The Most Profound Way to Be Human
It’s been an especially tough six weeks !
Apart from the eternally long lockdown situation here in Melbourne exhausting us all, plus a demanding job in mental health in essential services, my normally peaceful home environment has now been disturbed into nightmarish proportions.
Not only is noisy construction work going on right outside my bedroom and lounge room doors opening onto my balcony, which I cannot access, BIG horrible rats have decided to use my balcony as a playground, run around at night time very loudly and wake me up. I then, can’t get back to sleep.
I have been staying with generous friends these last few weeks in order to get some rest and preserve my sanity! This has required a doctor’s letter explaining why, due to our lockdown restrictions. Essential healthcare worker going crazy ? …..
To add to this bizarre situation, the Body Corporate at my apartment block are refusing to acknowledge the problem, despite the owner of my apartment and property manager doing their best to resolve the issue by bringing it to their attention, as have I. Two Professional Pest controllers have confirmed rodent presence on my balcony and around the rest of the apartment block. Basically I am feeling positioned as some hysterical crazy woman who doesn’t know the difference between an oppossum and a rat, despite the fact I have SEEN the disgusting rats on my balcony.
I do wonder if I had a male partner or male husband would I have been taken more seriously ? Am I having an experience of being dismissed as an older single woman who is now deemed invisible ? Please note, one of my main protagonists here is a woman, not just the men!
Now to top all this nasty stress off, I am having to come back home and isolate at my apartment for 14 days, due to being in close contact with a Covid positive person a few days ago. My Covid test has come back negative which is great, but my stress bucket is certainly full and overflowing. ??.
My PTSD alarm system is firing off big time with all of this extra stress.
How am I coping ?
Through feeling the love and kindness of friends, family and work colleagues who are in contact. Dropping food off for me, messaging me, having zoom parties. It is making such a difference to my lockdown fatigued, depleted being.
When the chips are down, reaching out to each other is where it is at. This is true for me, more than anything else.
My therapist who I have worked with for a long time, recently told me he thought I was a “Lover”. I asked him what he meant by this?
He said it means that I am always interested in connection. Love, connection and warmth seem to be central themes in my life and that I believe by the way I live, that this is the most profound way to be human.
Without a doubt, his words resonated as my truth. Thank God for therapy! I look back over my life and this theme has always been there. Certainly birthed by feelings of loneliness in my family of origin and my childhood, these three words, love, connection, warmth, have informed and even dominated my life choices.
Becoming a hippie as a teenager, searching for authenticity, love and connection. Choosing my profession as a Psychotherapist, where I have the privilege of hearing conversations from the heart with my clients. One of my clients said to me recently about the therapy group she was in, which I was facilitating, “ the thing with you Ros, you always bring love into the room, not just a checklist of techniques and interventions to help with our depression, anxiety, trauma and PTSD.”
I loved hearing this. If that is what I am remembered for in my clinical work, then I am thrilled.
“ Ros brought Love into the room.”
Giving and receiving love, warmth and connection from others and to others, has given me many moments of joy. It has also caused me much sorrow and anguish over my lifetime, when others have not reciprocated such offerings back to me. It’s a tough world out there, where many humans choose to be defended in their hearts and wear a mask of steel covering their authenticity, in order to protect themselves and prevent being wounded. A valid choice for them perhaps ….
But for me ?
Love, warmth and connection IS the most profound way to be human. Never more so than in these difficult times.
I hope you think so too.