Friday, October 22, 2010
Winding down . . .
When I interviewed for this residency in Clinical Pastoral Education I was at a very vulnerable time in my life . . . it was the Friday before the last Sunday at the church where I had served for five years to the day . . . although it may have been time to dissolve the pastoral relationship -- in the long run everything has worked out well, it was not an easy time for me . . . I had no idea how I would make it financially (even now I wonder) nor did I know what I would do as it takes up to 18 months to receive a call . . . and I was just beginning to deal with the emotional baggage that the last five years -- including Katrina and her aftermath (the breaching of the levees in the Greater New Orleans area) and the changes in the context of doing ministry that this event was overlaying on changes in the context of ministry over the past say 50 years that large numbers in the congregation I was partnering with were resisting anyway . . . they still used the hymn book from before I was born for one example. Where was I? . . . so anyway, when I interviewed with the CPE Supervisor and Supervisor-in-Training I was an emotional wreck . . . I didn't start out that way but by the end . . . well, suffice it to say I thought I was one sick pup.
Needless to say the interview didn't go well . . . after a week when I got the "call back" it was obvious that I wasn't in . . . a week later I think I got accepted only because someone else turned them down . . . I must say that as I have gotten to know the other residents and heard that they were accepted right away I am somewhat perplexed, esp by one or two that seem to have no level of insight or ability to connect with their emotions -- but that is perhaps left for another day . . . anyway I took the Supervisor's advice and got into therapy . . . and it has been wonderful . . . I am NOT and never was the basket case that I was led to believe at the time of my first interview . . . in fact, at my last session (I think # 6) the therapist asked me if I didn't think it was time to start talking about terminating our relationship as I have done so well on meeting my goals . . . I must admit I was somewhat panicked . . . this has been a lifeline for me as I learn to navigate relationships (specifically to tell who I want to be friends with and with whom I am happy and content to be only a good colleague as well as to begin to understand who owns an issue -- this has really been a Godsend in IPR as I realize that some comments are really about the person making the comment and not about me) . . . so it is time to wind down. I am not sure how I feel about this . . . have I really accomplished what I wanted? I know I am stronger . . . I know I am not afraid -- my behavior is not directed by fear . . . I know I am emotionally healthier . . . more able to articulate my feelings -- whether others can hear them or not is not my problem.