Sorry about the delay in updates and the sorry state I left my RSS feed. Found a bug with the updater code, but it’s fixed now and you should be seeing this just fine.
I just finished my CPE assignment at the hospital and am continuing to decompress and process the whole experience and was given accreditation for 1 unit of CPE (A whole year would have given me 4 units).
I’m still left wondering just what to say about the whole thing. I’ve learned so much about myself, about how we process trauma, counseling techniques, emotional roller-coasters, being with people in joyful occasions like the birth of a child to the whole process of being with someone when a they are about to die. You just can’t fit that into a sound bite.
All I can say is that it has completely changed me as a person – and for the better. One of the most amazing things about the experience is that you learn and grow far more than it seems that you give to other people in those moments.
While I was at a BBQ about 2 weeks ago, someone asked me what it was like. In the course of describing what we did in the program to process events we experienced, I described how much of you gets laid bare. One tool we use is a verbatim. A verbatim is a review of an encounter you had with someone. Everything is anonymous and there is no way to track the original person down. One presents a dialogue (as best they can remember) of exactly what was said by everyone involved – including yourself. You present it to a peer group who then re-enacts the event with you. They then go through and examine what was going on, what you said, and why. It’s amazing what starts coming out – “I see that when they said they were afraid of death, you asked them about how they were getting along with their parents. Why did you ask that? What is/has gone on in your own family to make you ask that question? What do you experience when thinking about your own death?”
Well, you can guess that by the end of these sessions, most people end up in tears at some point. It’s amazing; but it’s amazingly healing too. I guess that’s why so many people see it as the real gateway to growth in relating to others. I for one have seen my relationships open in a whole new way – everything from dear friends to even the casual relationships. The change is so dramatic that I’m still trying to make sense of it all – but it is so much more mature and healthy that I find it very exciting with each new person and encounter I have. It’s like living got ‘re-charged’ somehow and all things seem to have been made new. Looks like I’ll be enjoying this newness for some time; and I’m excited for it.