Collision Course

I live in a small town. After having been here for ten years, I have come to recognize people from different corners of my life while I am out and about. Interestingly, too, is the fact that there are some people who I expect to see around town but never have…but this isn’t about that.
For almost a year I have added people to my life who I never thought that would be added. Apologies for being cryptic, but please just trust me on this one, mmmkay? A few months ago I bumped into one of these people while cruising the aisles of BestBuy. It was interesting, as this was the first such encounter. We exchanged pleasantries, but our interaction was left at that; simple hello’s, how are you, good, good, have a great afternoon. Then for a while I kept seeing this person in many other places. Could it be that they had always been there, but I was just now becoming aware of their presence? Almost as suddenly as I had started to see this person, they were gone. Haven’t seen him since…
A few weeks ago I was working an overnight ‘sitter’ shift in our ICU. We’d had a patient who was a bit…shall we say…over animated and rather than simply put the patient into restraints, we had people sit with the patient to help keep things calm. While I was there the docs requested a psychiatric evaluation to determine…well, i don’t know what exactly…but when that person arrived, a cold chill ran down my spine. This person was part of that new corner of my life! I tried to blend into the background like Predator. predator-3 Was it working? How could I blend better? I stood there in my little corner of the ICU, stock still, hoping against hope that they would not have to come any closer. I kept my ears open, and was relieved when said person said, “No, I don’t think that it is worth waking them up at this time. If their demeanor changes in the morning, please feel free to call us back.” YAY! uncomfortable situation avoided!! Wahoooo~
This week I saw that person in the ‘correct’ context and mentioned the near collision of worlds. She said that she hadn’t even seen me, and was curious about me being there and what had happened with that patient.
***ALERT*** as I am typing, ANOTHER COLLISION HAPPENED. F(*##K i hate living here now. I used to really like it. I wonder how hard it will be to convince my family to move away…
Alright, where was I…SO…this past Monday I walked into a waiting room that i HATE to go to. It is very degrading for me to be there, full of guilt, shame, and bad feelings. And who might be there this time but one of my former nurse managers. Yep. THAT was fun. So we were all like, Hi, hello, how are you, still at such-and-such a place, yea, yea, me, too, things are still crazy, yea, summer treating you well?, no not really, nah, me neither, well, yea…..awkward…
BUT WAIT…this morning as I was getting ready to leave I had yet another collision. Or rather a NEAR MISS, as I don’t think that the surgeon saw or recognized me.
I’m presently hanging out at the local public library, trying to enjoy some solitude, WiFi, and the smell of books. And BAM! Head on collision in the periodical section. DAG NABBIT. I thought that the interaction would be a simple head nod, and we’d both move on with our day. But NOOOOOO. The other person approached me and engaged me in conversation about things that I don’t want to converse about in public. WTF???? Oh well…so i tried to be as helpful and cordial as I could. Why not, right?
And then it happened again, as I mentioned in the alert above…This person didn’t recognize me, but I’d know him anywhere. Several years ago we met at a place I was working. He did some pretty horrible things (IMHO), and though there was nothing I could do about it, his actions and his mere presence have left a terrible impression. I hadn’t seen him for several years, but when I just saw this guy, all of those negative thoughts about him came rushing back. Ugh. I’ve managed to wave them off, though, so they won’t be tainting the rest of my day. YAY! #Winning.
How do you react when two of your worlds that you would rather keep separate end up colliding?falling silos Do you take steps to avoid these encounters (shop in another town?) or do you just wing it? Perhaps the best thing for me to do would be to NOT compartmentalize my life? hmmm….food for thought, for sure.

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