Monday, April 03, 2006

Compartmentalization




After looking at all those thousands of pictures of razor blade wounds and burn marks I thought that I might dream about cutting last night.

I shouldn’t have been concerned.

I tell people that I don’t take my job home with me, which is mostly true. Being a call-to-call job based on reaction instead of projects with deadlines, it’s easy to leave after the last call of the day and not worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow starts with a clean slate.

Yet some calls linger. The parents who lay down in a bed with their infants for a nap and accidentally roll over and smother them to death – those calls will haunt me for a while. Ditto the teenaged girl who arrives home to finds her brother has committed suicide with a gunshot wound to the head. I can carry the sense of horror home.

That kind of stuff I consciously try not to dwell on. Writing about it helps but a certain lingering sense of the unfairness and inhumanity proves helpful to keep me going too.

This is what I do. These situations are what I get paid for and what I get great satisfaction in reacting to appropriately.

While I don’t exactly spring out of bed every morning whistling because I’m so happy I get to go spend 12 hours working for the Man, I do have a sense of pride in what I do.

If I won the lottery (if we had a lottery and if I was the type to buy lottery tickets) I’m not sure what I’d actually do. I’d have to have some organization in my life or I’d slip into total agoraphobia.

Which, I guess like cutting, wouldn’t be all that bad if one could still function. Yet it wouldn’t be much of a life either.

Luckily I don’t have vast wealth to corrupt me. Ha!

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Also, don’t forget to visit Tricia! She updates often and usually has something interesting to read.

~~

Photo: KnottyPineAntiques

6 comments:

Jas said...

We participate in PowerBall in Oregon.

Any time the jacktop tops 200 million bucks, I buy a $5 (5 sets of numbers) for the *family*.

If I ever win it, I'm paying off everyone's debts.
Nothing else though. No free rides, just enough to secure everyone, especially the old folks, and the older folks.

:)

Anonymous said...

On a wierd sort of tangent...your grandmother went out one day (two weeks ago) and bought a columbarium compartment for herself (and two others who might wish also to share space..as it holds three). She chose a southern facing compartment so as to get the most sun and one with a marble bench by it so the rest of the family could sit to visit her.

I thought it was very cool and quite thoughtful.

Mom

PS Guess I can sleep better knowing that I have kiddos that want to "secure the old folks"..is that love or what?

Jas said...

Hmmm.

Two open spots?

Is she picking out her own urn, or will that fall upon us?

Not to be morbid, but if we are repsonsible, I want to find one while she is still around so that we know she will approve. Or are there rules about what gets interred, entombed, or whatever the tomb is.

dad said...

first come, first served

BTW: "On a wierd sort of tangent" is a vast understatement.

Hmmmmm - after considering the source, maybe not !!!!

CP said...

Eric, just got to your blog via Kentucky girl. Read this post. Hit home with me. I am a nurse, been one for 9 years. Love my profession. I am also, a former cutter. By former, I mean I haven't injured myself in about *thinks* 11 years. I was cutting before it got popular. I was a survivor of an extreme domestic violence situation many years ago, and cutting (after the perp was locked up for good) was my coping mechanism. I had been battered for so long, that I was numb...physically dead. So, the physical pain never hurt as much as the emotional pain. The letting of blood was two fold. It made me feel physical pain but it also was a metaphor for releasing whatever was inside of me.

Now, as a nurse who does crisis intervention, I can speak to my patients from the heart. I can really relate to them on a lot of levels while still giving them guidance as a professional who has lived to see the other side.

I am glad it made such an impact on you. If you want to exchange information, drop me a line at certifiableprincess@yahoo.com . Would be happy to help out as a nurse educator with first hand experience.

CP.

Eric said...

CP - I sent you an email. Thank you for sharing your insights and I applaud your bravery in speaking about a practice which is often based in a great deal of shame.