CPE-10 – God Help Me

We are finishing our mid-term evaluations. Yesterday, we met in Central Park, the day before at Health Care Chaplaincy offices, today, back at Roosevelt. I am completely exhausted! I have been the lightening rod for the past two days, and probably will be today. Why? Well, I have a strong personality, I am self-assured, I like who I am, and I don’t think I am too off base in how I conduct myself. With certain people, all those things are bad things. According to some, I refuse to look at deeper issues because when critiqued I say, honestly, “I understand,” and leave it at that, because I do understand. Well, because I don’t use the right code words or gush emotionally I must be repressing something or denying some underlying pathology – who knows? So, I’ve been blasted the last two days (and one earlier time). And, of course, because I don’t respond in ways they want me to respond, they assume I cannot be an effective chaplain, even though they have never seen me in operation. Ask the patients I deal with whether I am effective. They all want me to come back, so I suspect I must be doing some things right.
I think it is time for some of them to learn how to deal with someone like me, rather than they expect me to completely change my personality and learning style to reflect what they thing I should be. If they expect me to be able to respond and react in ways that they can receive, then they need to do the same with those like me.