Right after Anna became my client, I was assigned to Marty. Marty was a 48 year old man who had his right foot amputated due to a rare circulatory problem. When I began therapy with him, he was also in danger of losing his other foot. He was appropriately worried, frightened, upset and depressed over how he felt his life had been ruined because of his physical problems. Marty came to see me for his intake in a manual wheelchair which he had difficulty pushing due to his being very overweight. He was born into a Jewish family and was an only child. His parents died in a car accident when he was only 8 years old. He sadly said to me that his life was never as happy or good for him since his parents died. He continued on to describe to me how he was passed from relative to relative every two years or so, until he was 18 years old and enlisted in the Navy. When he ended his enlistment with the Navy, he got a job as a cab driver. He told me he also loaned out money to people, as a loan shark, so he could make extra money. He met and married his wife when he was 26 years old. They had a son and a daughter but got divorced when the kids were 10 and 7 years old. He then became estranged from his family until recently. His children, now grown up, had visited him in the hospital and continued to see him at his home on occasion. He then went on to tell me more about himself. I could clearly see that he was a lonely man even though he seemed to have a pleasant personality. He also presented himself as an emotionally fragile person. As he was telling me his life story, I couldn’t help but feel empathetic towards how difficult his childhood must have been for him getting passed around from relative to relative. However, I also felt that because of his difficult childhood, he wound up having many relationship issues and problems. His wife left him and then divorced him. For whatever reasons, he did not continue to be a part of his children’s life. (He said his wife kept him away from seeing his children because of his illegal loan sharking). He said that he did not want to screw up his recent re-connection with his son and daughter.
I met Marty once a week for Individual therapy and he agreed to be in my Men’s Group for once a week group therapy. He began therapy with a chip on his shoulder, similar to Anna telling me, “what can you do for me?” So I began to work my magic on him as I did with Anna. I also gave him my home phone number and told him that he could call me for emergencies or felt he just had to talk to me about something very important to him that couldn’t wait for our next session. Marty worked very hard in therapy once he felt that I was, as he put it, “a very down to earth and ‘common sense’ therapist.” I helped him to see how fearful he was of rejection due to his losing his parents so tragically when he was only 8 years old. On top of that he then was passed around from relative to relative until he became 18 and enlisted in the Navy. I also said that to his credit he survived not having a stable home environment. He had served honorably in the Navy. I also helped him to look at what made his marriage fall apart and what made him become an absentee father to his children. His group therapy fellow clients gave him some much needed honest feedback as to how he came across to them as a “know it all wiseguy.” Like Anna, I was able to work with Marty “off and on” for over 15 years. I helped him to deal with his issues and problems. Six months to a year later, he would come back into therapy to work on new issues and problems, setting up new goals and objective’s for him achieve.
So as I rolled up my “mental sleeves” and buried myself in my work with my 40 clients a week, I felt euphoric that I had the opportunity to do what I do best. I was, once again, in the right place for me at the right time! Dr. Davis had saved my professional career by recruiting me to come work with him at ICD. When I left Rusk, my job had turned into that of being a “discharge planner” instead of a “psychotherapist.” My last seven months at Rusk were the most stressful months of my life. I was under great pressure from the doctors, staff and administrators to discharge patients that had “overstayed” their allotted insurance days. I was also under great pressure from the patients and family members that felt that I was “kicking them out” of Rusk before they felt they were ready to leave. I was cracking under this intense pressure as I was getting it from both sides in a ‘no win’ situation. I missed doing the work I was hired to do 13 years ago.
Now all that stress was gone. I had found a new work home that allowed me to continue my mission and purpose in life. Life was wonderful once again! My wife and son could now stop worrying about how sad and worn out I looked. All that disappeared with my new job. God had once again guided me to the ‘perfect place’ at the perfect time’ of my life. My God and my ‘good timing’ had bailed me out once again.
Until tomorrow… when I will discuss how God helped me to find my paradise winter retirement home!
I can say that because I have no other explanation for how I wound up here in Summerlin Woods, Fort Myers, Florida, enjoying the past 13 winters!
Read the next post Taking Stock Day 57