Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Three Things

Uno: I learned a great new phrase today: assumptive world. It means just how it sounds, and the context is the idea that trauma destroys the one you had. My advisor, preparing for a pastoral care course on loss, invited me to "attend" a webinar with her this afternoon on caring for suicide survivors. It was an excellent program ~ and that's where I learned this new (to me) phrase. The overview didn't contain any information through which I haven't lived, but it was helpful to see it all laid out; it gave me some insight into how very different my life has become from that of most people I know. And my new terminology helped me understand why I have inner (and sometimes outer!) meltdowns over perceptions and beliefs so at odds with my own. So often I don't understand why other people find certain words or convictions helpful, but now I see ~ as long as their assumptive worlds remain intact, they have no reason to imagine that the things upon which they rely do not have universal power. And there's nothing quite like a child's death by suicide in terms of blowing one's assumptive world to bits.

Dos: As I was leaving her office, another . . . um, let's just say that he's a pastor . . . came by and made one of the most impossibly inappropriate jokes about suicide I've ever heard. Actually, I've only heard two remarks in that vein, and they've both come from pastors. (And I'm the one worried about being pastoral enough to pass ordination exams ???) I have tried to explain that suicide is the one topic I know of (someone else I discussed this with mentioned the molestation of children as another possibility) about which joking is not acceptable. Unlike other areas of black humor in which survivors or members of a relevant group joke among themselves, I have never heard anyone affected by suicide joke about it. Only these two pastors.

Tres: Today I joined a Facebook group called "Oh no, you didn't ~ things said to a grieving parent better left unsaid." I guess I needed that today. The postings are ~ well ~ some of the statements are truly unbelievable. It seems that I am not alone at all.


karen gerstenberger said...

Thanks for sharing Uno.
Dos makes me sick to my stomach.
Tres = funny!

I have looked for your comment but didn't find it on my blog. I am always interested in what you have to say. You will be a wonderful pastor. I know it.

artandsoul said...

Human beings continue to plumb new depths ... both in terms of caring, and also in terms of cluelessness.

What a funny species we are.

Sometimes funny-haha and many times funny-strange-and-not-so-haha.

Karen said...

I'm with Karen G on all that/ and I must check out the facebook page.
Remember when you were little and you could just tell the teacher when someone was misbehaving and she would take care of it? Don't you WISH you could just tell on those clueless and insensitive pastors--and they'd be put on time out? For a long time!

Michelle said... dos

I love the term in uno! New to me, too.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Dos: ick. There are other subjects not appropriate for jokes: rape/sexual abuse for one.

You will be awesome as a pastor.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I agree that there are some things that should not be joked about. How insensitive that it should come from a pastor.