Thoughts on Jonathan stuff and my mom wanting to advocate for me

So part two of the conversation was us talking about the whole therapy situation.

I said how hard it’s been that I haven’t had therapy in months and that I’ll have to see someone else. I was honest and said I’d be asking for a med adjustment on Monday. She gets worried around that, once she said “just because the stress goes up doesn’t mean the meds go up.” I’m like LOL, that actually is often the case. She could never ever deal with antidepressants or antianxiety or even meds for physical problems. So she associates these meds with serious issues that make things worse. I’m confident even a small change will be good. I haven’t had any med changes since first starting with Dr. Fyazz a few years ago.

Anyway she asked me if he actually told me he couldn’t see me. I said no but his silence and just the whole situation said it all. My mom, for all her issues, is an amazingly strong advocate for herself and her kids. Especially with me. She taught me everything I know about advocating for myself. Well a lot I had to learn the hard way. But anyway. She hasn’t stepped in she said, but she said sometimes you have to.

I was saying how Anna said that she’d tried to get ahold of him over all this time but couldn’t. She said she “knows Anna” (she only had a few conversations with her around the whole trip drama) and said she’s so timid she doubts she actually did what she says. At the time apparently Anna told her that she, Anna, can always get ahold of Jonathan. She said she could call Jonathan and ask to speak to him. Then call Anna and say that she said she could always get ahold of him so what was going on?

From the start I was like well not sure what good this would do. She said if she got him to give me a straight answer once and for all that would bring closure. I said it wasn’t so much about that as all the time I’ve spent plain without an outlet as therapy is. Because recently it hasn’t been so much the continuing to want to meet as just trying to get along without anyone to meet with, besides Anna who can’t handle intense emotion well without becoming emotional herself. I don’t want to totally close the door on our relationship, because on reflection there is a chance that he might come back to being somewhat of his old self and then some connection can be had. We’ve just gone through so much to just turn away. He even said should one of us leave the facility we would still be connected/ have a friendly relationship. I was a bit surprised a professional would say this, you usually can’t be friends with your therapist. But at the time it showed his commitment and he tends to be creative on what is considered unbreakable rules so who knows.

So with all that closure in the sense of shutting the door and walking away forever isn’t what I want. I did say it would be nice if Jonathan could at least help in the process of this transition to a new therapist thing. Like talk to this Mark guy, Sandra recommends and like pave the way or do something.

So I was like ok that might help. She said she’d call/ text Jonathan Monday, then a few days later Anna. She said to give her a week.

I thought about it hard. Usually I appreciate my mom’s advocacy and it’s always gotten great results though more than ruffled many feathers, and sometimes sent people running away from her in fear. So I know she’s not at all afraid to take on a challenge. And if this was like the first or second time this had happened, her coming at him saying I’m in a crisis and need him might be what he would need to refocus his attention on me. But this is a very complex pattern of his of lack of communication when under stress and seeming to only be able to focus on one thing at a time. It’s been there over the years, and I’ve navigated the breaks in our time together well, and when I didn’t it was overall good for the relationship that we got through the hurt/ angry feelings. But with all the discussions I know he came out always saying he could work with me. Knowing that, even if my mom managed to chase him down I have a feeling that’s what he’d say. In that case not an honest answer.

I just plain don’t think he’s capable of being honest about this personality quirk of his. We all have things that are hard to admit to even especially it seems, professionals. And those qualities loom large in the therapy relationship where everything feels close up. We expect a certain thing from our therapists, especially around communication. And sadly he’s unable to do that. Maybe that’s why he’s not in practice anymore. Maybe this new clinical director role is what he’ll be in now, and hopefully they’ll bring in more master’s level staff to do therapy with people. I know how genuinely he’s always wanted to, and has helped all residents here. And how genuinely he’s wanted to, and has supervised staff here.

So some of this behavior while normal for him is more pronounced and so that much harder to handle. And so that much more likely he won’t admit to anything. If it were just a I can’t talk to resident’s thing, I’d have more confidence in my mom making some headway. Since she could say hey you had this relationship with your residents, what’s going on you can’t just leave them hanging! Or even other staff like Anna could point this out. But since this applies to staff as well, and maybe even others in my mom’s position like family members it’s again not likely to get a positive response.

Looking at it realistically even the wanting to have him help ease the transition to a new therapist is wanting something he can’t at this moment give. So it’s really pointless pursuing him on this, if the point is to get an honest response. We know the truth, he just can’t admit it himself. Sad and infuriating, and yes you question his professionalism on that level.

I think it’s important in relationships to know when to fight for something you need, and when to let go or wait because you know you’re just hitting your head against the wall. If there were a chance of getting a positive outcome from my mom fighting my corner then of course I’d let her. I just think there isn’t anything to be gained except more proof that he can’t be honest even when faced with an angry mom!

