Tag Archives: stress

PDSD

Standard

Do you know people who seem to thrive off of drama?  They carry on so  much that they make themselves sick?  I like to call this phenomenon post dramatic stress disorder.

I’ve tried in all areas of my life to avoid this dreaded disease.  But some love  its contamination.  Really it’s just a foil to cover the insecurity and the emptiness in their lives.  Drama distracts them from their pathetic existence.

PDSD really likes to rear its ugly head during the holidays.  So how do you stay drama-free you may wonder?  Here are a few things I do to cut the theatrics:

1.) Be secure:  People love to gossip and if you just so happen to be the object of  malicious slander, you will need to fortify yourself. The best reaction in this case is none at all.  People are allowed their opinions. And just because they “said it” doesn’t make it so. You show your security when you resist constantly defending yourself.  When you know who you are, nothing can shake your foundation.

2.) Learn to handle them:  You can’t avoid people who suffer from this condition ALL the time.   Sometimes those very people reside in your own family or his. And many times you work with them.  Therefore, when you HAVE to be around them, it is best to keep the conversation light, cordial, and on general terms.  Smile and greet “the room” so that no one can claim you did not acknowledge him or her.  I was once accosted by a relative because I failed to give her a picture of my baby.  I simply replied “No, I did not” and left it at that, which left her speechless.

3.) Know their motive: People who suffer from PDSD ALWAYS have a motive.  Usually it is to get under your skin, ruin your day, steal your joy, usurp some of your security for a temporary high,  to break your inner peace, or all of the above.  Understanding this enables you to handle their attacks  in a nonreactive way.  Do not allow them to use you for their sick and twisted entertainment purposes.

4.) Don’t be surprised by their hostility:   Do you REALLY expect them to behave any differently? Would you be upset if a shark bit your arm off?  Initially yes, but after you think about it, that’s what they do when they feel threatened.   Not to mention, it was only behaving in the only manner that it knows how–as a shark.  In their (the poison people, not the shark’s) minds you represent a threat to them because you (fill in the blank ).  Sharks bite, bottom line.  If you want to reduce your chances of being eaten alive, stay out of  shark infested waters. Or at least don’t dive in smelling like bait.

5.) Silence is golden:  Oftentimes when drama comes my way, I exercise the Miranda rights and remain silent.  Nothing makes a drama queen or king feel worse than when they are ignored.  By choosing this tactic you keep the power in your hand.  You also lessen the chances of anything that you say being used against you in the court of public opinion.  Know in advance that you can’t reason with the unreasonable so there is no point in trying to get the clueless to see the light.  They won’t. 

Feel free to add your tips below.  Here’s to staying drama and sucker free this holiday season!

Advertisements

How Low Can You Go?

Standard

As you all know Kierra was scheduled to have surgery this week.  Last week Christine made many attempts to change Husband’s mind and let Kierra go home with her.  Husband assured her that Kierra would be just fine going home with us.

Christine was relentless in her pleas.  She commented on the fact that she could take off work…so can we.  She said she knows how to work the drain that Kierra would receive because she did it the last time…she had to be shown and the doctor can show us.  She went on to say that she has to sign Kierra in and out of the hospital…okay she can still do so and Kierra will still leave with us.  Then she said that what if Kierra needs to go back to the hospital for any reason…we are capable of getting her there and will call you immediately.  Besides that we have two running vehicles.  (Christine’s car has been “down” since Christmas.  Husband has had to take Kierra home at the end of her visits since then.  Yet Christine and her older daughter drive it all the time.)

I knew Christine would not be happy with Kierra coming to our home.  Why?  Well her words have come to bite her.  Christine swore she would never step foot in our house.  She even told Kierra this the other night while they were having a heated discussion.  Kierra informed us that Christine ranted about how Kierra didn’t love her.  How Kierra loved us more than her.  Why can’t Kierra just come home and be with her.  Kierra told Christine that she loved all of her family and this time she wanted to be with us.

Low and behold Husband received a call the next day from Christine but he missed the call.  Later that evening he was talking to Kierra on the phone when she broke the news.  Christine canceled the surgery.  She told Kierra that the doctor went on medical leave.  Kierra asked her if another doctor could perform the surgery.  Christine said she would prefer that her doctor do the surgery since the last one was a success.  Christine said she didn’t know when the doctor would be back.  Yeah right!!!  Christine canceled the surgery because she doesn’t want to come to our house. 

When this whole ordeal came about I told Husband that Christine would probably cancel the surgery.  That is the only way she could assure Kierra not come home with us.  I’m pretty sure she will rescheule it when it’s on her time.  But that is not even the issue.  The problem I have is that Kierra needs the surgery.  It’s not a life or death situation but the sooner she gets it done the better for Kierra.  If prolonged she could have a situation where she would need reconstructive surery.

We do not have a probelm with Christine coming to our home.  She’s the one with the problem.  We also do not have a problem going to her home.  When we have gone she goes into another room.  The last time Kierra had surgery she made it difficult for us to visit with Kierra.   She made a big stink about HER family and friends being there.  Well we are her family too!  Christine also wants to portray to her friends that she does it all.  So she doesn’t want us around when she is entertaining.  This is not about her, it’s all about Kierra.

