Dispassion is not the lack of feelings but the rebuilding of those through relationships. As St. Evagrios the Solitary said, “Do not say that a dispassionate man cannot suffer affliction; for even if he does not suffer on his own account, he is under a liability to do so for his neighbor.”
Our feelings can never cease since those are part of us. Those are shaped by our genetics, family histories and our share of real world events. Any person, who’d been sexually abused, in any fashion and regardless of their sex, from early childhood on will feel differently to common sexual innuendos. Young men spotting a girl dressed just right for them, or with that special color or length of hair or simple physical shape will set off a boy who’d been repeatedly abused by his dad or even mom in fashions and directions drastically different than those young men who’d known nothing akin to such. Girls who’d been worked for sex by a grandparent, uncle, dad, aunt or mom, likewise respond to their sexual feelings differently than those girls with no such things under their skirts.
My words are extreme and dramatically uncomfortable, I know. Too many of the people I’ve dealt with, in years past, had gone through years like those in the last paragraph. I’ve dealt with other dramatically perverse reshaped lives. Across those years, I’ve also come to think like mindedly of the rest of us. Extreme perversities are not required to unknowingly be dramatically off the mark.
I had a supervisor, years ago, who chewed me out for hospitalizing one of the system’s clients’. The guy had only wanted a day or two of specialized attention and I had cost the city and county a significant chuck of change. Her attempt at intimidating me was to stop me from every making that mistake again failed in my eyes. We had agreed, since the man had given me no valid reason for a short and costly stay in a locked psychiatric unit, but he had played the wild card.
Around 1 in the morning I had sent that chronic paranoid schizophrenic to the psychiatric unit, against my certainty there was no valid reason. Looking at this probably uncomfortable to most readers. If the man’s suffering from that disorder then perhaps he needed treatment, most readers will be saying. I knew though that he’d been seen by his psychiatrist the week before and the day before had been to his therapist’s office and consistently attended various fashions of groups across the past weeks. Before raising a typical caution about humans making rather sudden changes, realize that this man had a long history of repeatedly doing the same thing.
All we’d seen across years past was his chronically getting himself admitted for 24 or fewer hours and then wanting to leave. No changes in medication were attempted because of his refusals. I could have, also, gotten him in to see his counselor the next morning and his groups psychiatrist in a couple of days. That wasn’t what he wanted.
After determining that sure as the world, if I left his apartment taking the police, fire department and ambulance with me, we’d be back in an hour or two needing to ship him to the ER needing to flush his guts or deal with superficial cuts to his arms. Realize, reader, that things like this are a consistent problem. Our mental health systems are part of that problem and so we all have to bear up under it.
Back on the psychiatrist I was answering to. She brought up our potentially having to spend time in court over this, which was close to never happening. Her contention about being held responsible and punished was only meant to make me bow to her. Being, likewise, licensed made her dragoon maneuver unless in my eyes. Confronting her with the fact that any judge would look at my licensure and being the only one who signed the man into the hospital meant I’d be canned and not her. The subject got dropped.
Across my years since that rather common fiasco, I’ve come to take another perspective on things. Yes, she was attempting to dominate and just make me stop spending money and I agreed then just like now. I also know, I was right about just keeping us from having to make another run. My failure across all was the pride I took in being able to successfully stand up to an MD.
Out of my plethora of spiritual issues I’m also fight a stout headwind of pride.