So I told her this and I hope she understands. I can express myself better in writing and she can’t cut me off so we’ll see.

The conversation just confirmed for me what I have to do. Which is quit whineing about how hard it is to find a new therapist and just do it. And be open to Jonathan perhaps going back to somewhat of his old self at some point.

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family update

So finally talked to my mom today. At first I was sorry I did because she sounded totally exhausted like beyond normal.

The good news is that they might have possible buyers. Had people looking at the house for two hours this past week. I thought this had happened before, with no results but she said no that normally it’s been like 45 minutes. And they wouldn’t stay that long if not really interested. They have a relative for the in law apartment, which is probably the most unique part of the house where you’d need a particular family type to want/ need that. I’m optimistic. My mom’s just totally worn out afraid to get her hopes up. But this is a time sensitive situation, with her healthcare issues still really bad, fibromaljia pain and her back and hip pain and general stress. She’s had stomach issues she usually doesn’t have and I was like it’s totally stress. When I had my first breakdown at 18 I could hardly swallow anything.

It breaks my heart to hear her like this so low on energy and just barely hanging on in the stress. And I know really this is just the beginning. There’s selling the house being one thing, but then there’s the fact they have no idea where they are moving to even temporarily. Which really worries me but my mom keeps saying they will find somewhere.

The good news is that they’ll be staying in MA which is a relief. She really hopes they can find something small but good for me and Krissy to come visit. And maybe a “new friend” for Lucky. I hope Kitten, but my mom says puppy. Am soo not a dog person but we’ll see.

So please send prayers/ thoughts/ good energy around these buyers coming through and at least this part of the drama being resolved.

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frustrated and anxious

So last night was interesting. Had my Anna session. Found out that I could start therapy as soon as December depending on when I get the insurance letter saying I can get set up with a new insurance.

Yesterday talked to Barbara the Dr. secretary person downstairs who said Dr. Patel definitely takes blue cross. Anna said she got no answer but I wonder if she even asked the question or was listening.

Or maybe I just have super powers around getting information outa people!

Anyway Anna also talked to Jess’s therapist the day she had come by saying that Jonathan had no problem with us both seeing her. She recommended, again, this guy named Mark and said he’s “just like Jonathan.”

I’m curious to meet the guy a few times if only to tell her if I think she’s right or not LOL! Jonathan and I have had several conversations about how he truly wishes there were more “mes” in the world of mental healthcare and I agreed.

It was a strange situation that I ended up with a male therapist in the first place. But I obviously gained a lot from it, and as Deborah said once, I got to work on male issues around having a father type figure since I’ve done a lot with having mother type figures in therapy.

Still just don’t have a ton of confidence in male therapists but am willing to give it a try.

I do trust and like Jess’s therapist but don’t want the situation to become awkward or any ethical problems that could compromise their work.

The worst thing about it is the whole having to talk about my whole life ya know? Like that invasive intake asking every question in the book just to fill out a form for the insurance so all the boxes are checked.

Read somewhere that this can be traumatic, having to reveal your whole history in one or two sessions and only for the purposes of paperwork rather than the therapist getting to know the person overtime and not dictated by a form.

Though for insurance I know you have no choice.

It’s just like ugh. Jonathan and I had soo many talks about how happy I was that I didn’t have to be in the position around hunting around for a new therapist, as part of my breakdown was giving up on therapy because I just couldn’t find a good fit after leaving Deborah and Andrea in MA. So no matter all the hassle of his work related stuff I knew I had him in my corner and so I had that security of not having to go through the uncertain time of searching and maybe not finding anyone that would work for me.

Anna elaborated a little on Jonathan. That she did see him taking on more roles. That I guess he really has to crack down on clinical director stuff like what the PRCS are doing, and treatment plans. Turning the focus where possible to people leaving here and living in the community, though we both and I’m sure others, still maintain that outpatient mental health services don’t have the ability to support those coming from here to there. We have also seen a lot of people from Sir Management, the company Albany Care is under around, and it’s possible he’s getting training from them too.

For all the needing to crack down on PRC activity being up to the new standards, there’s still a ton of his disappearing act where no one can get ahold of him.

I was bold enough to say that I had a hunch Stephanie left because she stood up to him around all this and Anna said possibly.

So that’s the latest on him. It’s really weird to not see him anywhere. At least he’s in the building more than the last couple months. But for years he’s been so available to all the residents like the minute he was in the lobby or his door was open it was like Jonathan central! Everyone had a question or something they needed done or something. And he did a lot of it. And now I guess that has to be put to the side especially if he has the big bosses breathing down his neck. He hasn’t even mentioned the taking a group of residents to IHOP thing which is a thanksgiving tradition.

