Basically, I’m not such a wayward person you know! Though admittedly, I’ve been known to pass for a frenzied witch occasionally. I get raggedy and frayed around the edges and my unflappability has a short shelf life.
I let off steam by screeching and stomping; and then I start to blubber. I blub because I’m frustrated with myself for behaving like a world class PD.
We get a fair whack of those on here; Personality Disorders, that is. I’m not one of them, although sometimes I wonder. The difference is, I act like the professional I’m paid to be, and do my freaking out behind the scenes. A true PD generally chooses an audience to play to.
Now that’s what I’m taught, so that’s what I must accept. I mean, you don’t gain qualifications by telling the examiners they could be mistaken.
It’s draining working in a Mental Health Unit. But you get to see endless variations on the norm, assuming there is a norm of course. I mean, who sets the standards anyway?
You might say, “Well God of course.” But you’d only say that if you believed He existed, and had rubbed shoulders with Him. If you hadn’t met Him, you could behave like a hoodlum, without conscience. You would only have society’s rules to measure up to, or down to, as the case may be.
On the other hand, who knows what’s genetic, or a chemical imbalance, or a gut wrenching plea for enlightenment?
Isn’t life complicated!
By nature I’m a people-watcher, and in truth I love these whacky characters that have lost the plot. Like attracts like? Who knows? I’m not ashamed. There but for the grace of God…
By chance, I once met someone whose influence shaped my life. Lucy was studying psychology and was with us to gain practical experience. At that time, my current opinion of Psychiatrists and Psychologists was that mostly, they needed to see one. What a zany bunch of screwballs!
“She doesn’t look the part,” declared nurse Suzy.
“The eccentric part?” I asked.
“That’s it. She’s looks… um, regular.”
“Hmm… looks fit to me,” chipped in Joe, the porter. I glanced up to see Lucy busying herself in the lounge area, tidying half-empty coffee cups and plumping up cushions.
“You don’t need do that Lucy,” called Suzy. “It’s the domestic’s job.” Lucy grinned, revealing perfectly aligned, pearly white teeth.
“Keeps me out of mischief.” Porter Joe laughed raucously.
“Hey, I like a bit of mischief?” Lucy humoured him with a shake of her head and carried on.
Later, at break with Suzy, I tried to pigeonhole Lucy, because that’s what people-watchers do.
“Suzy, I found Lucy in the kitchen mixing butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. She had Molly beating eggs and Diane lining a cake tin. How did she do that? Two difficult to engage clients, cake baking?”
“She’s got magnetism,” stated Suzy. “And a great figure. Meow!”
“I’ll bet she does a bit of pole dancing on the side.” Joe loved to lower the tone!
Lucy remained an enigma. Everyone warmed toward her, but no-one really knew her. “What makes her tick?” Suzy asked one morning. I didn’t know the answer. “She has no airs and graces, everyone’s treated the same. The clients readily connect with her.”
“Confidence?” I suggested. “She doesn’t hide behind a façade. She’d make a lovely Christian!” And then, I realised what I’d said.
Lucy was the personification of my idea of a follower of Christ; selfless, giving, caring and consistent. It was inherent in her sweet nature.
Lucy seamlessly portrayed the example I aspired to become; the inspiration to others I failed to be.
Did God engineer the status quo?
I was living a double, no--multiple life. One face for friends, another for colleagues; a sanctimonious, dutiful, don’t forget the hat, Sunday face. I owned more fizzogs than the town hall clock.
I didn’t see Lucy again after her six week placement, but her influence stayed with me. I had insight into Jesus’ words, ‘Let your light shine before others–If I make you light bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you?’ Matthew 5: 14-16 NIV
I’m scared of the dark so no bucket for me, thank you. I prefer to be like Lucy, who I am, warts ‘n’ all. Now that requires a daily dose of grace from the Master, but there’s no shortage.
See, life’s not so complicated now, is it!
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