Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Poetry Corner

When the sun comes after rain
And the bird is in the blue,
The girls go down the lane
Two by two.

When the sun comes after shadow
And the singing of the showers,
The girls go up the meadow,
Fair as flowers.

When the eve comes dusky red
And the moon succeeds the sun,
The girls go home to bed
One by one.

And when life draws to its even
And the day of man is past,
They shall all go home to heaven,
Home at last.

--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow--

I played hooky from my job yesterday. It was something I had to do. It's been so cold, dreary, and damp here in the city, and it has definitely been playing havoc on these old bones. It's become so painful just walking back and forth to the subway. My sciatica is still acting up some, I have arthritis in my knees, and to top all that off, I've developed a pain on the top of my  foot that makes walking so uncomfortable.  All this is further enhanced by this weather.  This cold and damp just never seems to end.

When I came home from work on Monday, I already knew I wasn't going in on Tuesday. When I got up in the morning and saw that the rain had stalled I tried, I really did try, but I couldn't do it.  It was later in the afternoon that I realized it wasn't the pain, the rain, or burnout.  I just had to take some time to gather myself together.  As  you all know, I work in a mental health program with drug and alcohol users.  I also work with clients on parole.  I've come across many different people during my  years in this field, but Monday was the 'first' time I came face-to-face with a true sociopath. 

You see them on television shows all the time and wonder how someone can be so devoid of feelings. I won't even repeat the story he told in group. It wouldn't be fair to you. Suffice it to say, it is a picture I cannot get out of my mind.  What was even more upsetting was the fact that he couldn't stop laughing.  To him, the cruelty he spoke about was the funniest thing he ever saw in his life. 

And as I tried to stop him from continuing, he began talking faster and faster in his haste to get the story out.  Several members got up in left the group.  He couldn't fathom what he had done so wrong.  Then, one of the young ladies spoke up about it, he flew out of his chair and tried to egg her on into a physical altercation.  Mind you, he's a 300 pound man and she a 120 pound women.  All staff came running, and we did manage to put a halt to the violence before it began, thank goodness, because he would have killed her, but, the events of the day were still with me yesterday, draining me.  I just wanted to sleep, and sleep is what I did.  I pulled the covers over my head and spent most of the day in bed.  

The rain and the cold and the dampness are still with us today, but I'm feeling pretty much up to par today.  This is the career I chose to work in, and I can't run away from it.  All I can do is regroup as I did yesterday and do my best to help those who really depend on me.  Thanks for letting me share.


  1. oh my - you deserve to take a break. I have to admit that I have a particular fear of crazy people. I am not sure where it comes from - whether from a blocked incident in this lifetime or from an experience in a past one, but it terrifies me to the point that I cannot even watch movies in which there is a character like the one you described. I cannot even imagine having to deal with this on a regular basis, but thank god there are people like you out there. Still, it is not something that ANYONE can take without getting a break from it from time to time. So, you did not play hooky - it was a much needed break.

  2. A very tough experience for you. Though this is the career you chose, you are still not immune to the worst it can present. Your physical pains are the outward signs of the inner pain you felt about this. It is good you stayed home to regroup. Wishing you better days, and peace of mind.

  3. Wow. I just don't know how you do your job, especially being an empath. I think I would have burned out after about 6 months. I don't blame you for taking the day off. Some things can not be unheard/unseen. I'm sorry.

  4. Jeez, I'd have taken the day off too. Sheesh!

  5. Yeah, I too get 'THAT PAIN" on top of a foot and I wish the heck I knew what brings it on out of "the blue." Feels like something is broken. Next day or hours later it's gone. What...IS THAT!!! Feels like an anvil was dropped on the top of my foot.
    I can so relate to you on that m/f.
    Glad you feel "whole" again. The two of us needed zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's yesterday.
    As for you meeting your first real sociopath, I hope I never have that in common with you.
    Just reading what you wrote was upsetting.
    May the world treat you good the rest of this week. (((hugs)))Pat

  6. Don't know how you do your work...

    So, this true Sociopath is walking around NYC...?

    And how many more of him, are there?

    I'm at a loss for words... I admit it....

  7. Bless you. Really. And thank you.

  8. It sounds like you have a very difficult job; I don't blame you for taking a day off. If I had a job like that I'd probably be taking a day off now and then as well.

    Oh, by the way, I love the painting and the poem!!!

  9. ...i send thee six ribbons to tie back the foils of darkness ~ may the five winds set forth to embrace your gentle temple doors ~ love ~ hugs ~ and ~ rainbow freckled light bubbles ~ on their way to thee ~ blessed be...

  10. Oh Mary - what an awful experience. I know that this is your chosen field, but still - you do need a break from it now and then. You are an angel to the ones who truly want help.

  11. ok I am a lurker on your blog but I just want to send you a hug, god knows how you do your job!

  12. ok I may be reapeating myself here, I am a lurker to your blog, just want to send you a hug, god knows how you do your job! but we need people like you to see the bright in the dark people.

  13. Wow Mary, I can certainly empathize with you. I worked in criminal justice in a similar type job for 25 years and recently chose to leave that profession after re-evaluating my life. I come across many sociopaths during that time and it is totally amazing how have no empathy or moral compass! It sounds like you and your staff definitely handled the situation appropriately before he injured or killed someone. You did the right thing by taking time off to sort it out in your mind and decomp. We always had a psychologist in the office who would debrief staff after such situations which I thought was helpful.

    Good for you for taking care of yourself first! It is amazing what rest can do for the mind and body!

    Lastly, I live about an hour away from NYC in PA and we too have been having cold rainy days which does not help my old bones either! Stay warm and dry!


  14. Sweet Soul Sister...I cannot wait for you to be able to retire...this job takes too much out of you. I surround you in healing love and white light!!! May Archangel Michael and The Band of Mercy surround You, Your Clients, and Your Workplace and Protect You From All Harm...Always!
    (((Gentle Hugs)))