In other news still planning to talk with Dr. Patel about the med change. Anna is very neutral about the whole thing which still surprises me. She asked, almost hopefully, if I felt I still needed a med change, and I said clearly yes. She offered to be there, but I said that was ok. I don’t want her trying to tell the doctor I don’t really need a med change. And though she’s seen me struggling some, she really hasn’t seen it like Jess has. If anything Jess and I both wish she could be in there with me for support. But no stupid Hippa thing. Even applis to a married couple how sad.

But I’m clear about what I need. Am also gonna ask her about the accomidations around my braillnote in the hospital should it come to that and about my preference for Norwegian unit.

It will either be this Monday or next Monday so we’ll see.

Had a frustrating night last night with agency nurse taking forever to do meds so that by the time the line was down to a couple people, which is the only time I’ll stand in it it was like after nine! I usually go at eight. Cnas are not optimistic about when we’ll be getting a new nurse. There was another nurse who left months ago for maternity leave on another floor. Well she already had the baby and who knows, could come back by now and they never found anyone. We now have three floors I think with no evening nurse. So everyone else has to pick up the slack or they bring in these agency nurses.

So not getting meds til late totally threw off my night routine. So went to bed really really late. So took a super long nap today til like 12 thirty, chose to go to dinner instead of lunch. Then this keyboard was acting up and the other computer with the hole in the power port wasn’t working. That one really scares me because if it can’t get enough charge because the plug won’t stay still, it will completely shut off which damages the computer.

The keyboard then actually started working okish. I have no idea whether it’s something under the keys or what. And sadly we won’t be finding out because I/ Robbie/ anyone doesn’t know a hardware tech who’s good like Jonathan.

Jess and I considering getting a USB keyboard. Which at this point is probably the easiest solution.

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The best day in awhile went, and stayed at Halloween social!

Hey everyone,

So today ended up being really good. As everyone knows I’ve been looking forward to cupcake decorating all month! Not to mention just a couple days ago we decided I’d actually dress up. Very last minute. At first we thought cat but Jess couldn’t get anything solid together in like half a day. So we decided, and this isn’t at all a stretch, I’d be a little girl.

And you’re thinking she’s already a little girl! Yeah me too. But it was soo cute.

Rather than describe the costume watch the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l1ZDIDQINM&feature=youtu.be

So anyway I was very excited when we got down there. Of course it was people central, and of course they were running late. So we sat on the bench for like ten minutes which felt like forever. Then wee went in to the back of the dining room where the party was. Along with the usual crowded mess of people I was hit with very loud scary Halloween music! I swear I don’t know how I calmly managed going to several country music concerts my parents insisted on taking us to, one even on a school night, “just for the experience.” I think it’s like I saw in a video about if you have an emotional breakdown, the person said you come out and may have lasting sensitivities to things like to foods, and any sensory stuff. I’ve definitely found that to be true with noise levels in a room and stuff.

The minute I realized how bad this music is, and obviously everyone else loved it and staff told us to dance while they rushed to get stuff ready. Then I just wanted to throw all my stuff down and run out of the room even though I didn’t have my cane with me. I got as far as tearing my little girl hood off/ headphones, all designed to try and block out the noise which it did partly. Jess quickly saw things were going downhill fast and moved me to the front part of the dining room. There it was near the kitchen and like hardly anyone was there as they wanted to keep the party to one area. Sometimes staff don’t get why I get anxious over stuff. Like someone tried to say once in a care plan that no matter what residents pull in terms of having codes called on them and stuff I shouldn’t freak out because I should know it has nothing to do with me and Jess is right there. Omerra, my PRC at the time, who had her quirks but clearly stood up for me, told them to close their eyes and see how they felt about half the stuff that goes on here!

But the activity staff especially a select couple are very understanding. One even got us paratransit tickets that she says her aging mom doesn’t need. Anyway so we were totally allowed to sit in the front, in the awesome peace and quiet. I was able to decorate my cupcake, with awesome delicious different color frosting, sprinkles and chocolate chips. There were supposed to be cherries but they must have gone in five minutes because none were brought out for us. I was just really happy to get a cupcake, though honestly in all that noise I had stopped caring about a cupcake and just wanted out of there. It was good we found a solution that, as one of my friends would say, “met my access needs.”

So in the quiet, with my player with an audio book and favorite doll, I actually stayed for the whole social! Eventually the music shut off replaced by the excitement of the costume contest that honestly sounded like a five year old party with all the happy squealing yelling, but it was better than music. Jess watched a little of it but it was hard to tell exactly who won it was so much excitement and crowded people. So I went upstairs very tired but happy.

