Posts Tagged 'Anxiety'


The mother has gone and we’re alone.  It’s a very odd feeling after her being here for so long.  I knew there would be some reaction after she left, and there was.  It wasn’t tears, grief, or even relief; but rather a sense of wanting to “reclaim our territory”.  The house, body and reactions almost feel as if they belonged to the mother while she is here.  I know that this is our sense of wanting to be the perfect daughter for her, but it’s quite disconcerting to look back on it and realise what had happened.

While she was here, we tried so hard to appear “normal”, and we quite often succeeded.  She was much more accepting of the times when any form of normalcy was impossible.  This gave us hope that she was more accepting of us, but that hope was put under question yesterday when she stated that she is going to come off the anti-depressants that she’s been on for the last year.  Our fear is that this accepting attitude will disappear when the drugs wear off.  I know that the drugs have shown that she can be accepting, but that acceptance was covered up by her inability to cope with what life sent her way.  She hasn’t been in therapy or learned new skills to cope with life, so with the drug leaving her system, will those stressors mean that she will again not be able to cope?

When we got back from dropping the mother off at the airport, S ended up calling Matthew.  It turns out his intentions have changed from talking to his house mate, to something else.  This was the trigger for a night of self-injury.  We’ve just cleaned the house, mowed the lawns and did some gardening to distract and possibly punish ourselves for allowing S to come forward and act out.  Which of course infers that we have some control over the switching, which we don’t *sigh*.

We have a two week break from sessions with Liz as she goes on holiday.  She asked if we wanted to text her while she was away, we said “No, we’ll be fine”.  Liz said that she knew we would be fine because we were survivors and had the skills to ensure that no matter what happened, we will still function.  I think she has more faith in our ability to not self-destruct than we do.

Now playing: Brooke Fraser – C S Lewis Song’
via FoxyTunes


Time to take a deep breath

The last few weeks have been difficult. The prospect of ACC mediation on Tuesday (21st) had us going off on all sorts of tangents. Then last Thursday (16th), ACC made a decision which meant that the mediation was no longer needed, although they have yet to look at our corrections which will odds are require another round of negotiation.  Despite this apparent cancellation of the meeting, the potential sat within the system.  Some of us considered it to be like the tricks played on us when younger. At any moment we were going to get a phone call on Tuesday telling us to get to the meeting. Thankfully that phone call never happened, instead we got to spend the two days we had arranged to have off to recover from the meeting as time to breathe.

On Monday night we chatted with a friend who’d been on holiday for what seemed like a very long time.  He helped us smile, laugh and shed a tear.  Through a photo slide show he took us on a tour of where he lived – it was fascinating.  I’m always awed by the historic nature of where most of the people I talk to live.  To put this into context, New Zealand has had only been a British colony since 1840.  We don’t have the old buildings that are present elsewhere around the world.  To show him a little of where we live, we went out taking photos (at midnight)…


This mural is in a car-parking area in the middle of town.

This was the only photo that turned out viewable – we have an essential tremor which doesn’t mix well with night photography and the long exposure times needed.  We might have another go at doing a tour of where we live on a fine day.

On Tuesday we needed to get out of the house – possibly the fear that they’d call and we’d have to go to the meeting.  So we went around the gardens and took more photos.  Photography is fast becoming our main means of distracting, focusing and self-soothing.  Part of the soothing, is to take photos of plants.  I know that many people consider this type of photography boring, but for us it’s about finding peace for a short time.  It’s something that each one of us can enjoy on some level – I’ll get a message to take a photo of the purple flowers…

Lilac viola

Lilac viola

Purple viola

Purple viola

Sometimes, the camera feels very cumbersome in my hands and I’ve taken to wrapping the strap around my right hand several times, I’m not sure if this is a switching issue, or me being a klutz. I also know that not all of us are happy with this new interest – I’ve been told that the camera is going to be thrown into the lake or smashed into the pavement.  I know that these threats are about us not being entitled to any form of enjoyment.  It’s awful to hear, let alone realise that part of this brain is wired to ensuring that we don’t enjoy life.

On Tuesday night we ended up talking to another friend.  I mention this because it was the first time in over a week where S didn’t come forward to self-injure, which had become more severe as the week went on.  Again, there was laughter and a sharing of knowledge.  It always amazes me that those who are going through difficult times can put that aside to help someone else.  To those friends, I say thank you.  I hope we can reciprocate what you both did for us one day.

