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21st Century Lesbian Trailer Trash

These are the mad musings of a middle aged woman, dyke, nurse, poet. I have a dog, a cat, a mobile home, and delusions of grandeur.

Location: California, United States

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Pearl of a Girl

We have a new resident whom I shall call Pearl. This is a direct reference to the book and the movie David and Lisa.

Pearl is much older than Lisa, somewhere in her forties. Tall and thin, she has large, liquid eyes and cafe au lait skin. I find myself on the verge of losing my professional perspective, prepared to jump into the abyss for a daring rescue.

The names and some details are changed to protect the innocent. A brilliant and beautiful young woman, born and raised on the east coast, she suffered a horrendous traffic accident during her teen years. She overcame a head injury and continued a life of world travel and study at some of Europe's most prestigious universities. She rubbed elbows with the well known and the wealthy.

At some point she was diagnosed as bipolar. She underwent treatment and continued to live an amazing nomadic life. She worked with the poor. She became a lay aspirant to a catholic order of nuns. Then at some point, she suffered another head injury.

Still an Olympic level verbal gymnast, reality and delusion have merged. She could not overcome the second injury. And although she has holes in her memory, she does not forget her former life. She believes that with the right medication, the right diet, and the right environment, she will recover.

She sits in my office and says amazing things about God and Spirit. She talks of world peace and the human capacity for love. She speaks of world healing. She doesn't sound crazy until she begins to discuss her relationship with the US president and her distrust of the Jews. She never goes so far as to discuss computer chips in her head or laser rays. But she rides the edge.

I'm not completely certain. But I have a hope in my heart that the Universe will heal this pearl of the world.


Blogger SassyFemme said...

It must be very hard to not cross that line, and jump to rescue people like her. Can someone like that, with two head injuries, really come back?

6:22 PM PDT  
Blogger ~ nellenelle said...

Pam... what else can I say, but wow?

Well, I shall try. My encounters with claimants at work is all too brief. Gather facts, write the case. But...
I had a sexual harassment one a couple of weeks ago. The person I was handling was without a phone, and her limited benefit check would not get us through a week of lunches, never mind life...

how I wished to pay her. In my mind, the owner who did it was full of bull (his brother, whom I talked with, was nice, claimant also said this.) But I had to deny, for she never confronted him, never told him this is unacceptable, never went to his bro. I looked for every damn excuse... and that case haunts me. I encouraged her to appeal, because that is under oath...

so I can understand how someone who crosses your work path can click. In your situation, my rescue instincts would overwhelm my senses.


7:48 PM PDT  
Blogger NursePam said...

Only if you believe in miracles Sassy.

Even while I had the urge to rescue, Nelle, I have had enough experience to know that it would help neither of us. But it leaves me with some sadness nonetheless.

8:11 PM PDT  
Blogger KMae said...


10:44 PM PDT  
Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Beautiful post Pam. In cases like these I have to refer to a quote from Emmanual's book and "trust the absolute wisdom of her soul."

At some level I do believe she knows what she's doing, and has volunteered for this assignement to teach.

You are a key player....writing it down so the rest of us can learn.

Thank you!

6:54 AM PDT  
Blogger NursePam said...

I believe the same thing Michelle. In fact, I pretty much said as much to her during the course of this conversation. Her response? "Thank you. That's beautiful. I'm going to remember that."

6:57 PM PDT  
Blogger greymatters said...

You write, sometimes, much like my mother talks (Mom, btw, was the director of the mental health units for a large hospital here in town). She'd tell stories about humans that would make you weep and be inspirational, in the same sentence.


4:58 AM PDT  

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