The next day Husband had to pick up Kierra from school because she had a headache and couldn’t stop crying.  Kierra told me that she was tired of Christine getting upset with her about everything.  She said she is tired of the headaches.  I told her that she doesn’t have to keep all those emotions inside.  I told her that when things are really heavy in my heart I talk to God.  I go off in a quiet place and just talk to Him.  She could do the same and feel much better by letting it go.

Does Christine not care about Kierra’s health?  It doesn’t seem like it to me.  She is not concerned with her mental health either.  Kierra clings to us whenever she is over.  Friday night she layed on me all evening.  We ended up falling asleep on the couch and Husband had to wake us up to go to bed.  Whenever husband leaves to run errands she is right by his side.

Yesterday before she went home Kierra said she was looking forward to spring break.  My brother, his family, and my mom will be here.  She said she can not wait to see my nephews.  She also went on and on about doing different activites.  I just hope Christine doesn’t start in on her this week.  Kierra needs a break from the drama.

Analyze This

Standard

Last night I had a weird dream.  I dreamed that Eliza’s crazy brother rescued me from a guy who was going to rape me!  He cautioned me to be more careful in the future.  Next he took me to his house and put me in his bed and suggested that I get some sleep.  When I awakened, he was snuggled on the couch with a woman that I didn’t recognize.  Then I woke up!

I didn’t understand the basis for this dream.  As much as he has terrorized me here lately, why would he be the one saving me?  Why in Hades am I dreaming about that creep?  Maybe I am under so much stress that I have finally lost my mind.  Or perhaps I am just putting too much thought into this dream/nightmare.

Welcome Back!

Standard

Day 1: What a day it has been! Today was my first day of school.  It was a day of mass confusion and overall craziness.  A fight took place as soon as the doors opened.  Many of the kids were resentful to be back at school already.  I could hear Pink Floyd singing:

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

Day 5:  Not much has changed from day one.  I have a class of 67 with a room that contains 30 desks!  We have masses of students who do not have a schedule, therefore it is safe to conclude that my other classes will swell as well. 

The majority of the students do not have lockers or ID’s.  Only a handful have text books.

We have a new ridiculously long lesson plan template that has already garnered over 300 complaints with the union.

We have a new principal who has his hands full.

We have added grades 7-8.  We also have a group of “under/over” students in grades 5 and 6.  They are ages 15-16 years old.

My back is strained terribly from lifting boxes, hauling the 70 literature and grammar tomes for my classroom set, and removing desks that were stacked on top of each other.  I mean seriously, I had to stay reclined over the weekend because my back felt so terrible.

Information and communication is not flowing very well between administration and teachers.  We are often told about things the morning of.  Case in point, I was told the day before school started that I was scheduled to teach a section of etymology. Had I known about this in advance, I could have spent time in the summer creating lessons for this provocative subject.  But no, that would have been too convenient for me!

I feel exhausted already!

But I still can see silver linings:

  • I have a helpful resource teacher for period 1
  • I have a job that I am healthy enough to attend daily
  • I have a fair amount of students who seem eager to learn
  • Yesterday a student gifted me with a composition notebook that she picked up specifically for me!
  • I am in a remodeled classroom
Welcome!

Welcome!

My bulletin boards, I reserved one for student work

My bulletin boards, I reserved one for student work

I love my dry erase boards!

I love my dry erase boards!

Reading, my favorite sport!

Reading, my favorite sport!

Makes Me Wanna Holler

Standard

For the life of me I can not understand why Eliza likes to be so contentious.  You would think in her circumstances that she would focus all of her attentions on improving herself.  You would think that she would be on a peace-seeking mission.  Not!

I received her latest letter today in the mail.  While it seemed civil on the surface; it was really loaded with duplicities.  This time the wording was less accusatory and more cordial.  She even included a brief paragraph about the culinary arts class she is taking.  I’m sure it  was a ploy to get the information she wanted.  Really, she only wants to know what they are saying about her.  However, Eliza must have realized by my last reply that firing word missiles would not work.  Perhaps she has figured that she is likely to have more success catching flies with honey than vinegar. 

But as usual, everytime she writes she asks the same exact questions that she has already asked in previous letters.  And I have already provided her with answers.  Not to mention, when I see her once a month, I give her an update on Evan as well.  So really she has no need to write me other than for vexation purposes–this is something which she does so well.  This time she wrote:  Morocco, if you could send me a copy of a progress report or documentation stating the nature of the concerns posed pertaining to Evan’s condition I would greatly appreciate it.  I would just like to be brought up to date with any regression or progress that he may be experiencing.  Just to have a better understanding as to what is going on with Evan.  Please kiss the boys for me and tell them I send all of my love. 

This repetitious practice only supports my theory that she is extremely paranoid and anxious about her inability to control her children (and us) as she sees fit.  It also signals a lack of trust in us.  This is wearing me down to the bone.  She is really starting to work my nerves.  I almost feel as if she is trying to “catch” me in something, what I am not sure.  My answers don’t change because you can’t really alter the truth. 

