10-06-2021 12:26 PM
Re: A long rave
That sounds like it's been a tricky experience to navigate and the emotions that's brought up difficult/ unpleasant to sit with.
It can be incredibly hard to navigate relationships that are part friendship, part professional/supportive. I've heard of people trying to establish boundaries around this to help manage the different , such as ceasing working with someone who's become more of a friend, others try to find ways to balance the dual roles. The way I see it, it's all about finding a way that works for the both of you. I hope the conversation today goes well and you're able to find a solution that will work for you. Take care 💐
10-06-2021 01:01 PM
Re: A long rave
Good Luck with your support worker issues. Dont discount your own responses totally. It is more the responsilibity of the worker to maintain boundaries and I was surprised when you said you were also friends. Yes it does get difficult, and though I have often wished for more friendships to come out of professional relationships, both with me being client or professional, it is also really helpful for someone as messed up about boundaries as me, to keep them separate.
I have had 2 NDIS workers they would come to me for teaching if they were not in the support realtionship. It was a lovely way to show respect, and I longed for them to do so, and gave lots of music to my physio for her daughter, but know its best not to go there.
As you are doing so many walks without speaking, maybe that allowed the frustration to build up. I can understand the sesne of shame, but been reading about shame, and it sounds like healthy shame, and maybe even healthy anger, as you managed to channel it into walking, rather than fighting. Kudos to you sis. A Gp once told me it would be likely I would need to change psychologists every few years. May be it is part of your own process of sifting through things ( accept that dignity) now that you also have NDIS and can get other supports. Mind you I dont know what the frustration was about, but I trust your diligence in the matter.
10-06-2021 09:25 PM - edited 10-06-2021 09:27 PM
Re: A long rave
Hi @TideisTurning, thank you for your kind reply. Good to hear about others dealing with something similar. Yes, whatever works in the different situations for different people.
Hi @Appleblossom, I have been less inclined to discount my own responses to things so much lately, finding less of the usual 'I must be wrong' when conflict arises, though still thrown around mentally and emotionally by it.
A good part of that is my work with the new psychologist/hypnotherapist, I think. He, the physio and the 2-4km walks have been the best thing about ndis so far for me.
It was the walk without speaking that probably saved me and my support worker from entering into an endless loop of painful verbal interaction and anger that bad day.
One of the things I'm finding difficult is that I have been explaining to support people that I am seeking to do rather to talk, but am still being drawn over and over into conversations that overwire me to the max.
One thing that is triggering me over and over is being given endless unasked-for advice by everyone ndis, even when I ask them not to. Mostly I only really want to open myself up that way at this time to my psychologist, who is much better skilled and who seems to understand more the complexity of things.
I am familiar over a very long time with many of the things I am being advised about, have tried many of them, still do what is useful for me of them. For example, I was first introduced to mindfulness in 1990, and started practicing some of it then. Even earlier - I first took myself to meditation class forty years ago.
And so I find the endless advice patronising, disrespectful and disempowering. At the same time I recognise the genuine good intentions of the people who are offending me in this way. But this support relationship is meant to be focused on what will help me.
It was a very hard session with support worker today, high emotions. We finished what we were doing early. We have mutually decided to drop one support day of the two we have been doing so far. The thread of the friendship is still there, though bruised.
Still struggling as I write with the emotions, but have calmed a fair bit since listening to a long deep relaxation hypnosis by my psychologist.
10-06-2021 10:02 PM - edited 11-06-2021 05:35 PM
Re: A long rave
Glad you got through it @Mazarita
Yes, about well intentioned inappropriate advice. Yes about mindfulness and meditation 40 years ago. Good Lord if they only had a clue.
Hearing you about the too much talking. We can only say so much, and if it retraumatises us and keeps the wound open ... NOT GOOD. It is much better to focus on activities as distraction, but not mindless distraction. I was getting annoyed that psychology seemed mainly about distraction and doing something "nice" as if we had not figured that out either!. They have to develop enough trust in relationship before dumb advice flows too freely. The talking should lead to understanding and clarity about how to proceed rather than be an end in itself.
I feel a bit funny, cos I am not used to doing what I want to do. I am struggling with that a lot, but its mainly in my screwed up head, slowly slowly I am learning not to punish myself or notice when I self sabotage, and when I get an idea and follow it through it usually is good.
I always generated walking with my support workers. I have only had 2.
Love to you Maz
11-06-2021 03:22 PM - edited 11-06-2021 03:27 PM
Re: A long rave
Heya @Appleblossom good to hear a voice relating to this process of disempowerment that can happen without mental health professionals intending it, or even being aware of it.
At one level its about the fundamental power dynamics of being seen as the 'sick' one in a relationship with any mental health professional. I find there is an unconscious assumption there that I need advice and that any disagreement I have is part of my mental illness.
This has happened even when I've explained that I have been exploring many avenues of therapy for thirty or more years, that I have been highly proactive about this, preventing myself from ever having a hospital admission for my mental illness in all this time, a rarity for people with bipolar 1.