This is the first time in almost four years I’ve gone to a whole social/ party. Nine times out of ten I avoid all of them. A couple times Jess has been able to sneak things up for me, but usually not that often. Times I have gone it’s only been for the amount of time it takes me to eat a cookie or brownie and that’s it. Nothing they have at most socials is worth it to me to have to face all the noise and commotion. But today it was really good to just be down there and be able to participate and feel ok. And people loved Freya my doll. I’m gonna tell Anna to put this down in my chart somewhere as a big event!

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excellent staff member in maintenance department left adds to depression

Hi everyone,

So as if we haven’t had enough people leaving lately. Found out this morning that head of maintenance, Robert no longer works here.

This guy was no regular janitor. He’d been here ten years and was so friendly and with a smile on his face. You’d ask him how he was doing and he’d say “I have no idea!” like he was up for whatever the day would bring. Which in this crazy facility was probably a lot of very long days and running all over the place.

But he was extremely patient with all sorts of residents and staff. And responded as quickly as possible to requests. He also knew us as individuals. Like didn’t mind being flexible about things. Like us having both our heaters turned off knowing heat came up here quickly and would heat our small room fine. If heat were on it would dry out everything in my nose and mouth and just not be good. Same with why we wanted our AC kept in.

He was great with working with our doorknob, which is code activated since we can’t have keys as self-harmers. I feel he was part of the core staff (Tossi, Jonathan, Karen) that make this place what it is.

I’m worried the place will go downhill now that he’s gone as he was such a presence here. Efram, head of housekeeping, who is very good at his job though new, is taking over Robert’s position until they find someone that always takes awhile.

It hit me hard not knowing. At first I thought that he had just up and quit or somehow got fired like Stephanie, but I felt better knowing he had given two weeks notice. But then I was upset that since he had two weeks notice why hadn’t anyone known. Usually news travels fast around the residents whether it’s true or not. Heard the story from one trusted CAN that no one believed he was actually leaving because he had been saying that for months! I guess he is going back to school for maintenance which is good. I’m happy for him.

I’m just anxious about losing a core staff member, and it all just adds to my depression.

In other news, Anna just popped by. I had just sent her an e-mail about finding someone to help with the doorknob in the future. She’d done her homework and talked to the person handling insurance. I guess, the people who needed to urgently switch because of behavioral health stuff being the exception, we can’t change insurances until we get an official letter wwith our options on it. Which is weird because as far as my research goes there are like only four options for everyone on Medicaid managed care but whatever.

No one can seem to know what insurance Dr. Patel, my psychiatrist is under. You’d think all doctors who come to a place like this would be on all of them. But so far two haven’t turned up with her name.

Jess’s therapist managed to do something no one around here has been able to: she actually talked to Jonathan! She should get a medal LOL!

And he ended up saying that he was fine with Jess and I both seeing her, and I guess that was her main concern. However I’m not comfortable and think having an objective therapist is very important.

So will do what I said about looking at one of her colleagues. Though as I said before therapy likely won’t start til new insurance takes over in January.

I’m unquestionably depressed. I asked Anna if she thought I should have a med change. Usually caseworkers are jumping up and down requesting this when residents have symptoms that are really difficult. But she was careful in her reply. She said she tells everyone meds aren’t the end all be all. But here with like very little therapy it seems that they’re really the only treatment option. She said maybe the stuff I put down in my “wrap packet” would help more. I.E coping stuff, distractions and all that.) I think it’s beyond that.

And I know I probably have a right to be depressed. With everything going on with family, staff changes here, no therapy. No chance as I used to have to just let my emotions out and process naturally. Without that I’m just stuck with everything in my head all day every day and it’s exhausting.

I’m not one that has many med changes. I think the last med change I had was a few years ago when I started buspar. I also don’t have any side-effects normally. So I think this is warranted. I’m a bit surprised she hasn’t suggested it herself. I also asked if we could talk to her about allowing me to have my braillenot in the hospital as an accomidation, and if we could put down in my chart a preference for Norwegian over St. Mary’s. And I will ask her directly about insurance since no one else seems to know.

So that’s what my depressed tiring day has been.

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good saturday researched therapists and talked with family

So today was good. Took my morning nap as usual but did not feel like continuing to sleep the day away. Well kind of because I hate going down to lunch but after that was very motivated.

Went on the site for one of the better insurance plans for Medicaid. Did find a couple therapists you can actually look up. Links are below.

Dr. Dan Friedman

http://lifewithdrdan.com/

I like that he is mainly psychodynamic and only uses CBT when necessary. And that he works with all ages. From his very short videos he does kinda remind mef Jonathan in his energetic tone of voice.

