March 31st, 2000
Well, I got to bed last night around 10ish, woke up to water the plumbing mid-sometime, and just now got up about noon-thirty. I really needed to rest up, I guess. It's been a long hard week.
My work at my Other Job is in the medical field, and far and away different from my work with Janes Guide. I don't go into too much detail about it here and don't plan on changing that. It's proper that there is a separation; I don't discuss my Janes Guide work there either. I'm fairly sure that White Jade doesn't comment too much on her work as a Goddess performing Sex Magick when she's coordinating with another vendor on a software installation, and she probably tries her best to keep geekie techie junk out of mind while she's performing ritual. Today, though, I need to unload a bit.
Recently I've received management heat on the job [the Other Job] for being perceived as relating to patients in a controlling or manipulative manner. Now, I'll grant that I don't appear quite like others in my profession - I've got a ponytail to my waist, multiple piercings, visible tattoos, and I basically look like a bearlike biker kinda guy. I drive a Cutlass, and every time I've tried to ride something with two wheels and an engine I've hurt myself, but life ain't fair. Perceptions matter more than realities.
I know that I'm a healer, that it's a calling and more than just a job.
I work with people who have a lot of physical and emotional baggage, and it's common for them to use and abuse those who try to help them, and to sacrifice others readily in exchange for a moment's pleasure. All too often I've been the staff member who has had to enforce behavioral boundaries, and hence have become 'The Man'. No badge or gun but the image is the same, and especially since I work with other staff members who regularly avoid those responsibilities I have tended to stand out. As well, on an understaffed Night Shift where there are few other staff to distribute the activity with, I've been 'it'.
These two weeks, this and next, I've been shifted over from Night Shift to Day Shift. The object, to either identify my 'poor behavior' that causes these complaints, or to identify that it is merely that I have been personified as The Man, and that there is no culpable behavior on my part. Since this is about __me__, the individual, not just me the professional ... there is no way to not introvert, no way not to spend hours of my time at my therapist's house, no way not to hurt, no matter what.
Associated with this is the ongoing fear that aspects of my social/sexual persona become confused with my professional conduct. As a sexual sadist, a bisexual slut, an out and outgoing pro-sex advocate, I am not ashamed of what I am and do in any way. My son is very aware of my life in detail. I've mailed porno videos from the fine people at MWI [http://www.millerswork.com] to my father who has enjoyed them with his girlfriend. I know very well that I can separate what I do and when I do it. Putting a piercing into a friend in a ritual or play circumstance is not at all the same as giving a sick person a shot; they just both involve a needle. Placing a psychotic into restraint for safety is not the same as putting a girlfriend into bondage for play, even when they use similar devices. I get no pleasure from the professional applications; the thought or association doesn't even enter my mind. I can't imagine anything more unprofessional and I just won't go there. Unfortunately, there is still the possibility of perceptions. "He's one of those kinky people; how could he be a healer?" I know the answers, but when you live outside the edge you never get the majority vote.
So, yesterday after getting off mid-afternoon and done for the week, by pure dumb luck it was clever scheduling that my next appointment with my counselor was scheduled for a couple hours later. I swung by Scarecrow [www.scarecrow.com] to pick up a copy of "The Hunger" I'd had on backorder, and then to XXXRAVEN'SXXX house. Curiously enough, we began by his telling me about his week, which had similarities. He'd been called in by a friend to assist with hypnotic pain control during delivery of her twin daughters. Now, a word about my therapist. He has about five earrings on the left side. He has the sides of his head shaved, shaggy black hair where not shaved, and a Lucifer-like goatee. I've never seen him dressed in anything besides black. What a surprise that when he and his partner arrived at Group Health the OB/GYN nurses looked at him a tad bit strangely. He said that the mother-to-be asked that they have about ten minutes together and that he asked the nurses to take a baseline set of vital signs prior to leaving. When they came back after he did his little whatever he did, they took the vital signs several times and looked at him strangely - he had obviously been quite effective. After the c-section delivery of twins she was up and ambulating on her own power to the nursery to visit the girls by the next morning.
I did have to remind Raven, "You know, my friend, we don't blend."
He is a consummate professional, the repository of more secrets and grief and pain for members of my local community than any one person should have to be. He has helped me and many many many of my friends for years. He just doesn't look like a mainstream healer, any more than I do.
I felt good coming out of our session. I talked about all the things I've discussed above. We both had similar experiences and perceptions and I came out of the session feeling fairly confident about myself and my ability to perform my job properly. Moreover, I feel fairly good about helping others to see me as I wish to be seen. Now it's time for my weekend, writing reviews and going to kinky parties and getting laid and stuff. The good stuff. Hell, it's even just about Opening Day for the Mariners.
Life is good. Really.
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