This reminds me of Faith Allen’s entry over at Blooming Lotus about how we can Make a difference.  You don’t have to be rich, pretty or popular to make a difference, it’s all about being willing to learn and share that knowledge for the social good.  I stumble badly with this sometimes, the fear and anxieties put up barriers to my learning.  But I can’t use this as an excuse to give up.  When teaching information literacy to cynical and usually technophobic students, I tell them it takes practice.  Information literacy is all about lifelong learning – being curious about new things.  It would be hypocritical of me not to gently work on those barriers in the same way that I get my students to question every scrap of information they find.

Swirling mess

What a day.  Sitting at work shaking like a leaf.  My hands won’t stop, even when typing or trying to drink something warm to try and soothe.  We’ve been sick with the flu, but we didn’t have the shakes then, just today.  I know the shaking is due to emotions, but it’s such a weird experience – knowing that the body is shaking due to emotions, but not actually feeling those emotions.

I don’t experience the emotions and I’m not sure what has triggered this, but it started last night when there was a sudden feeling of being lost and empty.  Considering we didn’t go anywhere or see anyone yesterday, I’m not sure what’s brought this on.  Maybe talking to the mother on the phone?  Maybe watching mindless DVDs?  There was a draft done last night about a secret fear we have, maybe that’s caused it?  I try to look at what’s happening internally and all I see is a swirling mess.  Why can’t the answers ever be obvious and simple?

When you look at the injustices people are experiencing all over the world, it’s so pathetic to be sitting in an office shaking like a leaf for no identifiable reason.

Now playing: Brooke Fraser – Scarlet
via FoxyTunes

Winning raffles…

Last week we won a $50 meat pack.  It’s the first time we’ve won anything in about 10 years :)  What’s rather amusing is that we can’t touch meat.  Today we got the call – our prize was ready to be picked up…

Problem: How do you pick-up a bulk meat pack when you can’t touch meat?
Solution: Get our cynical friend from work to come along as a meat carrier :)

So we sheepishly told our friend that we’d won this pack, but had issues with touching meat.  Thankfully she knows us pretty well by now – she has asked out of blue if we have multiple personalities in the past…  So she knows we have issues that need tissues.  She also wanted a break from work, so was more than happy to go with us.

We got to that school where we won the raffle – did you know that they have 6 foot high metal bar fences around schools now??  Well this school is in a low decile area with a high crime rate so it makes sense, but it was still a bit of a shock to see a school that was like a fortress.  We found the office and had to wait while they went off and got the pack.  Thankfully our friend is also a mother and just amazing woman, so when they brought this bag of meat out from the kitchen area she seamlessly said “Oh, I’ll take that” when the woman went to give us the pack…  It wasn’t a fuss or hassle, just a very gentle intervention that could have been a normal part of any conversation.

When we got back to work, she then broke the pack down so that all we had to do was put the bags into our freezer.  She’s amazing…

If you’re wondering why we still picked up the pack rather than donating back to the school – the mother is still thinking of moving up here for 6 months so it’s for her.

Now playing: Sunsets (acoustic) – Powderfinger
via FoxyTunes
watch on YouTube

A very “un-special” day

Had therapy this morning after a couple of weeks break.  It was rough.  Liz said that we needed to fill in the paperwork for ACC so that more sessions can be allocated.  So we sat down to be put through red-tape hell.  In many respects the ACC system is designed to assist those within therapy to keep track of what is happening and ensure that the process is safe for the client and checks are made on the therapists techniques.  In reality, we sat there for 40 minutes listing the symptoms we experience.  It was either do it all in one hit, or spread the torture out over several weeks, so it was better to get it over and done with.  I just wish she’d waited for another week…  She periodically asked if we were OK and breathing – I wonder if she expected me to be honest??

Something that we always struggle with, is any expression of emotion from the therapist.  I don’t really care if something we say touches her.  I’d rather not know.  If I have to protect her from being affected by the crap that I know I’m going to have to say at some stage, I’d rather just move on and find another therapist.  I’d rather talk to a brick wall than talk to someone who is going to say that something trivial touches them.  I’m sure this is because of our avoidance of attachment, and it’s something that we’re going to have to address.

