I’ve been told I’ve got talent.
Not the kind of talent that creates art…or publishes books…or contributes to the world’s excessive need to be entertained.
The talent I’ve got involves people. Individuals. Souls.
It’s a dirty sort of talent. One where I twist and pull and shake out the piles and piles of shit people have been sitting in, holding on to…or flinging about.
See, people seem to think I can help them.
It starts with casual conversation…and then I smile…sort of through the other person…because I read between the lines and the gestures and the vibes…and I got them. And they know it. And then it’s too late.
I’m a victim magnet.
I see them, floating around in confusion…muddling through life…pleading for help silently…and for some reason, they see me.
I get to know them…quickly…and I can pinpoint where the work must begin. And then I map out the choices in their life…and tell them how things will be down each possible path.
Sometimes, they listen.
Sometimes, they don’t.
Sometimes I shut my mouth and pretend not to care as they drift on by…and then they never even know how close they came to be one of mine.
When I was fifteen I cried every night because of all the horrible things I knew about everyone. My father tried to advise me not to listen. That’s like telling a bird not to skydive. Irrelevant. It’s never been about me listening.
When I was seventeen and pissed off, I dressed Gothic and never brushed my hair. I wore hoods and clunky boots and made my vibe as offsetting as I could.
Still, they came.
The corner I sat in, glaring out into the square as I chain-smoked, became known as my office. They sat next to me…too close next to me…and told me about parents…teachers…friends…relatives…strangers…all the abuse…pain…and shame they needed to expose…
I don’t know what they saw in me.
I was mean. I pushed people away before they could hurt me. I was aggressive, violent and malicious. I could spot your weakness and exploit it just because. And I never ever told anyone one full truth. It didn’t matter anyway. No one was really listening. They were too busy talking.
Then it became my job. I was deep in the center of a therapeutic nightmare. Story after story after story. Life after life after life. Soul after soul after soul…
Each year they brought their two suitcases and eighteen years of baggage. They loved deeply…fought nasty…cried oceans of pain…and numbed it all when the sun went down.
Each story ate away at a bit of me. Each soul drained my life source until I felt that I had nothing left.
And it was ok because by then there was nothing left to do.
The doors were locked…the dream was dead…and my life was shattered at my feet.
It’s taken over three years to build me up again.
For a while, I thought I was better off. I thought life seemed normal…
I’m not normal though. I’m a victim magnet. I’m a talented orchestrator of the kind of dirty no one can ever prepare you for in clean classrooms over spotless books. I’m a product of a street that brought revolutions…rebellions…change…
It’s been a quiet three years. It’s been an experience I guess I needed.
But now…now I’m fully charged. Now I’m more grown up. Now I’ve perfected my talent and even know how to listen.
Bring it on.
Bring. It. On.
8 thoughts on “Bring. It. On.”
On it will be brought
YES!! That’s exactly right. And thank goodness you see it and accept it. You DO have that talent, that gift. i’m not ashemed to say I’ve seen it with my own eyes and have reaped the benefits of it in my own life.
You go on.
You keep helping.
People like you are so needed. It’s the ones with the life experience who can do more than any therapist. Keep it up!
It’s known as “mitleid,” feeling the pain of others. I actually have to make a point to avoid certain situations because I just can’t function. Many mistranslate that as heartlessness, but I often have to turn away or else I will be in pieces.
At Yankee Stadium there is a boy with cerebral palsy who sells candy. I bought something from him then cried myself to sleep for three days. Now I don’t want to go to Yankee Stadium.
You have to be very, very careful. The therapy field is rather for those who can maintain those walls, that can assist without getting sucked in. Those barriers are very much necessary.
Are you sure you can handle it? I know I can’t.
Well…it takes one to know one. I guess they know who they can trust. You’re doing a really good thing, so remember to set boundaries or you’ll be swallowed up before you know what hit you.
The last comment was from me; not sure why it says anonymous :-).
My family makes funny of me because I always attract the crazies. (The hurting, the needy, the slightly insane…)
I’m pretty sure it’s my compassion and empathy.
And I’m pretty sure my compassion and empathy are because I am also a crazy.
I know what it is that you are speaking of. There’s a danger & hope & desperation & faith that cannot be spoken of. A fear of being lost amidst the emotional tidal wave of others. Of drowning & therefore dying. As if the rescuer, in an attempt at helping the drowning, is pushed under in the panic of the rescuee.
But your calling is so deeply ingrained in your soul that you cannot simply turn them away. It’s become a righteous path you walk with both trepidation and pride.
The only way I’ve found that works for me is through love. I could never love them to the extent that they need to be loved, so I try to remind myself that I am simply a messenger or vehicle of G-d’s love. What I’m giving isn’t mine to withold; to regulate; to deplete. Let love flow through you while also recognizing that you have no responsibility for how the receiver utilizes the love. Some squander, some reciprocate.
Today, let me love you.
With eternal rspect & love,