The ups and downs are hard. I know they will come, but they are still hard.
This morning was a down. Because a perceived intent was acted on instead of asking for the true intent. Then, even when faced with the true intent, the perceived event still affected the emotions to a point that the emotions ruled. For me that is frustrating. To find a way that the emotions could just hang out for a second without triggering until the intent is clarified would be good.
I was reading something about that once. About learning to distinguish between perceived offense and actual offense. It was an excellent book. One I wish I was brave enough to hand over and say, "hey, read this. It's good."
Today, day five, I am finally eating a bowl of food. Of hot food. Simple carbs with a little protein. Hoping my tummy will hold it in and I can get energy. My muscles all ache and cold lives in my bones because I am so weak at the moment. Hoping this food stays in. My tummy is intrinsically tied into my emotions.
I work again tonight. We have a psych patient transferred to us because of age. I think that is unfair. Unfair to those who now in their old age, as a reward, get to share a room with a severe psych patient. He screams, curses, and hallucinates. He thinks he is the devil or possessed by devils and he is going to kill people. He tells us so. When he loses it, the nurse's aides run out of the room in fear.
He's religious - of a sort. Amulets and charms surround him. Crucifixes and holy water adorn his room. But in one of his fits, a nurse tried reciting the Lord's Prayer thinking it would calm him, and he flew into a physical rage, coming out of his chair, walking on legs which cannot hold his weight, and lunging snarling at them. We had one other incident with that with another patient - a priest. He had an episode where four people could not hold him, and to calm him - he is a priest after all - someone tried to recite a prayer. He snarled, growled, and attacked too. An athiest aide left the room that day, looked at me, and said, "I don't even believe in God, but that made me believe in demon-possession."
Anyway, our new guy is religious of sorts. We have a nurse who seriously is just missing some screws. She told me about this guy, and then said, "You should get along just fine with him - you're religious, too!"
Um. Um. Wasn't even sure how to begin answering that one. I might be someone who believes in God, but I am neither "religious" nor thinking I am possessed by the devil.
She walked away, and my coworker and I looked at each other out of the corner's of our eyes. She said, "She's crazy! Something is not connecting!" I said, "yeah, I wouldn't exactly describe myself as religious, especially not THAT type of religious." She just began shaking with laughter.
This is my friend who is lesbian. And I smiled that day at the thought of my faith in a living God being defended by my lesbian friend. Because she spoke back to the nurse and said "Ellie is NOTHING like that!"
In the middle of a rough weeks, and in the middle of deep personal pain, and in living with an unfair judgement sitting on me, this made me smile. Probably the first real smile I've had in awhile.
I wanted to love these two lesbian friends/coworkers of mine enough that they would know that I love them. That I do not judge them. (It is not my job.) That I love them, and willing to befriend them, and willing to help them in this new workplace. That they would know first my love, and then my faith.
Faith should never be used as a hammer to hurt others.
And that day, sitting there in giggles with my friend, I realized I have done that. My faith is being defended by my lesbian friend who knows me first as her friend Ellie, and second as a woman who believes in a living God.
I wiped the tears out of my eyes and the giggles off my face and told her, "Just because I have a deep relationship with a God who wants to know us, does NOT make me religious! I don't like religion because it is rules and judgement. I'm not religious. I love God, and I know He loves me. That is all."
She knows I am a Christian. I've told her so. But if anything else, I want her to see me as a person who loves, who follows a God who loves.
Because it is not my job to convert her. That's God's job. It is my job to speak freely of the love I find in God and to love her with that same love. If I speak of the love I have in God, and hate her or judge her rudely... I discount the love of God and become a stumbling block to her knowing God.
God is quite capable of introducing Himself to her. I am not God's only tool. I am someone who can love her with the love I am loved with.
And you know what? She's a really, really wonderful person who I really, really like. I don't have to "produce" a love for her. I love her. I smile when I see her. I like being with her. I talk to her.
She's human. Not monster. Human. And wonderful.