May 2nd, 2000

Lydia is taking Truck - known to be the world's ugliest cat - in to the veterinarian's today, his final trip. She has been writing the past week about his failing health - blindness, diabetes, now lymphoma - and her feelings about it. Today she says that the time has come, and mentions happenings and feelings dating from when her father died; earlier similar emotions regarding mortality tend to resensitize when the nerves are gnawed freshly.

I knew her father only slightly, and didn't hear for some time after of his passing. A mutual friend then told me to hold off on sending any word of sympathy. Alas, I'd been off of Lydia's A-list for some time.

I also knew Truck, better than I knew her father actually. I always had a hard time liking him myself, other than for the important role he played in her life. He never fit my 'cuddly kitty' image. I think my feelings concerning Truck's imminent passing are as much knowing how wholly she has loved his ugly beauty, how his many imperfections have been welcomed under her roof and made a part of her life and family. She has loved him dearly, more than any mother could.

And, unfortunately, the time has come for Truck to move on, for his pain to end, and for Lydia to suffer another loss.

I wish she would allow me to send my best wishes.

Hopefully enough of those people from whom she does wish to hear will give her comfort.

So, whether or not it showed above the water line, last week sucked big time at my Other Job. Riding right on top of the high from overly succeeding in the two week trial on day shift, from being exonerated, I thought, of the charges of being rude to patients and suchlike. By mutual agreement I had ended a many month long course with Raven, my counselor, and was feeling good.

I arrived last week to start my week and my boss took me aside and told me I had a new complaint against me, and that I would have to respond in writing, and that it was an administrative escalation from the prior situation - which I thought I had overcome.

I hit bottom and stayed there all week, despite social appearances to the contrary. Over an entire four day weekend I had poor sleep, interrupted every couple of hours by awakening to worries about the job. Not a very healthy way to live. Even found myself driving in to work last night really deeply dreading going.

So, when I got a call from my boss middle of the evening, I was apprehensive.

She told me that the same person who had complained about me the prior week had basically written up a subsequent rant that was so outlandish that the bosses - mine and hers - decided he had no credibility. And, I am getting the highest number of compliments from exit surveys. And - since management knows that there are several other staff who are MUCH more coarse and uncouth with the patients, but I am the only one receiving these written complaints - management is going to seek out and find out why they have been apparently solicited.

It isn't easy what I do for a living outside Janes Guide. The Guide, my sluthood, the cat and stuff are all well and good, but for 36 intense hours a week, three 12 hour shifts, I work with some of the most raw and ugly medical situations you can imagine. It has to do with acute substance abuse and withdrawal, and it is draining. At best, it is exhausting. At worst, it can be brutal and even life threatening. Having this sort of additional emotional burden on top of it all is a killer.

After the phone call last night I felt some sense of vindication, of support, and the onset of a return of self respect. I know it isn't all over, but I think a corner may have been turned. Time will tell. I think I'll sleep today.

Life continues, and it is good.

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