Rejuvinate therapy and counseling.

https://www.rjtherapy.com/treatments

This one is kinda weird and will have Anna look into it. I could of course but I have to give her something to work on LOL!

Will continue to look on the site but it was encouraging that there are a few more options than I thought. The first option will be the other therapists recommended by Jess’s therapist down the street. Also found out that there’s another branch of the place down the street in Chicago.

In other news talked to family.They’re on a rollercoaster as I am, not sure what’s happening with the house other than investors looking at it and a new realtor maybe soon. My mom is up and down with physical pain/ energy levels and tries to save her energy for when she works or has to show the house.

We talked about Lucky antics and it’s always good to hear he’s his usual cat self.

Talked to my dad who was grateful that his lecture on not moving had the impact it did. He said he was proud of me. I said I was too, and he said not to get a big head LOL!

I told mom about all the changes here and how Jonathan is acting. She talked about seeing him as very good at what he does but not professional in how he is with people not communicating and then acting like everything is fine.

She said if she talks to him she’ll call him a player and that there are only so many times you can talk your way out of situations! I’m like totally lol would love to hear that conversation because it’s so true!

He has changed so much lately who knows?

Anyway it was good to talk with both my parents and just laugh about stupid stuff.

We’ll just have to keep waiting on the house, and my Mom has the consult with the hip surgeon mid November. 2018 will be a great year if she can get both surgeries done and be able to actually live a pain fre life!

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coming out of depression and staff changes here

Hi everyone,

I know I haven’t posted for awhile. The past couple weeks I’ve been depressed. Everything around the rollercoaster of the trip, trying to move and then not, and just everything going on in my life has caught up with me.

Parents still haven’t sold our house and hearing how stressed they are is just overwhelming. And how my sister doesn’t even want to come back to the house on break because of remembering our dog that recently died, and she, like me wanting to just stay out of the way as so much is going on for my mom.

She’s going to have her back surgery last I heard the beginning of February. She’s supposed to see the hip surgery doctor sometime soon. I guess the latest thing is a hip transplant, which I’ve never heard of. If anyone knows anything about this would love to know. I always thought anything transplanted means you have to like be on powerful drugs and it’s very dangerous.

Seeing all this going on is bringing back memories of my grandparents on my Dad’s side moving in, and how all that happened. I know right now my mom doesn’t want anything to do with my Gramma, and my Dad would love to move to Maine which is a less expensive state and where his parents have a summer house that she I guess would live in all year. So the old tentions, not so old, continue to run high.

Thinking about all that is just draining.

So I spent the past couple weeks sleeping a lot not going on the computer. I did read and listen to books on my player.

It hasn’t helped that Jonathan has been his usual mess, well worse than usual.

Not sure if I’ve said that basically never saw him since coming home at all. Anna my PRC could not get ahold of him even when trying to text him about me. She often says that she doesn’t know where he is and I’ve heard this from staff. Not sure if it’s to do with the new mental health rehab transition, but he hardly seems to be in the building. Previously, we’d hear him on the speaker a lot paging and being paged and he’d stay late and stuff. So though he had random days off and could be extremely busy at least you knew where he is.

Now I guess staff can’t get ahold of him. And they haven’t even been having regular staff meetings. Anna’s been trying her best to get contact. He did say we could meet this past Tuesday, which was the thing that actually got me on the computer. Since my e-mail last week asking about therapy, saying how important it was and asking for at least twice a month, never got answered I was skeptical. That first of all, he would in fact show up for the meeting. And even if he did I seriously didn’t know when the next one would be. Having therapy months apart is not therapy at all!

So wrote him Tuesday basically saying I was done working with him and he hadn’t been my therapist for a long time.

Of course didn’t get a response.

Was really wanting to see the therapist Jess sees but have found out she’s uncomfortable seeing both of us at once, which I totally understand. It’s hard as I am so hesitant to see anyone but Jonathan, hence why I stuck it out with him for all these years. Having this other therapists recommended by him, she used to in fact work with him, and seeing how amazing she’s been for Jess made me at least a bit more able to consider it.

But as I said seeing closely related people is ethically messy and I’d never want to compromise her care of Jess. As Anna said she’s only doing it because she wants the best care for both of us.

There are a couple therapists in the practice that she does recommend. So the plan is for Anna, and as she says “if Jonathan can give me the time of day,” for them to talk with this therapist about recommendations.

Sadly regardless of who I see I won’t be able to start therapy until after the new year due to switching insurance. That even though I would be changing insurances and say if it happened next week it wouldn’t take effect til the new year.

So a very long two months and over the holidays too to have to wait.

