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Pouring My Heart Out: Trusting My Instincts

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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: Pouring My Heart Out: Trusting My Instincts

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pouring My Heart Out: Trusting My Instincts

Today I'm happy to have the opportunity to be linking up with Shell's Pour Your Heart Out over at Things I Can't Say. It's so timely because I really do need to pour my heart out over something that's weighing on me today.

Have you ever been in a situation which left a funny feeling in your gut? A situation which, though innocent enough on the surface, caused you to take pause and wonder if something was off somehow? Did you ever get a feeling about a person - someone who you liked perfectly well, but who said or did something which kinda threw you for a moment?

What did you do? Did you follow that feeling? Or did you talk yourself out of it somehow? Did you ever find out whether or not your instincts were on the money?

A few years ago, I went into the doctor's office for an appointment.  I had been feeling sick to my stomach on a very regular basis and wanted to talk to someone about it (I didn't know it at the time, but I had UC).  This doctor was someone who Rob had been seeing ever since he came home from the hospital after having contracted pertussis.  They had developed a great rapport, and once I moved in with Rob I started seeing this doctor as well.  We fell into a regular routine - I'd go in, he'd remind me that Rob's a bum and I'm too good for him, wocka wocka.  Eventually we'd talk about why I was actually there, and we'd part with a hug.

Except for when I went in with my stomach ache.  He came in and immediately started asking me questions about my birth control pills.  Now, I hadn't been seeing him for very long at this point and I figured that he saw on my form that I was taking them and wanted to know how they were working for me.  It made sense at the time since he was also a gynecologist (he would eventually become my gynecologist).  So I answered his questions, waiting to get to the reason I was there to see him.  But much to my surprise, he took out his pad, scribbled a prescription for refills on the pills I was taking, and started for the door.

"Um...hang on...are we going to talk about why I came in?".  He looked at me.  I explained my reason for being there.  He apologized and told me that he was swamped and that there was a huge backlog of patients.  Crossed wires with his assistant (who I'd explained my symptoms to), etc etc. 

As I was leaving the office, something was bugging me.  It seemed strange that he was so quick to write me a prescription, without asking me if I even needed it (I didn't at the time), and without asking how I was actually feeling.  It seemed rather negligent, somehow.  I told Rob about it and even told my mom - that's how much it stuck with me.  I can't explain why it did, but it did.

Still, I brushed it off.  I figured he was busy, tired, and that there'd been a miscommunication.  I was being overly picky, no one's perfect.  No big deal.  And over time both Rob and I complained to the other about him - mainly about how he was so quick to write a prescription without really attacking the problem at hand - to the point where I said more than once that I wanted to find a new doctor.  But hey, don't all doctors do that? Besides, he was so close to our apartment and we already had a good relationship with him.  We were willing to overlook it.

Then we moved last year - I was sorry to see him for the last time not long before we left.  He was sympathetic to our situation, to Rob's dad's health problems, and wished us well.  We've talked about him since then, and about how it was a shame that we were so far away.

Last night Rob found an article online stating that this man was arrested this past summer when it was revealed that he had for years been writing prescriptions for painkillers in exchange for sexual favors.  Unfortunately, one young woman (a 31 year old mother) died last spring after overdosing.  Her sister had known that he was the one supplying the scripts for Oxy and other drugs, and confronted him prior to her sister's death, telling him that this woman had already been in the hospital twice as a result of overdosing.  He wrote a new script the next day.

There were lots of other details in this article, things that turned my stomach, things he admitted to.  But that's not the point of my telling you this.

The point is that maybe I need to trust my instincts a little more.  After all, how often do you hear after the fact about people "just having a feeling" about someone who did something wrong? Most recently it was a former teacher of the guy who committed the shootings in Arizona - they said that they were uncomfortable around him and even feared that he'd bring a gun in to school one day, that he would laugh at inappropriate times and say things that made the other students uncomfortable.  But rather than taking action, I'm sure they talked themselves out of it.

I'm not saying that there was any way I could have known what was going on in that office after hours, and I'm fully aware that nothing was ever done to hurt me personally and that it's none of my business.  I am honestly praying for the women involved, and for him - clearly in order for him to jeopardize his career, not to mention the ethical issues involved, he must have some serious issues.