In no way will she take responsibility for any of her children’s problems and I can’t force her to do so.  When I share with her that Evan is having issues with things that went on in her household she gets extraordinarily defensive.  She also feels that I am only telling her these things to be judgemental and to hurt her feelings. Though Eliza claims she wants to know everything that is going on with her boys, she really doesn’t because she can’t handle the truth.  I too, have sent her clinical summaries from the previous therapist that Evan worked with.  She was in denial then as well.  She had the audacity to question the creditidentals of the highly qualified therapist.  Eliza argues about everything written in the clinical notes as if she was a trained pyschologist.   So you see, you can’t win for losing with her.  But the things that happened under her roof can’t be erased.  They do have to be addressed.  Obviously she does not realize that she can make the choice to be bitter or better.  Plus, I can only sugarcoat so much before it results in a stomach ache for the both of us!  Such madness!

I find myself in the same position  as I was in around mid-June.  I am depending on God to give me the right words to say again.  I know that He does not want me to spar with her.  At the beginning of her letter, Eliza wrote Know that you are a part of my prayers daily.  I truly hope she is being sincere because I do need strength for the journey.

Note: This is my reply: 

El,

 

Hello, I hope all is well with you.  The boys and I are doing fine.  Not much has changed with Evan since I spoke to you regarding him at the last visit. Again, we are scheduled to have our first 24 hour pass with him on August 2nd. 

 

He is still working to improve in the following areas:

  • Poor impulse control and mood modulation, indicative of a mood disorder
  • Resistance to accepting direction and limits from authority figures, inappropriate roles with adults
  • PTSD symptomology related to witnessing violence/murder. 

I will continue to keep you abreast of any new developments.

Meal Time Antics: The Food Critic

Standard

Wow!  It’s hard to believe I have been away from the site for a month now.  Dealing with everything has left me drained.  My grandmother was released from the hospital four days ago and is regaining her strength.  Kierra is healing well and actually started summer school.  She has two weeks left!  In one week Kierra will be with us for her second half of summer vacation.  I traveled to Phoenix to help my mother move to Seattle.  Then of course there is Ian and Imani!  Needless to say I have been extremely busy.

We are still adjusting to Ian and Imani being with us full time.  I am off work for the summer so I have been at home with them during the day.  Ian started waking me up every morning by banging on the bedroom door.  The first time he did this, it scared me silly.  I had a headache for the rest of the afternoon.  Finally my husband started leaving the television on Sprout for them until I woke up.

While school was in session I normally left the house before my husband and the kids.  So I did not know what he fed them for breakfast.  Since I have been home I have had “spats” with Ian about what they would eat for breakfast.  Imani pretty much goes with the flow.  Ian insists on having Pop Tarts for breakfast.  I had something else in mind, like cereal, rice, sausage, toast, and fruit, not all at once, but different variations of this.  On occasion I would fix pancakes which he loves and expects everyday.  He would sit at the table and pout.   I  would remind him that if he didn’t start eating his cereal they would become soggy.  Relunctantly he would eat his cereal.

We have the same exchange for lunch.  Ian is content eating hotdogs and noodles everyday for lunch and dinner for that matter.  I explain to him that there are other things he will have to eat.

Dinner time is a whole new experience.  Ian, Imani, and my husband are usually outside while I am preparing dinner.  On occasion I will ask them what they want to eat.  Imani always says baked spaghetti.  You all already know what Ian wants.  Hotdogs and noodles!

Sunday was no different than any other day.  I cooked sliced steak marinated in lemon juice and soy sauce poured over a bed of rice with zucchini.  As soon as Ian came in and washed his hands and sat at the table he started complaining.

Ian- ugh, I do not like cucumbers.

Me- Those are not cucumbers, it’s zucchini.

Imani-I like zucchini.

Ian- Well, I do not like that either.

Husband- Yes you do.  You liked it when we went to Benihana.  You also ate it when Rhonda made it last week.

Ian- I do not remember eating it at Benihana.

Husband- You ate everything we ordered for you.

Ian- I do not remember that.

Ian starts pushing the zucchini to the side of his plate.  He then eats the steak.

Ian- Ugh, this meatloaf is hard.

Me- It’s steak.

Ian-I do not like staek.

Me- You ate it when we went to Texas Road House.  You also ate it when Grandma fixed it.

Silence for a while….

Ian-Yucky, yucky, yucky.

Husband- Ian you are going to eat your food.  If you have to sit here all night you will eat it.  ( I remember those exact words said from my mother’s mouth when I was a kid!)

Everyone finished eating before Ian.  One by one we got up from the table.  Usually we sit there and talk until everyone is done but I had enough of the sound effects coming from Ian.

Ian and Imani think snacks are things they receive if they eat all of their food.  Or things that you eat if you don’t want what is being served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Explaining the concept of a snack has left me with a headache plenty of times.

In time I hope the road to dinnertime with become less bumpy.