Wish Jonathan would be able to somehow fill that gap, and ideally I’ve said several times I’d like him to still work with me as I so value his abilities as a therapist, (though I have a lot of difficult feelings and lost a lot of trust in him) he’s just not responding to anyone . It’s so hard reaching out to empty space. I’m sure that’s part of my depression too. That this person who has been so important in my care is so obviously ignoring me, and it seems his staff.

Speaking of staff. Last week I was overjoyed that we finally got our last PRC spot filled. By a master’s level overqualified person, I just hope she stays! Then again have heard that as a refreshing change master’s level will be the norm for PRCS, they just have to raise the salary to match.

Anyway just when that happened we got horrible news. Stephanie, my first PRC after Edith suddenly quit. Or was fired. Or something.

She came in with her masters, very solid person. Extremely organized, good with working with a lot of different residents. Last year around this time actually, when we started working together we just didn’t click emotionally. However I totally love her as a PRC within the general team, and definitely someone I’ve reached out to especially for logistical things like getting other staff like facilities to fix something and just in general. I think she successfully tracked down Jonathan a time or two.

If Anna were to leave I was actually thinking I might go back to her.

She’s a core part of the team, in it for the long haul and not a quitter. We all know that if she were thinking of leaving she’d give the two week notice. And that it didn’t at all seem like she was leaving anytime soon before Monday.

Trying to do some detective work in my head (Robbie is soo much better at this!) the only thing I can think of and I just have a strong intuitive feeling about this is she spoke up to Jonathan and he fired her.

That she spoke up about him like not being ever there or other concerns came right out and said her piece and he just said get outta here. I’ve heard him over the phone while in sessions raise his voice to staff regularly. And even Edith seemed skittish about confronting Jonathan on something, well not even confronting, to my mind just stating a fact about like him not responding to something important to do with residents such as myself.

Stephanie’s a tough girl and I could imagine her standing up and speaking her mind on behalf of the team and residents. Yet Jonathan is usually full of an amazing ability to resolve conflict with anyone, patience, compassion, an ability to not take things personally/ process his emotions without making rash decisions.

Then again it could have been a mutual parting, though the suddenness is just not like her at all.

So it’s a huge loss for everyone.

Will be a hard spot to fill with the two newer PRCS from this past month finally being trained, and one brand new one.

It’s always interesting to see the comings and goingings of our little group. Hoping with the new facility model they’ll get better pay raises and training and so people will be more inclined to stay.

I do like Anna a lot. At the moment she’s the only mental health staff I trust/ feel is really there for me/ knows me. However Anna has the issue I posted about before the trip. She has major issues with her emotions taking over and being so transparent it’s just like wow! If you’ll remember what happened was she sort of pushed in strongly suggesting I open up to her around issues related to the trip that I really felt only comfortable talking to Jonathan about. She was very shocked that I didn’t feel she was someone I could open up to. I stated why, first of all she doesn’t have the training, at the time she was half zoned out when she would come, missed appointments. And just plain wasn’t in the category of very few people I can trust.

Well OMG it was like we were best friends and I’d just told her I secretly hate her or something. She was like totally sad, and just like betrayed! It was so weird!

Anyway was the strangest experience I’ve had with a professional. I’m all for transparency but you have to be able to not have emotions flood you while with a client and that’s clearly what was happening.

So obviously I can’t say to her that I don’t feel comfortable having more contact with her around current stuff, (though she’s offered to meet more than once a week several times, and is so eager for me to feel that way about her) but I just don’t. It’s like she’s fragile in a way, it’s just so beyond weird. It was something I wanted to fully discuss with Jonathan because I found the whole situation just very interesting. It’s like I had to reassure her she was doing a good job and it was just off the wall.

So I have her in her own quirky way. But that certainly doesn’t cover all my needs.

So we’ll see I guess. Frustrated with how IL is just crud with mental health stuff. Hoping one of the therapists in that practice works out. We’ll just have to see.

Oh another staff change is that our new floor nurse from about a month just decided to up and quit with no two week notice. This is very unprofessional. Guess she just found a better job and left us in the lurch. It was such a shame she trained well and seemed a good fit. Also found out from another nurse that this facility really doesn’t actively recruit for nurses so they literally have to wait til someone walks in and applies. Or through word of mouth maybe.

So yeah the joys of Albany.

Am glad to be back doing things I love but still know I have a lot to face with few people who I really feel connected to staff wise.

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Delayed good news with the Dentist

Hey

So with this crazy keyboard I can hardly blog when I want to. So just figured out I didn’t post an update on the dentist!

It went very well! We got there and didn’t have to listen to that annoying tv and I don’t think very many people were even in there. Got called right in pretty quickly. Dr. Anderson called Jonathan stuftie Douglas, LOL, she should put his name in my chart!

