Monday, January 16, 2006

Gravity is NOT my friend

There is a small pothole in a street nearby that has a magnetic attraction for my left foot. Probably four years ago, when I had my first wolfhound, my adored Maeve, we walked down that street, and the pothole exercised its attraction, and down I fell. The hole is so small that I had to look carefully to see why I'd fallen! Just the size of my left foot... Maeve stood and looked at me in astonishment. I picked myself up and we went on. Last night, Wilson Wolfhound and I were walking, and sure enough the pothole found my left foot again, and down I fell. This time I managed to pull a muscle or something, so I lay on the ground for a few minutes. Wilson, who is different from Maeve in this regard, looked at me not with astonishment but with an absurd combination of delight and worry. He licked my face over and over again, while a mile behind the face the tail was wagging furiously. Mommy??? MOMMY??? I rubbed his nose and told him I loved him dearly, and then held on to him while I got up veeerrrrrrryyyy slowly and we walked on. Sore ribs this morning! But a grand walk.

CPE final eval tomorrow. Got my paper done. My field supervisor has given me some very negative feedback that I am trying to process. Spoke to my actual supervisor for some sorting. Got some feedback from the staff with whom I am actually working, on the unit, that differs from that of the field supervisor (staff chaplain). It seems that part of the disconnect is that my style, if you can say that a rank beginner has a style, is very different from his. It may be gender-related: the female staff think I am doing a good job, the male chaplain thinks I am spending too much time and it must be because I want to be liked and am gratifying that need of my own. My actual supervisor says: the grain of truth is that I am enthusiastic, and if I were ever to end up doing this work I'd need to watch my limits. I get so 'triggered' by feedback like that of the staff chaplain--I hear the voice of my mother, saying "You're only trying to get attention," and I feel the caring parts of my heart have been labeled as diseased; I feel "found out" and publicly shamed. My head hangs low. It hurts. It's the feeling of being "flawed at core" that I keep having to fight.

So I am practicing what, in CPE, my supervisors have called "the right to disagree with another person's perception." I *do* want to be liked--who doesn't? But I don't think my work is all about that.


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