My professional persona is....well, professional. No one at works knows about my childhood. I've not told anyone why I have an appointment with "T" one day a week. It's just on my calendar, without any notation. No one knows about the panic attacks or all the medication I'm on. Any possible "evidence" of weakness in being the strong, professional one, I've blamed on my jaw issues. I dropped the lighting on the side of the building issue, for fear of someone discovering why I really don't like being alone on the side of a dark building. At work, I'm calm, cool and collected.
My personal persona is more complex. Very few people know the real me. The one that is a victim, trying to be a survivor, suffers from panic attacks, etc. My church friends think the reason we've waited so long to have baby #2 is because of all my jaw issues. That the reason I don't sing in the choir anymore is because my jaw doctor advised against it. Now that all the jaw surgeries are complete, that excuse is stale and I need a new one. Most people know the "me" I allow them to know. The fun me, but the "still in control" me.
At home, in therapy, online and with a very, very select real life friends, I let on what is happening. Sometimes. Rarely. These select me know the "not in control, often a mess, does not have it all together" me. If you're reading this blog, then you have had a really good glimpse at this side of me.
On rare occasions the personal and professional personas intersect. Since starting to deal with all this junk again, I've tried to limit my involvement in really nasty cases or where there is childhood sexual abuse. Not always possible, but I've done fairly well. Before I was on medication, I was involved in this one case. Probably the nastiest case I've ever handled. After four days of a trial, on one Friday afternoon, I had a panic attack. But I muddled through. And took extra precautions in the types of cases I've taken on. And managed to keep the professional mask in place for the most part.
This morning my worlds collided. With a huge bang. I am going to have to make a choice. Do I continue on in this matter, trying my best to be objective? Or do I back out. Continuing on is probably best for the overall case picture. Backing out is best for me personally. If I don't back out, can I handle it? I'm just not so sure. It's a matter I've been involved with for awhile. At the risk of sounding as if I'm bragging, I know this matter inside and out. There isn't anyway anyone else could get up to speed quick enough to handle things right now. And I'm not sure anyone else would take it on given it's current posture. So that leaves me. And I'm committed enough not to leave these people stranded. But doing this, means dealing with some nasty issues that are going to stomp all over my feet and any aura of objectivity I have. My worlds have collided and it's about to get really ugly.