Not quite sure what’s happening internally, I know we had a couple of good days.  We seriously got caught up in taking photos and editing them – thanks for the tip about RAW images Paul.  But that seems to have been deflated with the session today.  Liz knew it had gone badly as she picked up on our withdrawl from her…

We return our new camera :(

Every time we’ve used the new camera there has been a technical error of some sort – on continuous shooting it will rapidly take photos and then make a horrendous grinding noise and stop; give an error 99 message; suddenly not work…  So today we took it back to the retailer to either get a replacement camera or our money back.  In New Zealand there is a Consumer Guarantee Act which means that if there is a fault which means that the unit can’t be repaired or is not meeting expectations in terms of use, quality and price then the product must be replaced or your money refunded.  As the camera seemed faulty and wasn’t working in keeping with it’s price we took it back.

The retailer saw the situation quite differently.  They said that they would return it to Canon and they would investigate it and let us know what they were going to do.  What ensued was over an hour of discussion revolving around the retailers decision not to refund or give a new camera and our stating our rights under the Act.  It was so incredibly stressful.  Thankfully the mother was there to at least give some support.  After an hour we had finally got to the point where we were meant to sign the form that would enable the retailer to return the camera to Canon with the list of faults (after 5 attempts by the technician to fill in this form).  The retailer expected us to sign the form without reading it.  Thankfully Management had come forward to deal with this (Frank and Ellie had been present earlier); and when reading the agreement she picked up on the wording that stated the Consumer Guarantee Act and so questioned which option would be offered when the camera was found to be faulty – replacement or refund.  The poor technician for the retailer had no idea, so once again had to go off and ask the salespeople…

End result… We walked out of the shop with a brand new replacement camera.

It was incredible.  Half way through the whole discussion we needed to rip the arm apart as punishment for causing a fuss, but Ellie wouldn’t allow us to walk away without a fight for our rights within the clear bounds of the law.  Management had the emotional distance to reason the argument through with the staff that were probably a little frazzled from dealing with a rather forceful Frank.  The thing is, we know the Act as we’ve worked in the service industry for years.  We knew they weren’t keeping within the spirit of the Act.  It was just finding a way to find a way to get a result which didn’t mean we were without a camera for 2-4 weeks…

In other news, it was our birthday today.  Probably not the best day to try and return a product to a retailer whom we know has a history of poor customer service.

Interviews and self-destruct mode fully functional

We hate flying.  The physical issues associated with our hearing loss mean that flying of any sort is incredibly painful and tiring.  So just getting to and from the interview we had yesterday was incredibly stressful and draining.  We did it though…

When we got to the University we were shown around the campus by another librarian.  It was an incredibly beautiful campus and the library was a clash of old building with new technology, but it worked.  There was lots of space for communal or individual work and the teaching spaces were well appointed.  The first sign that things were a little odd were evident fairly early on.  Part of the tour took us past the reference desk where two librarians were working, one was busy doing their own work staring at the computer screen, the other was helping a student.  My tour guide paused and it was obvious that he was going to make introductions.  The librarian who was doing their own work looked at us out of the corner of their eye and kept on working.  When the student left the other librarian (who was the head of one of the service areas) my tour guide stepped towards her and we both looked at her.  She ignored us both and went back to typing furiously on her keyboard.

So maybe professionalism and basic customer service isn’t their thing???

Also went into the staffroom where several librarians were having lunch, again just suspicious looks.

So maybe even smiling isn’t their thing???

Then the interview…  we gave a quick presentation and then got into the questions.  The Human Resources guy was rude.  He mentioned that some of our responses were strange.  He was dismissive and at times confrontational.  It was awful.  We were already off-balance because of the odd behaviour we saw during the tour, so answered questions badly.  In part because Management realised we wouldn’t fit in there, so purposefully answered a few of the questions in an odd way – not enough to be written off, but enough to mean that we shouldn’t get through to the next round in the process.

We hope we don’t get offered the job, I’m not sure how you turn down a job offer.  I’m just so lucky that we’re currently employed so we have the luxury of being able to turn down jobs.

After we finally got home Sophie was in tears and couldn’t stop crying.  We needed to reach out, but didn’t know how.  We chatted very briefly with a friend, but the sense of compassion and caring we got was too much to handle.  We needed to punish ourselves instead…  punish ourselves for needing to reach out… punish that need Sophie had to cry… punish ourselves for applying for the job…

Now playing: Brooke Fraser – C S Lewis Song
via FoxyTunes

May 2018
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