Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Season for Good Fences

Boundaries seem to be the theme of the last few days, weighing heavily on my mind. What happens when people have them and what happens when they don't. A client has hinted that there may be a disclosure forthcoming about which I may have to take action about someone in my professional realm who did not maintain good boundaries. While the details have not been provided, the information that was floated and my own gut response tells me, "uh-oh, we're not gonna like this one bit!" In all my years in this field I have never had to make such a report. It has always been at the very top of the list of things I never wanted to have to do. And yet I am so passionate about the fact that it is incumbent upon those of us, who by nature of position and role, have power bestowed upon us, to be ever so careful with how we use it. That we have this responsibility to hold those lines, to practice self-care so that we do not cross over those boundaries with those we care for and serve. When I hear that vulnerable people's boundaries are violated by doctors and caregivers, therapists and pastors....I get into avenging angel mode very quickly. So if there are details forthcoming and a reportable event has occurred....no grass will grow, trust me!

And the person who shared my life and my home who has been my Dear One (and for whom I still have no other name) has also done another one of those information sharing things that makes me a little crazy. I keep thinking we are all clear about who can share what with whom and then suddenly I am told that someone knows something that I clearly understood was in the "not to be shared" category, and I feel exposed and angry and violated. This one we even talked about specifically! The last time this happened I expressed my feelings about it....a lot....directly....loud and extensively. This time I have said nothing so far. Then I was angry. Now I am sad. I feel a sense of hopelessness about this, that there will never be an understanding of why I feel the need to have some personal privacy in my very public life, and that I do deserve the respect I have asked for, that it is not unreasonable, this small thing.

My response to these things is a kind of pervasive tired sadness. It saps my energy. I found myself thinking about how long I have left on my National Health commitment here, how long before I can reasonably think about selling my house before I'd totally take a bath on it...in short I am thinking escape. I know it is a fantasy. Wherever you go there you are...blah-blah-blah. And where ever you go everyone else is, too.

I said to C last week that I think we need a liturgical season in the midst of Ordinary Time. Something to get those juices flowing for spiritual disciplines, focus, all that good stuff so we don't get too lax just floating along till Advent comes again. I can't help but wonder if God isn't giving me my wish.....

So who knows what will develop from this. Just for today I am sitting with it all. Asking God to give me the grace of patience and a civil tongue with DO (XDO?), and wisdom and courage if/when the reporting comes to be. I'm not packing or putting my house on the market. I'm thinking about just what I'd call that liturgical season, and am open to suggestions.

Postscript: This is the meditation from the Henri Nouwen Society for June 13...I hear God'svoice in this one loud and clear....
The Source of All Love
Without the love of our parents, sisters, brothers, spouses, lovers, and friends, we cannot live. Without love we die. Still, for many people this love comes in a very broken and limited way. It can be tainted by power plays, jealousy, resentment, vindictiveness, and even abuse. No human love is the perfect love our hearts desire, and sometimes human love is so imperfect that we can hardly recognise it as love.In order not to be destroyed by the wounds inflicted by that imperfect human love, we must trust that the source of all love is God's unlimited, unconditional, perfect love, and that this love is not far away from us but is the gift of God's Spirit dwelling within us.

9 comments:

Kathryn said...

It all sounds weary work - have a hug or two and prayers that things settle down in all directions asap.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I am so sorry about the violations of trust--the violation involved in the upcoming disclosure that you will have to deal with and the violations of trust by XDO. Such hurtful choices. Of course, you should be able to have some privacy and to be given respect. I understand the longing for escape, but I also sense that is just an emotional reaction. Not a bad thing in light of all you must deal with. Be very gentle and kind with yourself during this time.

The Vicar of Hogsmeade said...

The high road is not easy but the view gets better and better over time

imngrace said...

Oh Kate. I was trying to think of some good names for XDO, but alas they are not type-able--for that matter I shouldn't even have been thinking them!

You do deserve respect and privacy--you probably won't have it from XDO. His own fear and anger is coming out sideways in ways that are hurtful. I'm sorry you have to deal with that.

You are doing the right thing and handling this the right way. When it happened to me, I wanted to lash out and tell my ex just what I thought of his hurtful choices, but I knew it wouldn't do any good. He wouldn't listen and it might show the people that he was talking to that he was right. So, I waited--patiently, silently and eventually it all imploded and those folks saw it for it was and stopped listening.

It's that in between time that can really stink. Keep remembering that you are God's precious one--even the messy parts of life. You are in my prayers.

Mary Beth said...

oh, sweet you. I'm sorry. I'm really sorry.

i call times like these.... "sitting with it." If I can remember to breathe during the sitting, it helps.

(breathing along with you)

love...

Rev SS said...

like imngrace I started trying to think of name for XDO ... so sorry ((o))) and prayers

mompriest said...

oh, kate...prayers for you...

zorra said...

Oh, both situations are dreadful. I hate that "uh oh" feeling you get during a session when you know something is coming that you would rather not hear, much less have to deal with...and the personal violation is infuriating. Yes, be the one who takes the high road...though that's so hard.

Mother Laura said...

Oh, the Nouwen is just what I needed today. Thank you.

Hang in there, okay?