The House

The House

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Going on the inside

Since my last post I got a job in corrections. Yes. prison. I had given up ever getting a job as a therapist. I would go to interviews and get tag teamed by five or six and not called back. I went to one local interview and had been forgotten. There was no one to interview me at the time appointed. I had decided to give up, let my hard earned license lapse and my husband and daughter talked me out of it. I woke up early one morning in tears and despair. I looked up to the powers that be, and said; "I am willing."
I had carefully avoided D.O.C. Since living in the town and hearing the stories of how it is run I didn't think it a good idea given my temperament. I put in some applications in the literally last place I wanted to work. I got an interview by going around a contract company. The interview I got was of course tag teamed. Six people from two facilities who were more interested in joking and cutting up with eachother than interviewing me. I was not impressed. I soon realized that my views of corrections were correct. The group thought I was there to do contract work. I told them point blank; "No. I am looking for full time. What kind of damage could I do as a contract worker." Contract got three days of training and no academy training. I told them "you need someone experienced who can hit the ground running."
I was given a tour by a man who I knew I would never have been able to work under. I later found out that was true as well.
I walked away relieved and disappointed but not to much.
A couple of weeks later I get a call from one of the women sitting at the table. The one who said nothing the entire time and was the only one of the group who didn't joke with the others.
She wanted me to interview with someone else at another facility.
I went expecting more of the same tag team silliness I always get. It was the woman and another older lady who looked grim and burnt out. I talked with the young woman fairly affably. I talked about my background, the lousy interview from the previous week. The older woman hardly said anything and I thought "well, she didn't like me for sure." She did follow me out and still said nothing. I wondered what is she looking at.
A week later I got a call telling me that I was offered a job at the toughest prison in the state. The level five security was recently brought into the news and sued by the ACLU for segregation methods that were thrown out in the 1890's. A man who had been in segregation for twenty years was released and proceeded to shoot and kill our state director of prisons.
This is a place that normal people would not want to work in.
But it is the only job offer I have received in ten years of looking. I literally went into shock. I couldn't feel my hands.
I have been working now for two years. First at CSP and now Territorial, the oldest prison in the state and prior to 1896 it was the Federal prison for the country. My experience has been incredible. I talk to men who are the most benighted lost souls on the planet. They range from those who are so damaged they should never be around other human beings again to shining lights of wisdom and hope.
Working in prison has given me a strange hope for humanity and shown me in stark outlines how people make choices. Stripped of everything except themselves they wrestle with demons the rest of us can't imagine. They rotor rooter their souls and psyche's till they are raw. The hatred and love come into stark contrast. Dante would recognize it in an instant.
Twenty years ago I said in a large gathering of integrative breath work participants of three hundred I wanted to be among the Virgil's, to help guide others through hell and it has come true. There was a breath work where I drew a Japanese gate. I didn't know it was what it was till I was told. Today I walk in front of a Japanese gate built by the offenders as part of the garden in the compound. The first time I saw it I was floored. I feel at home in Territorial. I do not know why. Or perhaps I do.
The older woman who interviewed me has been the toughest most giving boss I have ever had. She indeed didn't like me, but she was desperate for a therapist and I had an LPC. She didn't know what she had gotten. I am a cat of a different coat. Since then I have learned to smooth my ruffled fur and she had learned to pull her claws in. She had done this for 27 years and is indeed burnt out as she would admit. She tells me she is proud of me but it took her a while to look past her jaundiced view of clinicians.  I didn't think I would last or be a fit but it turns out I am. I am even able to introduce integrative breath work mini journeys.
In recent days I realized that I have adjusted to the job. I have put down a lot of the things that give me the spiritual support I need. I miss breath work and it seems Eupsychia and J. Small have dropped off the map this year. I suspect that Small has retired without handing the baton off to anyone. This is a shame.
I found one person in Broomfield who does it but I am reluctant to go for some reason. The reluctance is due to her training I think.
I am also in need of recharging due to this election. An election shoved down our throats. I fear for our species and what is left of the other species on our planet. I am disturbed by the resurgence of hatred spewed by a billionaire playboy. I am disturbed that the first woman with any chance of being president is a blue dog hawk and bankers love her. I am upset at the system that booted Sanders to the curb out of pure hubris. I have felt a dull grief since it all began. I voted green and will not take the brunt of ire for doing so as 46% of the eligible voters stayed at home. It is those who abdicated their right who are at fault. We have no democracy because so many don't participate out of pure laziness and no other reason.
I have spent the last 18 months trying to make us recession proof as much as possible. Our youngest is in her freshman year and although she has most of her tuition covered by scholarships and a loan we still need four thousand a semester to get her through. I will not and cannot let her go forward without her education or with student loans. We are very proud of her. I was given no support of any kind not even emotional support to go to school so I am determined to make sure she gets that from me. It has been an interesting and challenging two years.
I have a good husband and two daughters I am very proud of. I live in a sweet little house in a place where we are safe from disaster for the most part. Life is good. I won't let anyone in politics fuck that up again.

No comments:

Post a Comment