Still, I keep going back to that one visit.  My gut feeling was that this was not the right guy for me.  Regardless, I talked myself out of it and kept going back. 

I talk myself out of a lot of feelings.

Maybe it's time to start honoring my instincts after all.

How about you? Do you find yourself going with your gut feelings or do you tend to overthink things?



Blogger Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

When it's an issue of safety, I always go with my gut. It's strange though, having a weird guy in class isn't something I'd report to the authorities. I've encountered a lot of weird people, I keep my distance and expect they won't actually wig out and go on a shooting rampage. I'm not sure how we're supposed to handle that as a society.

January 19, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Blogger Megan, Maggie, Mama said...

Your "gut" is your evolutionary instinct to protect yourself and your family. It evolved in a time when the protection was needed against lions and cougars and leopards and warring tribes in the savanna - but now the threats are other people, people we're told to trust, or at the very least be polite to. How many times have you found yourself engaging in conversation with someone who gave you that feeling, just so that you don't seem rude? Or overlooked someone being creepy on a bus, or in another public place - so that you aren't the crazy lady starting a scene? I know, for sure, that my skepticism, alertness, and willingness to listen to my "gut" has saved my life a number of times, especially when I was traveling alone through Europe in my early 20's. Trust your evolutionary instinct to protect yourself, even if the dangers aren't lions and tigers. (and bears, oh my)

January 19, 2011 at 12:25 PM

Blogger Linda @ A La Carte said...

I am a firm believer in listening to my gut feelings. If something doesn't feel right it probably isn't. Over the years and many 'feelings' I have learned to trust them. So glad nothing happened to you but you were on alert anyway!

January 19, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Blogger Shell said...

I believe that we need to listen to these feelings more.

There was a teacher I used to work with and he always gave me the creeps. Everyone else loved him and I had a weird feeling about him. He ended up resigning after accusations that he had done things with a student(not really clear on how far they went).

I feel sick about it, but then again, since everyone else loved him and there wasn't anything that I could say about him to the adminstration other than I had a gut feeling that he was creepy, I really couldn't do anything about it, you know?

January 19, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Blogger Jerri said...

Wow, this story amazed me. I started reading because we actually have sort of the opposite story (minus the sexual misconduct). My husband's planning on swapping doctor's because his never seems to listen to his complaints and concerns. Plus, my husband has a history of h pylori, and the doctor won't even prescribe him any antibiotics for it.

But yeah, I'm usually someone who overthinks and overanalyzes, but on things like this, I definitely think that you have to follow your instincts. If something doesn't feel right it, it probably isn't.

January 19, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Blogger viewfromdownhere said...

I'd like to say that I trust my gut, but I haven't always in the past and it's put me in some pretty scary situations. Your gut is usually right, though, and that just amazes me that you were dead on about that guy. That situation just isn't right at all!

January 19, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Blogger (Florida) Girl said...

What a horrible story. I think we all tend to doubt our instincts. There is something to be said for channeling your inner bitch.

January 19, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firstly I wanna say a big fat, non-forced networking Hi! I read your comment on blogging with Amy, agreed with it wholeheartedly and though I'd drop in and say hi ;o)

Secondly, why do we do that??? My brother is always the first to remind me of how accurate my intuition generally is but I often ignore it as I don't want to appear rude and think I should give people a chance. Weird huh?!

I guess it's ok to accept we don't have to like everyone.

January 20, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Blogger Joann Mannix said...

I have always gone with my instinct and it has never let me down. I so believe that we have this innate sense inside us, that little ding of a warning bell. You might not have listened this time, but I"m sure you will the next and the next and from now on.

January 20, 2011 at 3:38 PM

Blogger KLZ said...

I'm trusting my gut more and more. I'm not perfect but I'm working on it.

Because my gut is not always about judging that other person but often about knowing myself and how I react to things - which is just as important in relationships

January 20, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Blogger Mrs Montoya said...

I'm so grateful that I've never had an "incident" for not following my gut, but I definitely wish I'd trust myself a little more sometimes.

So glad to have found you through Shell's link up.

January 23, 2011 at 12:37 PM


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