in extended care. I've done Compeer, CASA and trained with STAR over the past 20 years. I even trained with Childbirth Education Classes but never did it because I left my ex mid-way through the classes.

I am constantly going to the store and making eye contact with someone and they come to me and tell me something tragic-- I have one of those faces. When I was younger, I felt honored to hear the stories, but now I am busy with my own family. I care for my blogger friends and my real life friends, but I don't like random strangers (or flipping DENTAL ASSISTANTS) making me hear the latest. I have allowed to people to be very rude to me and when I have not responded with curtness, that has set off an emotional response. It has gotten bad enough that I often avoid the stores because I don't want to have my Empath encounters. I think that my time is coming to focus on my art and my writing. Surely reporting will throw me into the same situations, but it's a little more controlled.


Ropi said...

I don't know. Prison is not really the place where I would glady live or work, at least in Hungary.

Gledwood said...

I always thought judges should do a few years' imprisonment, then they wouldn't be so ready to roll the old sentencing dice...

BTW: I wonder whether they DO roll dice? NOTHING surprises me these days... nothing...

Tea N. Crumpet said...

I was in a child custody case with my ex and a judge got sarcastic because my ex wouldn't budge but we both got it and the judge said he was ready to flip his "lucky quarter." I could have been in trouble had I shown contempt of court, but he showed extreme contempt of his subjects. He should have investigated the situation.

steve on the slow train said...

Tea, I think you're doing the right thing here. Something so intense as social work (which seems to be what you're doing) isn't something that one should do without breaks.

P.S. Our friend Olivia might be upset at your remark on "flipping dental assistants." But maybe not. She's got a sense of humor.

Tea N. Crumpet said...

Is Olivia a DENTAL ASSISTANT? No WAY! If she is, she is not one that I have ever encountered-- the ones who end up in my town are bores. They think that you are laying there with your mouth propped open with your upper teeth being worked on and want to be interviewed about why you have a large family, why you traveled to Europe, WHERE your kids are (which is just a strange question to be asked-- what if they are they married to freaks and they have all this personal info on you?) and how big your house is. Olivia has enough of a life that she can talk if she wants and keep people so enraptured that they QUIT flossing, QUIT taking care of their teeth. . . just so they can go back and see HER!

Olivia said...

HAHAHAHA! You know what's funny??????

I WAS a dental assistant for a couple of months when I first went to NYC!!!

And everyone missed me when I left :)
They said, "Where did that nice little English girl go?"

But I usually talked to them before the dentist came in, after that I just shut up and worked.