Regarding the jerk:
There was a discussion around the topic of the advantages and disadvantages of being a therapist for a population of which one is part. There are pros and cons, much of it around countertransference, the teacher indicated it could lean both ways. In the course of the presentation, I mentioned I disclosed because I could not spend energy on thinking what people were thinking. Rather I disclose and move forward. I mentioned I now am very careful. I don't go to chat here as I used to because it can drain me and I need to be able to stand back, so to speak, so I can develop the skills and education that will be most effective when reaching out to people. Does that make sense?
Long story longer, one of my classmates, who can ask some of the most bizarre questions, asked if any research had been done that proves whether people who have experienced the same problems as the people they serve are better or worse therapists. I know she didn't mean it, but I took it as somewhat of a personal commentary on commitment and capabilities. I guess I am still touchy from the friend who made fun of me and flippantly said, "Besides, you don't have what it takes." (That's a long story.)
Also, the woman I had found inspirational (and still do) struggled with the idea of someone from the same population working with them. She is very young and has trauma in her background. Not for nothing, this where her youth cannot serve as my age can. The perspectives are much different. No matter how far removed in time she is from her trauma, it is still fresh. I, on the other hand, am so weary of mine because it has been with me for soooooo long.
Fortunately the teacher is a great critical thinker. She pointed out that I am doing the work: attending classes, getting a good education, ensuring that my internal dialogue is supporting the healthiest mental approach to school, working with addicts (who, she said to me, "you probably recognize have symptoms of abuse), going to therapy, being careful of who and how I interact in relation to how I would deal with the topic. I took that all as supportive.
Today, of coarse I am a mess. But I see it is part of the cycle. Today is also therapy.
I got to run.
Jacob and Pero, I, as always, am so grateful for your support.