So it is very frustrating when support people persist in giving me teacherly advice on things that I may well know in more depth and complexity, over a much longer time, from the theory of them and from within my own actual human experience of doing them.
It seems to me that some mental health professionals too quickly assume that what they are hearing from me is 'resistance' that needs to be overcome, or some failure on my part to implement the theories and practices correctly.
This makes me feel that the theory of these practices are more important to some mental health professionals than our reports of how helpful or not they are in the actual experience of someone with mental illness. It sometimes feels like a nagging script I am hearing over and over and over.
I sometimes wonder if deep thought like this is ever really heard as more than a complaint, or another way to dismiss the truths of our lives and the validity of our perceptions, even when that is non-one's intention.
I myself am inclined to give advice too quickly to other people in general. Lately I have been making a joke about this before saying things, such as 'I am a champion of giving advice I can't do myself'.
Mainly I just want to take a moment for a simple question before speaking advice to others: is this advice really about genuinely helping that person, or is it more about parroting what I've book-learned, or that I think I know, or just to keep going a conversation. Silence can be golden.
11-06-2021 05:32 PM
Re: A long rave
Not much to add.
It became very obvious with my first support wkr who had a very high opionion of her helping qualities and opinions, but had all of one cert 4 and it was not even for mental health. I put up with it for about 9 months, but when she let slip she wanted to see my certificates with all subtlety and implication of a dare ... and called my son and I or my family generally "nutters", during a week of family crisis. It was too much.
I do not react in real time very much, probably it has never been safe for me to do so. I also work really hard to make things work, forgive and tolerate etc etc etc. There was no shock or remonstrating at the time. More of a "really, I will think about that later" and smooth over the conversation. Maybe its cos of being in foster families, or cos of my mother... idk.
Mostly I am analytical and reflective. It was actually her unexamined issues wanting to put me down, even though I had been very vulnerable and open. I can be too passive at times. However after time has passed, I have renewed resolve to advocate for better more effective services. Dont waste the tax dollars on me. She must have known inside she had gone too far, and then fudged on showing up next session, and then I put a complaint in.
The assumption you mention, that people are being resistant, can be a big problem, of the worker not doing adequate reality checking. They should have better protocols.
I am going to edit that previous post as I only wanted to share the drum story with you and maybe should be a bit more discrete.
Just ate a box of peanut choc icecreams on special.
11-06-2021 06:05 PM
Re: A long rave
@Appleblossom, your earlier post seemed perfectly fine to me without need for any further discretion. I enjoyed you relating about the djembe and the support worker from Ghana. I love your musical world.
I relate to your analytical and reflective traits. As with you, they have carried me far, for me a major survival tool, as well as something that has given me self esteem as one of my big strengths. It has also led me to my vocation in the creative arts, a major lifeline through a life with mental illness.
But at this time I am feeling that my mind is so full of thoughts and ideas gathered over decades, that my brain is really out of balance with the rest of my body and being, and has been for a very long time.
I am also clearly feeling how overwired I often become with all my thinking and talking, especially coupled with the social anxiety I feel in my daily life. It feels like my head and neck is a centre of heat and pain from sucking up so much of my energy!
So for me the silent walks, and quietening of real life conversation is the big priority, not so much for distraction, but to get into what I am now calling my whole-body intelligence.
Food, glorious food. Hope you enjoyed the peanut choc icecreams. I've just had a hot chicken sandwich and Friday is home-cooked cake day, which C makes every week. Just a lemon tea cake but very yum.
11-06-2021 06:12 PM
Re: A long rave
The edit was more for anonymity. I hoped it would inspire, and give balance in discussing spt wkrs. Maybe not everything should be open to everyone. My 'better late than never' learning about setting boundaries.
A pic calming for the eyes
11-06-2021 06:42 PM - edited 11-06-2021 06:43 PM
Re: A long rave
@Appleblossom yes, I agree about understanding the life situation of support workers, and them as individual people, finding compassion as much as possible for all people. We are all going through this experience of human life, mostly never smooth and full of mistakes, and inevitably involving pain for all of us. I have sometimes thought that there may be very few people who get out of life without some kind of trauma.
Still, it's valid too for us to discuss our experiences in a system that is set up to help us, a conversation you and I have been having with others on the forum for years. It's real when we notice that things advocated may be of only small benefit, and not at all possible in some experiences of high distress. They are meant to be caring for us, not the other way around.
I sometimes think I am often more genuinely compassionate and more deeply understanding of human frailties and stresses in these relationships, putting more energy into that than the person supporting me, which at one level is arse-about. At another level I also understand it. Work life is demanding for everyone. Work stresses and the reasons individuals work often reduce the quality of services delivered in all areas of life.
Love the picture. Yes, the perfect imperfection of you and I and the rest of our fellow people, the world and the cosmic nature of the everything. Acceptance is a major theme of my work in therapy at this time.
Hope you enjoy the evening and there are rewarding aspects to your weekend.