So basically I have no cavities and gums are good! I’m soo happy for Jess and I and our joint efforts on my mouth yay!

Got x-rays and everything.

She even checked up on Jess a bit. She’s a very dedicated dentist and does an amazing job.

And I asked for a toy like always! She does see kids there along with me of course! And she had a stuftie, a dog! That I named Alexandra Anderson! She’s one of the family now LOL!

We have all the insurances that they take and we’re gonna make sure that we get a plan that has her on it for sure!

So yeah I am soo beyond happy about all that!

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Book RReview: Groomed by Casey Watson

I just finished reading the latest foster care memoir by Casey Watson.

Groomed tells the story of 15 year old Keeley who has just run away from her long term foster parents. Long-term foster parents in the UK means that the family have been matchd to Keely and have agreed to provide a home and family for her legally until she’s 18, but many many times the child is always part of the family. It sounds like adoption without the official name change.

After being questioned by the police and social services she was almost returned home. Then she told them her father sexually abused her. So she was considered an emergency placement.

Casey and Mike are faced with an interesting challenge with Keeley. She’s not the typical kid coming to them to be on the “points program” i.e behavior modification that they are trained in, so that they can move on to another family. She’s been in her family for years and it seems their job at first is to simply give her a safe place to stay while the investigation into her allegation takes place.

I feel really bad for foster parents in that area of the world. There are so many restrictions on what a foster carer can’t do and what a child/ teenager can do it’s incredible! At 15 you can basically go out anywhere you like as long as you agree to come home at a reasonable time that turns into this big negotiation and often is not respected anyway. Have seen that happen in other books as well as this one. Because they literally can’t stop them from leaving the house.

Secondly, this I still don’t quite understand. A foster carer can’t take away a child’s cell phone! Like at all. Because “it’s there’s.”In Keeley’s case her former foster parents were paying for it, something that just seems crazy at first but has more significance later.But yeah they can’t do anything at all! that’s a huge thing. You really can’t ground a kid wwho’s glued to their phone without ungluing the phone or at least putting major restrictions on it. Why they couldn’t even do that much I don’t know.

To complicate things Keeley is very close to being 16. Before reading this book I’d run into so many “this person is 16 or almost so we can’t do much” stuff that I asked in a foster care group what was with this thing. Turns out at 16 technically a child can leave foster care. I heard of some people saying they were essentially kicked out at 16. Care can last to 21 technically, but at 16 if a child wants to just go off on their own there isn’t much they can do.

They do try as was explained in this book. They have something called a path program. Where they work on goals like education employment housing things like that. Keeley had been pestering her caseworker Danny, who she seemed at first glance very easy to manipulate, to get a plan set up for her. While at the same time refusing to have anything to do with school, work, or anything besides being on her phone.

Though Casey could just play Keeley’s game and pretend not to care what she does and just let her run off at 16 that’s just not in her nature. In spite of everything, and there is a lot going on, hardest for the family sexual issues, she is d determined to get Keeley off the phone world she’s developed and into meaningful education.

The book is therefore a roll ercoaster of Keeley’s lies and manipulations. Following the rules just long enough for Casey to let her guard down and then going into another drama. It’s not even a case of one step forward two steps back. More like one downhill slide followed by like two steps of progress, another huge downhill slide then the uphill is like out of nowhere.

After a phone related confrontation, things come full circle around the original allegation made.

The ending is just weird. Have purposely not given a lot of details, but still. It’s positive in many ways, but just totally weird. Like imagine her being perfectly fine deciding to live with the family member of the person who abused her. That was most unsettling.

So yeah not sure I’d recommend. A lot of ups and downs and certainly an admirable job done by Casey and Mike and everyone, mostly for hanging on for the ride, but so much of it was just one drama after another. And up until the very very end it totally seemed like she deep down was a total manipulative liar who didn’t care who she hurt. I honestly think some of Casey’s early books were a lot better. Which is is why my friends and I will fight to get them in audio.

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hard day

Hard day today. Someone set off the fire alarms by smoking in the stairwell. This happens more than you think, in spite of our facility having in door smoking areas!

It hasn’t happened in awhile. But when it does I get so mad! First of all everyone is subjected to the horrible experience of the fire alarm going off. Like I said there’s one part of each floor that for some reason has like three different alarms or two plus the main one. So it’s soo loud like hurts my ears! Like if totally deaf friend said it was giving her a headache you know it’s bad! The flashing lights probably weren’t helping in that case either.

Anyway today in particular it seemed to take forever for them to turn the thing off. Because of course the firemen and others have to go through and check everything. Then it seemed like there was a problem turning it off because it went off and on a bunch of times which really got to me.

