i have been having conversations with the staff...the what's going good, what's not going so great kind of thing on both of our sides in an effort to be proactive and keep communication open and flowing transparently.
erin asked me if my head was halfway to retirement because i seem more distant.
it was an interesting question and fairly intuitive too.
i remember a while ago...8 months or a year or so? something happened that really upset me...for the life of me i can't remember what it was, (so many things have upset me!) but it was something that affected me in a curious way. i partially opted out...not on the animals, not on my role or commitment here but on the personal side. i removed my personal inner self away from here.
you have to understand that in more than 20 years of rescue, i have occasionally been judged and found wanting, called every unflattering name in the book...from ego maniac, to bitch incarnate, control freak, to devil, demon, i was even once called a horse killer. i have had persons threaten to bring me down, to destroy my reputation, to tell the world what i really am.. heartless, callous, cruel, a liar, a cheat, a fraud..angry people say angry things. but the bottom line was i was a rescue failure in someone's books at some distant time.
and lets be honest...it didn't happened a lot, but still each time it did..it hurt.
and it didn't matter that when i looked at why some folks said these things, i recognized both their and my own failings.
i suppose if i was perfect, everyone would always love me...but good luck with that.
sometimes i handled things badly and made things even worse...sometimes i was totally innocent and didn't deserve getting buried in someone else's dirt.
but the point of this is not poor, poor me.
the point is i reached a realization...that just because i love animals, and just because i love saints didn't mean that i was some kind of whipping boy slave in misdirected blame and rage because sometimes people's lives have gone off the rails.
i have many strengths and i have many weaknesses too and i simply decided that if i had to own my own shit...i certainly didn't have to carry all of the other shit in this world.
i became "the nurse"...i deal with the affects and effects of anger, frustration, unhappiness, dis-satisfaction, disenfranchisement, illness and disease in my vicinity, in my current role as curator of saints.. but i don't have to let those things take up residence inside and define me.
i think i finally grew up. i realized that while this whole place has been and currently is intricately entwined with me...it is not me.
saints itself is now its own entity..independent of me..(i mean me as the inside me. the outside me still has work to do.)
i may have been the original seed but saints grew into the tree.
and the tree grew bigger and stronger than me.
it was a monumental waste of time, energy and effort to periodically lose myself in puddles of childish tantrums and hurt feelings...for what? understanding?
i don't even understand the full impact, good and bad that saints has had upon me. how can i possibly expect others to understand?
but i do know that one day saints won't have me and i won't have saints. and that will be a hard adjustment for us both.
a little bit of perspective, a tiny bit of distance, a line in the sand to define the actual separation between our two distinct identities...may not be a bad thing.
i may have given a good portion of my life to saints, but i never surrendered my identity...it just took a while to figure that out.
so erin is right, i am more distant, i have finally learned how to remove some of the personal.
saints is not and never has been about me...it grew out of the needs of displaced senior and special needs animals and that is how it should be.
once you take out the personal, it is so much easier to clearly see
and deal with rescue life.
its all about keeping hope and faith afloat without sinking.