Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Thoughts from Week 4 of CPE

I had a rather rough on call Thursday night. The girl about 21 that came in about 5 AM, crushed face, leg was torn all to pieces. I've seen some nasty stuff and that really upset me more than the other traumas I had seen. I think maybe because it happened when she was less than a quarter mile from home that made me so sad. She just graduated college and I doubt she'll make it. Well, no, I take that back. I know exactly why it set me off. It reminded me of a good friend of mine who died the same way. That was years ago, I thought I'd gotten over that, but it all came back.

This girl's parents came shortly thereafter and it was just one of those things where there was just nothing to say. I was tired from having been up most of the night, so I really could not think of anything to do other than just be there. I hope that was enough. I really just felt in a way almost angry because I was there and there was nothing I could do to fix the situation. There was nothing I could do, there was nothing I could say. I think that was what was so frustrating, frankly.

Maybe that’s the point. We cannot always fix things and we just have to be there. I do not understand what good that does, but at this point that is the only think I can think of. I just feel sort of lost at the moment, like there is some sort of lesson I will or should be learning but I am just not getting it yet. I think I know the answer, I just have not quite grasped it yet.

I did not know if I made any progress on my goals or not. Obviously I had to face my goal of trying to understand my role as minister, but I honestly do not feel like I made much progress toward that end. I had to rationalize it by saying I was offering a ministry of presence, but that did not help any. I just felt helpless, and I absolutely hate that feeling. Maybe that is the lesson I am supposed to be learning, that ministers cannot always fix things.

God, I hate this job sometimes.


Beth said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing that, Ryan.

I'm experiencing some of the same struggles this summer as I work in trauma. It's helpful to hear your reflections.

Emily said...

It's amazing how working trauma for a summer can push all sorts of buttons lurking around our insides.

Raisin said...

Know that you're doing important work. Your presence counts. Hang in there -- thinking of you.