But the worst thing that depressed and infuriated me and still does is that firemen, cops, paramedicas all flew over here thinking it was an emergency and it was absolutely nothing but total stupidity! Meanwhile someone probably got more seriously injured or could have even died because the people to help were here and not there. Like I’ve been telling people today yes people here have mental illness but they’re not five years old. They should know the seriousness of this and the danger they put others in!

It had startled me out of a nap. And I think just started the tone for the rest of the day. We did not go to Walmart. I just did not feel like going out. It woulda been depressing anyway because we didn’t have money for burger king.

I did eat lunch

Listened to the chaos of both staff and residents yelling. Took a second nap. Finished the latest Casey Watson book which I’ll review next.

Tried to get on the computer and of course this keyboard was not working. When I say not working I mean half the keys will just freeze up and not type at all. I pound on them, probably doesn’t help, and they will do nothing. It’s usually the same ones, o and I and the shift, and down arrow, and r, and w, and t. The other extreme is when you hit one of them and get like three of the same letter. Hence I have to go over what I write like a hawk to be sure I miss all the typos. So I just got off and reread a book.

This problem with the computer, I honestly don’t know how long it’s gonna go on for. Jonathan’s initial look at it was for like five minutes that day before the trip. Then I think he ended up having Michelle, QA, do the compressed air spray thing. Though yes there’s likely crud in it, I think we’re past just giving it a spray down. Something’s really not good that it does. Over the course of writing this it’s gone back and forth too many times to count from having to bang the keys and them not working, to being able to type pretty ok to having to delete extra letters. Jonathan wasn’t sure if it was the connection from the keyboard to the computer that was the problem. He seemed to get more concerned when I mentioned the off and on nature of things. If it is something internal wrong with this computer again I’m gonna scream! It’s a year almost that I’ve had the thing and it’s given me more problems than any other computer.

it’s been absolute silence from Jonathan’s end. When Jess happens to see him he’s literally running down the hallways talking to a bunch of people at once and doesn’t seem to notice her. I think awhile back she ran into him a few times and he said hi, or yeah he’d meet but then never did. It’s all kinda a depressing blurr of trying to see if we happen to see him around. The active needing to reach out has kind of faded. I did my best with that in the beginning. Especially after that one time we finally did meet in the hallway and he said later that week he’d see me. That was like mid September. After that I did my usual amount of e-mailing, phone messaging and Jess texting. But now I have just given up beyond the if we happen to see him we’ll try stage.

I mean clearly he’s absolutely swamped with this new training and will continue to be if all this major stuff has to happen in the next three years. I get that. But to just leave me hanging when he knows how important therapy is to me, especially after the trip. I mean yes I know he did read the rollercoaster e-mails around me wanting to stay in MA trying to do anything to stay and everything. But he didn’t know the process I went through in the last month coming to terms with that it will be wwisest to stay put until an actual viable plan can be put in place that’s realistic. My parent’s huge trouble with selling the house, my mom’s possible to surgeries, my parents at my sister’s last college parent’s weekend and of course me feeling so guilty that I pushed them out of my life to the point they never could attend even one.

All that stuff I’ve had to deal with on my own. I don’t even know if he asks staff about me or talks about me at all. My mom was on this tangent about how Jonathan had to know how I was doing because Anna reports exactly everything I say to her right to him. I couldn’t convince her that that’s not how it works really at all. Especially the the therapy relationship we have, that’s our relationship he’s made that clear. That beyond caseworker trying to get him to meet with me, I.E reminding him/ bugging him with likely just the same results we get most of the time, the rest if between us. Found this out when I basically put poor Edith in the middle of a huge issue I had with him all the time thinking that she told him every detail of the things I’d been saying about him. To find out she hadn’t because he’d wanted me to come directly to him.

This is a different situation of course. In the whole other, being concerned about me as one of over 300 residents and looking out that I have a good relationship with my caseworker and treatment is going ok, sure I’m sure he looks at her notes and I know if caseworkers go to him with any concerns. And anything he hears about that might need his attention in terms of lack of action by a caseworker gets attended to. And surely if there is any kind of crisis with a resident, agression, cutting, suicidal whatever he’d hear about it. But it’s not a word for word exchange.

So now what w’re looking at thanks too his inaction and lack of commitment to our therapy relationship (and knowing how I feel about starting with or seeing a new therapist) is just that. Me seeing a new therapist. A known therapist, Jess’s, but still. Having to start a hol new therapy relationship in the midst of all this.

We have to fix insurance first obviously as no aetna. But I’m not sure I’m looking forward to it. Starting with this woman. I’m actually pretty angry that I have to in the first place! It’s just a very difficult situation.

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