Thursday, December 17, 2020

Joseph

     When I was twenty I graduated from college and worked at Turning Point - an inpatient child and adolescent psychiatric unit at Arkansas Children's Hospital. It was there that I met Joe - a psych nurse. He was in his thirties, was short and sturdy with a pockmarked face and a long dark brown ponytail. Avery and I - she's another barista at Boulevard I count as a friend - were reflecting today on crushes Joe was a huge one. He had been a first responder to Columbine and was so adept at counseling. He had a history of cocaine addiction and was in recovery. Flaws are appealing to me in a person. Perfection, not so much.

    My divorce therapist, Diane O'Rourke, taught me that you are usually attracted to people because they have something you desire for yourself. Joe had amazing powers of empathy. He once told me in an evaluation that I should not go into psych because I didn't have good boundaries. I was powerfully good at it, but it would eat me alive with all I took home (pot kettle in reflection). He married the head nurse Penny, we used to all hang out together (she had a wicked British accent) and I was so jealous. I wanted him all for myself. 

    Diane's observation made me reflect. I was attracted to my first husband Mike because he was a doctor and I wanted to be one. He is also lighthearted and fun and I enjoy watching the kids experience this - we get along a lot better now that we aren't married and although I sometimes wish I had the emotional maturity to go back and fix that I wouldn't change Rachel and Stephan and Rennie for the world. I was attracted to Stephan because he was humble and had a circumferential route to his current path - he was a starving artist then an architect. His OCD was also appealing. He is a caretaker and he doesn't know or acknowledge his own worth despite my adoration. But he's getting there.

    The other day I was putting up Christmas decor and I pulled out the nativity I put up every year that my mom bought 40 plus years ago at Tipton & Hurst. One of the figurines crashed on the brick floor of my keeping room and smashed to smithereens. I wondered if it was a wise man or Jesus and Stephan hilariously commented, "I don't know much about the Bible, but I'm pretty sure Jesus was the baby in the Nativity scene. Oh, I was thinking of grown Jesus he was right. It was Joseph who perished. My cleaning guy Charles (he's amazing a future blog upon itself) found a part we hadn't it was Joseph's hand on the staff. I put it in the Nativity Scene to commemorate the loss.

    When  I was a med student I bumped into Penny - she was a head nurse on an onc ward at ACH. We  caught up. Turns out she divorced Joe he relapsed and eventually overdosed. I burst into tears. Sometimes the people we admire the most and learn from aren't good self caretakers. 

    It's much easier being sleepless when you don't have to work the next day yay!!! Music time happy Thursday much much love take care, E

 

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